10 Horrifying Rat Movies

In honor of the release of my novella, RATTUS NEW YORKUS, I decided to share a list of 10 horror movies centered around those disease-bearing rodents. If rats make you squeamish, this makes a great double dare to watch a few of these selected horrors.

Now, in no particular order, here are 10 flicks straight from the sewer. Click the movie poster to watch the trailer and see which one ‘squeaks’ your interest.

10. BEN

ben

I named one of my hamsters Ben, and he was appropriately mean as hell. With a theme song performed by young Michael Jackson, this was my first foray into rat horror films. A young boy befriends old Ben, who just happens to be the ringleader for a horde of menacing rats. I always tell people, this is the rat movie to start with.

9. THE FOOD OF THE GODS

food of the gods

This is my favorite because it’s a Bert I. Gordon joint. That man is my hero. When the animals on a pacific northwest island start slurping up some white goo, they get, well, they didn’t call him Mr. B.I.G. for nothing. I saw this in the theater when it first came out and buy it on every new format.

8. RODENTZ

rodentz

I’m not gonna lie. This one is not so great. Also known as Altered Species, its the common rat trope of a chemical getting exposed to rats and making them…well…rattier. If this came out now, it would be in Red Box with a bitching cover image and nothing else.

7. OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN

of unknown origin

You know, I had forgotten all about this until now, and I don’t know why, considering how much I liked it back in the 80s. It stars Peter Weller (Robocop), a man possessed with figuring out what unseen terror us lurking in his home. Is he out of his mind, or is there something furry and lethal stalking him? Pure 80s goodness.

6. THE RATS ARE COMING! THE WEREWOLVES ARE HERE!

the rats are coming

This wins, hands down, for best title. Not sure how easy it will be to find this early 70s shlock (ahem) classic that’s more about werewolves than rats. If you like watching loonies do bad things to rats, this might be for you.

5. THE KILLER SHREWS

killer shrews

I have to tell ya, the giant shrews in this 50s scifi romp are kinda icky. They made my skin crawl when I first saw it many moons ago. Yes, I know a shrew isn’t technically a rat, but watch this one and tell me if it makes a difference. You know it’s worth a watch when it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

4. DEADLY EYES

deadly eyes

I fell in love with this VHS cover back in the day. I rented it quite a few times over the years. Now, it’s not the greatest, but there is some fun to be had here. We’ve got rats as big as dogs invading homes and an entire city. I’d love to see this movie remade with a The Meg sized budget.

3. RATS – NIGHT OF TERROR

rats night of terror

Ok, this is an Italian horror movie, and we all know how I feel about that. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it. I will give it props for being a post-apocalypse rat horror flick. And there is a pretty cool twist in the end.

2. GRAVEYARD SHIFT

graveyard shift

Maybe not the best Stephen King adaptation, but it’s still fun to watch. And how about that movie poster, huh? There’s tons of rats in the old textile mill, and a little somethin’-somethin’ extra. I actually dig this movie and have to remember to watch it during this year’s Horrortober.

1.WILLARD

willard

Whether you watch the original (co-starring Elsa Lanchester, the Bride of Frankenstein) or the remake with the supremely odd Crispin Glover, you can’t go wrong. The lesson here is, beware of dudes who have a posse of rats as their only friends. Considered a classic for a damn good reason.


And there you have it, 10 movies with high ick factors starring armies of furry beasts. Once you’ve seen them all and want more, don’t forget to check out Rattus New Yorkus and find out what happens when you take a blowtorch to thousands of rats in Grand Central Station.

Rattus New Yorkus cover

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 25 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

8 responses to “10 Horrifying Rat Movies”

  1. fuonlyknew says :

    My sister used to have pet rats. Me, I’m not such a huge fan of them. Seen too many movies and read too many books. LOL I’ve seen all of these. Of Unknown Origin is a favorite. Loved Peter Weller and his combat gear!

  2. fuonlyknew says :

    Oops. forgot to say congratulations on your new release of Rattus New Yorkus. Had fun with every bloody bit of it. Just got my copy of The Devil’s Fingers and your title has me very curious what’s in store.

  3. Debra Smith says :

    You send me your books, but Netgalley is refusing me this on. Go figure!

  4. Dominic Paulo says :

    Which movie came first Ben or Willard? I remember seeing the original Willard when I was 7 or 8 at the drive in with my parents. I was scared out of my wits!! Wasn’t Ernest Borgnine in that and he was really mean to the main character and the rats got him? There is a movie on Netflix called 1922 based on a Stephen king story that rats play a large creepy role in. Check it out if you haven’t seen it!!

  5. @saleago says :

    I guess I have some movies to watch. 🙂

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