[Movie Review] “Ratter”

“We’re constantly connected through our phones, laptops and the Web every moment of every day. But while we look at our screens, who’s looking at us?”

If that line doesn’t creep the hell out of you, or even just a little bit, then there’s probably something wrong with you.

I came across this movie while I was doing my daily browsing of the sites where I illegally download movies (like everyone else on Earth). I saw the poster, which was creepy, and I saw that I know the actress in it – Ashley Benson, so I was like, why not? Let’s go for it. It’ll be an addition to my “200 movies a year” challenge.

Moving on… I don’t really get scared or creeped out by movies (or anything) that much. I prefer watching suspense, thriller and horror flicks as opposed to romance and drama. When I watched “Ratter”, I wasn’t expecting much. I only read a short synopsis over at IMDB.com and it says “Emma, a graduate student living alone in NYC, is being watched by a stalker who hacks into the technology that surrounds her – laptop, cell phone, and other web connected devices. This obsession continues to grow as the hacker records Emma’s most intimate moments. When the thrill of watching isn’t enough, the situation escalates to a dangerous and terrifying level.”

So, basically, it’s a movie about a very smart and technologically advanced stalker.
I instantly felt a connection to Emma, since I used to live alone and I do the exact same things that she did in the film. The first and last thing I do every day is look at my phone or my laptop. I go to the toilet with my phone, and I’m not just talking about when I take a shower. I hate silence, so I always watch some random clips on YouTube or browse through Facebook and Twitter while doing “my business” in the toilet.

I like to multitask. I leave my laptop on, playing some music, a TV series or a movie, whenever I’m doing something else, like exercising, cooking, folding my laundry or cleaning my room. I leave it on at night because I couldn’t wait for my “downloads” to finish. Even when I’m asleep, it’s still on. I just turn it off when I wake up at around 4 AM (coz I go to work at 5 AM).
So, yeah, if my webcam gets hacked, it would definitely show me in very uncompromising positions, doing silly, embarrassing and ridiculous stuff, and looking ugly and awful. Not that I care. I mean, who am I to get hacked? I’m not a celebrity. I’m not even pretty or attractive enough to get a stalker. Besides, I don’t have “secrets”, like nude selfies or sex videos in my laptop. Although, I have to admit that I don’t wear a bra when I’m at home and I’m usually wearing almost nothing when I’m in my room. I’m a very normal woman. Or at least, that’s what I would like to think.

The movie definitely hit home and touched a nerve. We have all become slaves to our gadgets. Technology made us very dependent on these gadgets that we spent almost every waking hour with them around us. We can hardly imagine our lives without them. It’s the sad reality of modern life. I like how Emma is the perfect example of a typical millenial. She takes pictures and videos of almost everything, takes her laptop everywhere and her phone is like a part of her body. I don’t know if I’m still considered a “millenial”, but I could definitely see myself in her. It might be unrealistic for some, but it is socially relevant, in my opinion.

The editing and the camera angles, which were shot exclusively from the perspective of Emma’s devices, were superb as well. All throughout the movie, you could feel a sense of foreboding as the “ratter” gets bolder and pays Emma’s apartment a couple of visits. There was that creepy, spine-tingling feeling that someone is watching you. Even when she was not home, he would shift to her phone’s camera to track her and watch her. You could feel his anger and jealousy when Emma hooks up with Michael; his thrill and excitement whenever Emma takes a shower or walks around half-naked in her house. There was even that sick, perverted scene when Emma was “pleasuring herself” and the ratter was watching through her phone’s camera. It was revolting and terrifying at the same time.

