Rats. They exist pretty much everywhere humans do, although obviously some places have larger populations of them than others. What doesn’t tend to change is humanity’s general dislike of the creatures, and wish to keep the rodents out of their homes/offices/etc. There are various reasons for this, including the fact that rats are known to carry diseases that can adversely affect people, in some cases leading to death.
Still, rats are unlikely to go away anytime soon, and in the meantime, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has set out to create a documentary film about the often feared animals entitled simply Rats. Inspired by author Robert Sullivan’s 2004 non-fiction book Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants, Spurlock’s Rats sets out to chronicle the long history of rat infestations in major cities around the world.
A new clip from Rats has been released, focusing on the infamous rat problem in Spurlock’s home base of New York City. In the most striking part of the clip, a local resident talks about what he calls “thousands of rats” that infest a particular street corner covered in trash bags. To illustrate his point, large groups of rats are seen running out of the bags in question when they are disturbed by the people in front of Spurlock’s camera. The same resident goes on to proclaim that there are more rats in NYC than there are people, which really doesn’t seem like too outlandish a claim after what has just been witnessed.
Interestingly, Spurlock – who first became famous for his 2004 fast food documentary Super Size Me – has seemingly decided to present Rats akin to a fictional horror movie, employing creepy music and unsettling camera angles in an attempt to get under the audience’s skin. This makes sense to an extent, as rats have been the villain in multiple horror films over the years, including 1971’s Willard and its 2003 remake, Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift, and the campy 70’s flick The Food of the Gods.
While New York City is obviously heavily featured in Rats, it is far from the only city to have its rat troubles profiled in the documentary. Just some of the other included locations include Mumbai, India; New Orleans, Louisiana; Kandal Province, Cambodia; Westchester, New York; and Reading, England. Whether one likes the little pests or not, rats are definitely a worldwide problem, and it’s clearly Spurlock’s intention to get people to stop and take a good, hard look at the issue.
Rats premieres October 22, 2016 on Discovery Channel.