Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creep (2014)

Director: Patrick Brice
Notable Cast: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice, Katie Aselton

In the realm of Blumhouse films, Creep was one that they seemingly didn’t believe would generate box office buzz with more mainstream audiences and was eventually dropped to one of their straight to home video channels. In a way, it’s completely understandable. Creep is a strange film and one that isn’t nearly as exciting or wildly dynamic in its style that Blumhouse is known for catering in their theatrical horror releases. Yet, it’s also perhaps one of their more impressively executed films that takes the usual found footage elements and spins it on its head and delivers a film that accomplishes just what the title its audience tons of creeps. Sure, it was dumped to straight to home video, but it’s here where it will thrive.

There are two big reasons why Creep is so effective with so little as a horror film. The basic concept is that a video recording artist is hired to film a dying man for one day as a tape for his unborn son, but the more he discovers about the man the less everything makes sense. It’s so, so simple. In that simplicity, it relies wholly on the two reasons I mentioned. A fantastic series of nuanced performances – particularly from Duplass as the sick man being documented – and impeccable timing to twist the usual formula in strange and off beat ways. Creep seems predictable and often can’t be predicted of because Duplass’ performance and small detailing snags its audience into the moment and the film will regularly and intentionally pump fake scares at the audience and revert to being unnerving instead. It’s brilliant. It drags its audience to the edge of their seat for the small things thanks to its timing and performances and it’s there that Creep keeps them until its ready to let them go. It’s masterfully paced and executed impeccably.

He's a person that will hound you to death.
In its effort to nail the timing of all of its creeps and unusual elements, Creep also happens to fringe into being one of the best dark comedies in the last decade too. As the film progresses, I felt as though the strange and offbeat humor was not necessarily intentional, but a bi-product of the combined efforts of being uneasy and strange with its character and the ability of the film to divert from the usual formula. Yet, that’s perhaps the best kind of humor is the kind that simply happens and there is huge praise to be thrown towards director Patrick Brice and Duplass for not shying away from it. It gives it a unique slant that sets it apart from other films of a similar nature.

Mornings, man.
Don’t judge Creep by its low key release or the fact that Blumhouse didn’t believe it would have generated box office numbers. Creep is one of those films that thrives on being the underdog and its blend of super simplistic ideas and striking execution to deliver an unnerving and often darkly hilarious cinematic experience is ripe for underground cult status – which the film has generated since the time of its release.

So don’t delay, invest in Creep. It’s worth the effort. Here’s hoping that the recently released second film will maintain the high level of execution.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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