The last few moments of the film were just gripping and it got me on the edge of my seat. I was practically screaming and repeatedly saying “Oh my god” under my breath. It was horrifying! I mean, I’ve seen so many horror and suspense flicks, but this was definitely in the top 3. I just hated the fact that the ending was a cliffhanger. Emma was finally attacked by the ratter, while she was Skype-ing with her mom (who immediately called 911 and desperately called for her daughter), and that was it. The movie just ended it there. Normally, I like those kinds of endings because it leaves a lot to my imagination. But in this movie, I badly wanted to know what happened to Emma. Was she raped and killed? Just raped? Just killed? Kidnapped and never seen again? It drove me insane.
Now, I know a lot of people would say “it’s just a freakin’ movie” or “it won’t happen to you”. I believe that that’s exactly the kind of thing that would get some people killed. With our fast-paced world and the advancement of modern technology, especially computer, phones and the Internet, I do believe that ANYTHING is possible. Even ordinary, unimportant, humans like me could get hacked and could fall victim to a ratter. I contemplated putting on a sticker or something to cover my laptop’s webcam, just in case it gets hacked. Every now and then I would glance at my webcam to make sure the light isn’t on. I don’t get scared, but I do get paranoid sometimes. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing to believe in stuff like these. We all need to be alert because we’ll never know what might happen in the future. Hackers are also advancing and progressing, getting better, along with technology. So yeah, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When I think about it, if someone is watching me, they would probably get bored to death. I’m a couch potato and when I’m not writing (typing), I’m just watching movies and TV shows all day long. The most interesting or amusing thing they would see me do is walk around in my underwear, floss my teeth, eat like a pig, fart, burp, pick my nose or pop a pimple. So, yep, disgusting stuff, but nothing that would humiliate me or destroy my life. Okay, well, there is something that I do, that I’m sure everyone does too, every now and then, but I’m not comfortable sharing it online.
All in all, the movie “Ratter” sent a simple, yet powerful message and it definitely left a huge impression on me. I just wish people wouldn’t take technology for granted and try their best to take extra safety measures to ensure that their privacy isn’t violated. But then again, I think we all lost our privacy (or some part of it) ever since we started using social media, and in general, the world wide web.

So I did a little digging up and found out that “Ratter” was based on a short film from Germany, entitled “Webcam”, which, in turn, was based on real events.

Advertisements

If you don’t SUCK, you won’t SUCKSEED~

A teen comedy about a group of high-school students who form a band even though they’re not remotely gifted with music. Their intention is to impress girls. But when a pretty young student turns up and wants to join the band as a guitarist, things start to get interesting.

Title: SuckSeed ห่วยขั้นเทพ
Director: Chayanop Boonprakob
 Cast: Jirayu La-ongmanee, Natcha Nuanjam, Pashorn Jiratiwat, Thawat Pornrattanaprasert
Rating: 15+ Musical comedy

~ enjoythaimovies.com

Thai teen movies really have a soft spot in my heart. I don’t know why but I’ve only seen quite a few –mostly with the gorgeous MARIO MAURER in it ^.^ — and I just fell in love with all of them. Maybe because Thailand has a homey feel to it. Our cultures are somewhat similar. The stories are simple and I can really relate to them. Even the ‘high school life’ and the band scene is almost the same. 😀

Aside from the fact that this movie has two cute dudes and one pretty dudette… it also has one of my favorite things in the world –MUSIC. Although I have to admit that the scenes where a random singer or band would start appearing beside the actors and start singing were just incredibly hilarious and too “bollywood” or high school musical for me. So I kinda forwarded them. XD  It reminded me of this Saturday morning TV series called ‘MAYNILA’ where a random singer would start singing amidst some scenes… XP

Anyway… this movie has just the right amount of teenage romance, friendship, a bit of family and school drama and of course HUMOR. Thais really have a penchant for humor, even in horror films. XD The movie focuses on the lives of three struggling musicians and how they deal with everyday dilemma in school, with girls and  their music– life in general. I have to admit though that the first few parts of the movie were quite ho-hum coz they gave too much air time on their ‘elementary’ days. Yes, it is necessary to build up the story… but it kinda made the start a bit drawn out… After that ‘period’ though, the pacing got better. We get to see the teenagers now and it was so much better. 😀

