Pied Piper wanted
Scratch: The New Sound of Terror (2004): 7 out of 10: Otherwise known by its slightly less catchy German moniker Ratten 2 – Sie kommen wieder! Scratch is a made for TV sequel about rats attacking a small village. As these things go, Scratch is well above average.
The movie starts with Jaws-style naked blonde in jeopardy rat attack (This being German television, the violence and blood is low-key but nudity is okay.) It quickly moves to a quaint German village, complete with castles and fog. The mayor is having a wedding, and his old army buddies are coming for the ceremony. Meanwhile, a scientist in town is experimenting on rats. And no, this doesn’t go well.
The cast is likable (Complete with a tall Tom Hanks, a Scott Glenn look alike and Velma from Scooby Doo) and the rats are very well done. I’m not sure how much CGI was used, but unlike American made for television movies (or for that matter some Hollywood films), there is no “God that is so fake” rat scenes. I also liked the solution to the rat problem that was both internally logical and delightfully over the top.
If the movie has one glaring fault, it is in the dubbing. Done apparently on the cheap by the same people that dub Anime (If you watch a lot of Asian films, you will recognize some of the voices) the dubbing is jarring for the first twenty minutes or so. Midwestern accents out of Fargo compete with horrible slang and dialogue.
I’m not sure if the dubbing got better as the movie went along or if I just got used to it, but it doesn’t distract too much from the fun — Scratch is a real treat for those that enjoy their creature features.