Ratter (noun): A hacker that uses malware referred to as a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) to take control of a target computer and webcam. RATs are downloaded invisibly and without consent of the user.

Who here leaves their laptop open, like, all the time? Does your cellphone never leave your hand? People of a certain generation (my generation) have developed a sort of a symbiosis with the various technological devices we have at our disposal.  We use our phones for everything.  Our laptops are our Netflix/mall/Reddit machines.  Admit it: we’d be totally and completely lost without our tech.

But think about this tiny detail: the webcams that are on your laptop and phone.  Every time your laptop is open, your webcam is exposed.  The webcam on your phone is always exposed.  And at any given moment, you may be being watched by some unknown stalker.

What are you thinking about? All those times you danced around in your underwear while Sky Ferreira was playing on Spotify?

Branden Kramer’s debut feature, Ratter, is both a horror story about a cyber stalker, and a cautionary tale about our addiction to technology.  Formerly titled Webcam, the film stars Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars) and Matt McGorry (Orange Is The New Black).  Ratter was the Official Selection at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival and had a limited release earlier this month.  Starting March 1st, you can see it on Video On Demand platforms.  Here’s the synopsis:

Emma (Ashley Benson) is a young and beautiful graduate student just starting a new life in New York City.Like most people her age, she is always connected – her phone and laptop are constant companions, documenting
her most intimate moments. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s sharing her life with an uninvited and dangerous guest. A hacker is following Emma’s every move. When the voyeuristic thrill of watching her digitally isn’t enough, the situation escalates to a dangerous and terrifying level.

Seen entirely through the eyes of Emma’s hacker, “RATTER” is a chilling cautionary tale that illustrates how delicate a balance our love-affair with connectivity is and how, in the wrong hands, access to our digital world can have terrible and profound consequences.

An official trailer and a clip were released, and let me tell you: they are really, freaking disturbing.  Way too intimate, and way too realistic, especially when we reflect on how easily we could fall victim to such a hacker.  Obviously, you all need to check it out.