Pretty Natcha ~ I bet she's haffu or something 😀

I have to say, the girl who plays Earn – Natcha Nuanjam – was just so elegantly beautiful. Her face is hard to forget. It could be elegant and simple at the same time. I think she can play both good and bad characters. ^.^

Natcha as the incredible guitarist Earn Morrison ~

I’m not sure if she’s REALLY a singer or of she really plays the guitar… if she does then she’s totally my IDOL now. 😀 She totally rocked during those scenes where she showed her excellent and hardcore guitar skills. ^^

The love TRIANGLE. >_> it would've been more fun if khung's twin, kae, joined in this. haha. it'd be a SQUARE.

As for Khung and Kae ~ they’re my favorite characters. ^^ Okay, it’s actually played by just one really cute and talented dude — Pashorn Jiratiwat aka PEACH. My first impression of him was “He kinda looks like this Filipino rapper/actor– ELMO MAGALONA.” ^^

Patchara "Peach" as both Khung and Kae ~He resembled Patchara right...? ^.^He resembled Patchara right...? ^.^

Anyway, I have to say this kis is really good for a newbie. He actually convinced me that KHUNG AND KAE are REALLY twins and are being played by two REAL LIFE twins. Even after I found out that it was the SAME PERSON, I still felt like I’m seeing double. 😀  Pretty much like how Lindsay Lohan pulled it off in the Parents’ Trap. ^^

ROCKIN' OUT -- KHUNG STYLE~

I don’t know why I really like his (KHUNG ^^) character although he was such a loser and more or less pathetic throughout the movie. I think because he is REALISTICALLY real. I’ve met a lot of guys like him. Those who are really talented but can’t seem to get out of their comfort zone and step up to the plate. He started off as the ‘talented twin’ because he could play the guitar at an early age. But then he grew up to be this loser, wannabe-in-a-rock-band dude who’s in love with his best friend. *LOL*

The three SUCKERS who SUCKSEED-ed. XD

Well, no, not really. But I think he’s too needy and he sticks to Ped too much. And Ped even dumped Earn– the girl of his dreams just for Khung… So Earn was like, “I envy Khung… Are you GAY?” XD XD XD

I like it how his face crumples everytime he tries to do some rock-ish scream XD

ANYWAY. About Ped. Yes, he’s cute and all. He channels the ‘boy-next-door-looks’ or the boy-you’re-gonna-take-home-to-your-parents but… I don’t really like him that much. He’s the exact opposite of Khung. He’s timid, quiet and he keeps everything to himself, most of the time. It’s annoying for girls to have a ‘guessing game’ whether or not the guy likes them. I mean, he’s gonna be all nice and sweet to Earn then if she comes too close, he’ll push her away and deny his feelings. I understand that they’re young and they’re still in high school.

TORPE! Just tell her you love her! DUH. She feels it naman. And she feels the same way.

WHATEVER. It’s the 20th effing century kids. GROW UP. XD Britney Spears’s younger sister got pregnant at the age of 13! Haha. Anyway. It just irked me a bit how dense and ‘torpe’ he was. If the girl is showing interest in you, then GET A DAMN CLUE! She likes you too. Otherwise she’ll be ignoring you right? *sighs* And then he’s gonna get all jealous and put on his PITY-ME-FACE upon seeing his BFF making moves on her. THE FCK IS THIS. >_<  Sorry, got carried away… had the same experience… Haha.

The Retard BFF, the in-denial/torpe BFF and THE GIRL. XD

It’s nice to watch movies like this every now and then. I mean, no matter how hard they persevered and tried to get popular, in the end, there was still something missing. They still lack something. I was annoyed at Khung when he suddenly stormed out on them in the middle of the performance just coz he felt betrayed when Ped didn’t tell him about him and Earn… but I realized he has every right to do that. If I were him, I wouldn’t have started the performance at all. I would’ve walked out right then and there. ~__~ I think it’s not about who she likes, it’s about Ped being honest to himself and to his friends. He should’ve admitted it to his friends– his best friend– at least. That way there wouldn’t have been any misunderstandings and broken hearts.

