Looking for work, Aaron comes across a cryptic online ad: “$1,000 for the day. Filming service. Discretion is appreciated.” Low on cash and full of naiveté, he decides to go for it. He drives to a cabin in a remote mountain town where he meets Josef, his cinematic subject for the day. Josef is sincere and the project seems heartfelt, so Aaron begins to film. But as the day goes on, it becomes clear that Josef is not who he says, and his intentions are not at all pure.
The disturbing and mind-bending ‘Creep’ certainly startles with its sense of sophisticated salaciousness, so why should it not meet the expectations of its haunting and hallucinatory hedonism? After all ‘Creep’ was from the handlers that gave fright fans unnerving and twitchy thrills in fear-monger flicks such as ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘The Purge’. Granted that the found footage genre has become rather obligatory but there are moments when one can declare a sense of distinction and devilish freshness where frightfests in the realm of ‘Creep’ can compel with warped and contemptible glee. When a flinching film can muster up an erratic combination of chaos and comedy and still manage to stay on course in its horrific havoc then vehicles such as ‘Creep’ can claim bragging rights in the slight re-invention of the aforementioned and omnipresent found footage theme. Part of ‘Creep’s unctuous appeal is steeped in the wicked and wayward imaginations of collaborators in director/co-writer Patrick ‘The Overnight’ Brice (making his directorial feature debut here), co-writer/co-star Mark Duplass and producer Jason Blum (‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Sinister’). These morbid masterminds effectively instill the aptly-named ‘Creep’ with bountiful black humour in this glorified goose-bump fable that proudly struts its low-budgeted, atmospheric indie chops armed with outrageous dares and scares. Unemployed videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) unknowingly fishes out the on-coming scrutiny when he answers a Craigslist ad requesting the secretive side of film-making. Thus, Aaron travels to an isolated cabin in the middle of the desolate mountains to meet up with Josef (Mark Duplass, from TV’s ‘The League’). The sickly Josef, proclaiming his supposedly cancer-stricken condition, wants to be filmed on video as he prepares a diary for his unborn son. Well, the gesture seems heartfelt enough under the surface and something that Aaron should handle with kid gloves, right? Aaron’s assignment at first appears innocuous as he gathers the insights and intimate moments that Josef provides for the sake of his future offspring. In fact, the two men even become somewhat close and bond together as they wander in the mountains mixing business with a bit of pleasure tossed in for good measure. Soon, Josef steadily starts to show his true colors as his interviews become intense and erratic. The darkness of Josef’s moods shift ominously back and forth. Hence, Aaron understandably becomes quite weary of his videotaped creepy companion’s behavior. It certainly does not help that Aaron unravels some sordid secrets regarding Josef’s unsettling backstory. Just where does Josef’s degree of delusions figure in as far as Aaron’s perspective is concerned? The shocking moments in ‘Creep’ serves its purpose effectively, especially when the cat-and-mouse titillation and tension is enveloped in a low-budget, knee-jerking production that thankfully is refreshingly taut as it is naughtily off-kilter in its serving of several jittery jump scares and, of course, the edginess of the two men, one armed with suspicion and paranoia and the other one bottled up in a hefty grip of psychosis. The constant antagonism that the creepy Josef demonstrates towards Aaron is a traumatising tease that eerily registers with numbing realization. Fittingly, the found footage fear factor angle does not overtake or drown out the psychological give-and-take anxiety between the defensive Aaron and demented Josef. If anything, ‘Creep’ manages to not exhaust the found footage foundation as a gory gimmick that many of these kinds of fright flicks fall victim much too often. Instead, the movie is shrewdly aware to take a smirking poke at the impish concept through shaky satirical means. The real trepidation lies in the sometimes quiet yet manic motives of Josef, a live wire that can explode at any minute yet leaves one wondering as to when and where his menacing madness will filter out as it is directed toward his nearby guinea pig in the vulnerable Aaron. Both Brice and Duplass are convincingly engrossing as contributing co-writers and co-stars of an edge-of-your-seat chiller that does not necessarily need to overwhelm the audience’s nervous system with grotesque tactics of torture to bring along the bloody chase of a detached thrill. Creep (2015) The Orchard 1 hr. 20 mins. Starring: Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice Directed by: Patrick Brice MPAA Rating: R Genre: Horror and Suspense Critic’s Rating: *** stars (out of 4 stars)
I'm pretty far from on board with Found Footage Horror, and _Creep_ hits a lot of the reasons why. It also seems like there was no reason it had to be Found Footage in the first place. But that all said, Mark Duplass' performance is enough to elevate the piece somewhat, and kudos to director Patrick Brice for trying something new with the format. _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
Not to be confused with the 2004 British slasher set in Charing Cross Underground Station, 'Creep' is an American Handheld horror movie about a film-maker who answers an advert to film a dying man to leave something for his unborn child. The screenplay and performances are not very good but the film's over reliance on annoying jump scares make some scenes fill with tension. The film tries to bring up connections with 'The Blair Witch Project' but fails to be anywhere near as good due to the fact that it is poorly executed and has unsympathetic characters. It has a silly ending to top it all off but it leaves quite a resonating impact. ★★