Directed by: Patrick Brice.
Written by: Patrick Brice & Mark Duplass.
Starring: Patrick Brice (Aaron), Mark Duplass (Josef).
Creep is yet another low-budget, found footage horror film – which is just about the most overplayed genre there is right now – and yet, it still works. No, it doesn’t reinvent the genre, but it does play with it a little bit, and offers some moments that really are kind of scary – but mainly are just creepy. Yes, it kind of plays like co-writers and co-stars Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass just went into the woods one weekend and played around – and maybe they did – but the film (which Brice directed) that they came up with, works.
Brice stars as Aaron – a man with a video camera who answers a Craigslist ad offering $1,000 for someone to come up to the woods for one day, and help make a video. When Aaron gets there, he meets Josef (Duplass) – who may come on a little strong, but basically seems like an okay guy. The story he tells Aaron is heartbreaking – Josef has cancer, and only has a few months to live. His wife is pregnant with their first child, which he’ll never see growing up – so he wants to leave behind a video. This gets Aaron to go along with pretty much whatever Josef wants – even though it starts with Josef taking a bath, and gets weirder from there. During the course of the day, there become more warning signs that perhaps Josef isn’t quite who he says he is.
The movie makes good use of Duplass – who seems to specialize in these types of characters, who seem so outwardly nice, but are really huge assholes underneath that nice exterior. Duplass makes a good everyman – which is also why he’s so good at twisting that ever so slightly (at first) to show the darker side. I love how they shoot some scenes as well – with Duplass just showing up inside the frame the most unexpected moments, from seemingly out of nowhere. Likely the most talked about scene in the movie will be the one with no visuals at all – when Josef makes a stunning “confession” to Aaron, but first asks him to turn the camera off – but all he does is turn off the video, not the audio.
The movie ends up pretty much where you expect a movie of this sort to end up – but it does take a few interesting twists along the way. I certainly don’t believe that many people would do the things that are done in the final act of the movie – then again, the movie knows this, questions it, and explains it – but I did like how the movie didn’t quite go in the direction you think. Once you’ve stranded two people in the woods, you don’t normally let them out, and then keep on going – but Creep does.
In the end, Creep works on its own modest scale – and probably accomplished what it set out to do. Brice already has his follow-up film to Creep in theaters – The Overnight, which this film, which played the festival circuit last year, most likely helped to get made. No, Creep isn’t great – but it’s good enough.