Nakakasira talaga ng friendship and LOVE. XD Charot.

I think the title is really creative and pretty cool. At first it I thought it was just some stupid band name with no deeper meaning whatsoever. But then when I saw this poster…

"Sometimes you got to suck, before you SUCKSEED." TRUE. ^-^

I thought, wow. So that’s what it means. Haha. But I agree, everyone who’s ‘successful’ and ‘popular’ now were not ALWAYS like that. We all start as a LOSER… a NOBODY… someone UNPOPULAR and irrelevant. We only gain success after all the hardships and trials we experience. That’s why we don’t ‘suck’ anymore because we graduated from that. We are SO OVER that phase in our lives. We’ve gained more confidence and we were able to make it to the top. 😀 So it’s better to suck first, then SUCKSEED  later XD Than to SUCKSEED at first then suck later… right? What am I saying. Haha.

I highly recommend this movie. And can I just say I LOVE THE OST. I don’t really listen to Thai songs coz they sound weird and creepy sometimes… but the songs here are just COOL AND FANTASTIC. 😀

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.

– These boys have both. Plenty of both. Haha.

Mind F*ck!nG CONFESSIONS~

CONFESSIONS (KOKUHAKU)

Ready for some mindf*ck...?

Credited cast:

Takako Matsu … Yuko Moriguchi

Yoshino Kimura … Yuko Shimomura (Naoki’s mother)
Masaki Okada … Yoshiteru Terada
Yukito Nishii … Shuya Watanabe
Kaoru Fujiwara … Naoki Shimomura
Makiya Yamaguchi … Masayoshi Sakuranomiya
Mana Ashida … Manami Moriguchi (Yuko’s Daughter)
Tsutomu Takahashi … Mr. Tokura
Kai Inowaki … Takahiro

PLOT: A psychological thriller of a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a twisty master plan to pay back those who were responsible for her daughter’s death. Middle school teacher Yoko Moriguchi‘s (Takako Matsu) life comes crashing down after the murder of her 4 year old daughter. Eventually Yoko Moriguchi suspects some of her own students to have been responsible for her daughter’s death. An elaborate plan for revenge then ensues, including forcing students to drink HIV tainted milk … (credits: imdb and asianmediawiki)

MY ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW:

I used to think school was a jungle. Seeing this movie made me realize it’s wilder and more dangerous than that. Having watched the Korean flick DIARY OF JUNE and that Korean TV series JUNGLE FISH, I was convinced that I wouldn’t dare go to school in Korea or Japan. Bullying was much more terrifying in these countries than in America. ~_~ It made me question humanity. ANYWAY, when I googled this movie I found lots of rave reviews and I learned that it won numerous awards all over the world. It was Japan’s Official Entry for the 2011 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language category. The movie started off in a sort of calm-before-the-storm manner. You can see middle-school kids happily chit-chatting as they drank their daily supply of milk inside their classroom. Some are fooling around; some are messing up with some poor kid. Needless to say they all looked so innocent and blissful. The thing I noticed right off the bat was the awesome music video-like slow-mo camera shots. No matter how unpleasant the scene was, it looked so great and ideal because of the slo-mo effect. Throughout the movie, I really admired the camera shots and special effects. :))) When the teacher, Moriguchi, started her confession about her daughter’s cruel death, nobody seemed to take her seriously. They were still cracking jokes and even sending messages to each other. Nobody gave a damn. From there I felt a powerful surge of emotion towards these kids. They’re middle school students for godssakes! And they’re already acting like a bunch of grownup demented and cruel psychos. It hurts to see them like that.  

The peaceful class picture...

