Review – Creep (2015)

Love them or hate them, found footage films are now a dime a dozen. It makes sense when you consider how far a small budget can stretch, with many filmmakers utilizing cheap handheld cameras and inexperienced actors. While I never expect high quality from found footage, I just want more from the subgenre because it has so much potential. That is where Creep comes in. The two stars of the film, Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, also wrote the screenplay while Brice directed. Horror-producing powerhouse Jason Blum joined the duo on the production side. Creep debuted at SXSW in 2014 and was released June 23, 2015. So, how did a cheaply-made found footage film with only two actors become one of the best films in 2015? Because it showed us how found footage should be done.

So, how did a cheaply-made found footage film with only two actors become one of the best films in 2015? Because it showed us how found footage should be done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIkM3jTOE_o

Aaron (Patrick Brice) is a videographer who answers a Craigslist ad placed by Josef (Mark Duplass), a man dying of inoperable brain cancer. He pays Aaron to film a few last messages for his unborn son to watch when he comes of age. One of the first segments he records is Josef pretending to give his child a bath, or “tubby,” like his father used to do with him. It is undoubtedly the most awkward scene in the entire movie and sets the tone for what is in store. It becomes frighteningly obvious to viewers that Josef is completely mad, which is only perpetuated by a wolf mask he owns, lovingly called Peachfuzz.

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The dialogue between the men seems almost improvised while Duplass’ performance and delivery truly makes the entire film. Anytime he is on screen, I find myself shifting in my seat uncomfortably but I am fascinated at the same time. A backstory or details are never really given, but it works because you never truly know what he is capable, or what is driving him to act out towards Aaron.

With that being said, both Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass have said they would like to see a sequel, and then trilogy, but no further details have been discussed. Personally, I do not think the story needs to be expanded on, but I would see anything that these guys collaborate on in the future.

Creep is able to achieve horror without any blood splatter and very little violence. It relies on good old-fashioned storytelling, seemingly taking inspiration from Bruce Joel Rubin’s My Life (1993). Of course, it replaces the heartfelt moments with black humor and awkwardness. While a strong score and sound effects can help some films achieve a more intense atmosphere, the lack of those elements makes Creep even more unsettling.

creep-peachfuzz

 

Final Thoughts

Creep has a strong opening and maintains a brisk pace throughout. It rarely lets up on viewers, making us wonder what the hell could possibly come next. It is a bare-bones production overall, but the lack of gore and glamor doesn’t impede the film. It only makes it stronger. There is no doubt that the film will stay with you for a while after it ends. As I already mentioned, Creep was a favorite from 2015. That says a lot considering how many great horror flicks were released. Creep is on Netflix, so check it out and let us know what you think!

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