Ratter (Brandon Kramer, 2016)

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Ratter is a very timely modern horror which has all the makings of a potential cult classic. It explores in deep fake documentary style cinematography the nature of how the internet has changed the entire world and not all for the better. It is more more than a low budget horror film, it focuses sharply on how internet connected lives are used for everything for a certain generation. Job searches in every industry, moving money from accounts, paying people, booking flight, blogging about fashion, film and music, meeting potential romantic partners, scamming and hacking global non-internet savvy older people with money and now even more modern and dark….genuine stalking through camera devices which are connected to the internet.

The title of the film is cyber hacker term used to describe a type of malware known often on Remote Access Trojan, a program unknown downloads on a victims laptop or computer which usually bypasses shop bought cyber security. It manipulates files and camera as well as enabling video and audio access to users daily activities. It is more or less the modern way of man having complete access to any woman he might be growing obsessed with. In ratter he knows how the lead character walks, talks, her family, her friends, her body and can have access to her I.D and Bank account. After all it is the generation that do more or less everything by the internet.

Emma (Ashley Benson, *Hanna Pretty Little Liars*) moves to trendy Brooklyn New York to study a masters, she is excited making a new life for herself and moving to the city. She makes new friends, has a new love interest and studies hard. Things start to become unusual as her laptop buffers, mysterious objects arrive at her very new address and online instant messaging conversations repeatedly become needless explicit.

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I actually initially thought the cinematography would become jarring but it in fact just made it more realistic from the stalkers point of view. A certain (yes that film) Peeping Tom atmosphere. The whole film is from the viewpoint of her webcam or smartphone as she goes about her daily life. We can see him repeating audio to himself as she so freely tells a handyman the address of the apartment she lives alone in. Its dramatic and feels extremely real. There’s no glamour. This could really happen. In fact it has.

MTV’s ‘Catfish’ repeatedly proves how often not only portray their life as not as it is but even pretend to be completely other people for attention. A very specific episode features U.S.A beauty pagent queen Cassidy Wolf was hacked for one year. Tormented by unknown person who demanded exclusive pictures of her, watched her repeatedly and knew her environment well. 

What Branden Kramer has achieved is more than popular cheerleaders in high school students running from men in Halloween costumes. That very familiar type of horror from Friday the 13th, Candy-man, Nightmare on Elm St, Halloween and Scream becomes comical and predictable. Ratter has a very timely modern warning about the potential of online stalker which transcends exaggerated fiction and is borderline reality for many females today. This of idea of being some below A list viral celebrity by posting every pic of how you look, what celebrity you met, what glamorous part of the world is an internet epidemic for most people. Be careful with too many selfies about how hot you look that day….there might a man or woman out there who will like it to (your) death.

Von Von Lamunu

 

 

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