ANYWAY… Moriguchi’s blow by blow account of what happened to her daughter was just too terrible. It took a lot of courage for a mother to be able to speak about it in a calm manner– as though it was an ordinary thing that would eventually happen. I felt her pain with every word. T_T When she revealed that she wanted to get back at whoever did that to her daughter, she finally got half the attention of those insane students. AND when she told them how she injected the HIV positive blood inside the culprit’s box of milk, it got even better. NOW everyone is listening. As inhumane as it sounds, I still felt slight happiness knowing those crazy despicable murderers will suffer. BUT wait there’s more… just when I thought it would end at that, there was more to the story than what Moriguchi let on earlier. I thought she was out of the picture after that but I was wrong. Along came Terada– the new young teacher who’s kinda foolish and clueless on the outside… but there’s more to him than that. *evil grin* After Moriguchi’s shocking confession, the three other main characters gave their very confessions as well. They gave a more detailed and personal side of the story. It’s like showing a much crueler and terrifying truth.

 ^ The forced kiss… bittersweet~

 BUT there was something that made this story sort of CUTE in a twisted way. The young love between one of the culprits– Shuya and a pretty girl from his class– Masayoshi.

Amidst the terror and sick mindf*ck... there is YOUNG LOVE ❤

It started off when the latter showed sympathy towards Shuya, making her a target of the bullying as well. They were forced to kiss and from there, they sort of started dating… I personally wanted that Shuya kid to just die or something. He was pure evil. I don’t feel any sadness or sympathy for him. It’s not like he felt remorseful even after he was out casted and bullied for killing a helpless 4-year-old girl. He even felt PROUD about his ‘achievement’. It was revealed later on that all this kid wanted was his mother’s attention and love. Talk about some serious OEDIPUS COMPLEX. Tsk tsk. The other kid– or maybe it’s more appropriate to call him “BABY”, Naoki is just seriously demented. He’s a psycho in the making. I don’t think anything can justify why he turned out to be like that. Okay, maybe coz he’s too sheltered and spoiled by his mom or something… but STILL– he had a murderer’s instinct written all over his face. He was the one who gave me the creeps the most. It was too disturbing to watch a baby like him kill someone so… happily. No remorse, no second thoughts. It was like he was born to do stuff like that. -__- What was most upsetting was the fact that his mother still tried to protect him. NEWSFLASH! Your son is an insane killer. And he’s a stupid brat. In the end she couldn’t take the craziness going on so she did what she should’ve done way before. *sighs* I was starting to feel a bit of likeness towards Shuya as the movie reached its climax… but then he killed his girlfriend too. BASTARD! Just because he was overshadowed by her famous crime back then. What a stupid brat. Right then all I wanted to do was put my hands around that stupid little neck of him and just squeeze the life out of him! THERE ISN’T ANYONE IN THIS MOVIE THAT YOU CAN LIKE. SERIOUSLY. ALL OF THEM ARE JUST TOO DESPICABLE BEYOND WORDS. Even Moriguchi was hateful in her own way because no matter how you see it, revenge is never justifiable. Plus, her revenge was the worst kind– it was all serious MINDF*CK. She was totally playing with their weak little minds until they go crazy and if she’s lucky enough, they’d kill themselves or something. I kinda figured out the last few moments of the movie, it was sort of predictable that when you can’t mess with the kid’s life, then you have to mess with someone else’s life. Someone whom that kid treasures and cherishes more than his own life. His mother. ^^ The final moments of the movie was so breathtaking that it put me on the edge of my seat… But as Moriguchi said her last few words, I felt the air being knocked out of me. As I said– SERIOUS MINDF*CK!!! >_< Demmit. I almost applauded as the credits started rolling in. Amidst the cruelty, violence and mindf*ck in this movie, the plot was just fantastically awesome… in a sick and twisted way. It’s the sort of movie I’d rant about on and on again but then I wouldn’t know how and where to start. It was just perfect. IDC if the Oscars didn’t think it’s worthy of an award, I’d give this movie 10 points out of 10. :)))