Interview: Ratter Director Branden Kramer Talks Favourite Films and Genre Influences

Branden Kramer, director of found footage-styled stalker thriller Ratter starring Ashley Benson, tells Top 10 Films about his favourite movies and genre influences…

Branden Kramer on the set of Ratter with actress Ashley Benson - Top 10 Films Interview

Branden Kramer’s feature film debut tackled a subject most of us would rather not acknowledge the existence of. With talented actress Ashley Benson (perhaps best known for Spring Breakers) heading the cast, Kramer threw his audience into a whirlwind of psychological torment as a cyber stalker hacks into a young woman’s “connected” technology to watch her every move. Today, we’re all connected via our phones and tablets and our multiple social media accounts. Who knows who’s watching with insidious intent?

Not everyone liked the film but I thought it had merit, particularly for those who like the found footage genre. Unsurprisingly, in my interview with Kramer, he highlighted some of the genre’s best as influences on his style and approach.

“There are certainly a few standouts in the genre,” he said. “I really enjoyed Chronicle and I really liked the first Paranormal Activity when it came out. They’re really pushing the limits on it now but the first one was very original. The Blair Witch Project was phenomenal too because of the pure originality and the balls they had to do that. It changed the industry, which doesn’t happen very often.It’s a little dated now but that was great when it was released. It scared the s**t out of people, including me.”

Outside of direct influences I asked about favourite films and directors. “I love 12 Angry Men; the writing in that film is so good it’s intimidating. Same with Network. I like philosophical sci-fi so I’m a fan of Inception and The Matrix. The Graduate is a wonderful film, as is anything by Kubrick.”

He’s a big fan of Incendies director Denis Villeneuve’s work saying he “cried like a baby girl” when he saw it. Enemy and Sicario are, unsurprisingly, other favourites. “He’s just phenomenal,” says Kramer. “I also love Steven Soderbergh and Danny Boyle and Kubrick of course. What Katherine Bigelow does is also amazing; tonally she just gets it right.”

You can read my review of Brendan Kramer’s Ratter here and my full interview with the writer-director about the making of his low budget feature film debut here.

Ratter is OUT NOW on Digital HD and DVD.

Words by Dan Stephens

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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