A young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man. When he notices the man's odd behavior, he starts to question his int... Read allA young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man. When he notices the man's odd behavior, he starts to question his intentions.A young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man. When he notices the man's odd behavior, he starts to question his intentions.
It's not so much the found footage aspect that makes "Creep" successful but the creative infusion of the mumblecore genre that breathes some life and/or scary death into the film. "Creep" is a two-hander that is co-written and co-acted by Patrick Brice (who also serves as director) and mumblecore king Mark Duplass. Brice and Duplass are able to funnel the mumblecore's priority of character development and use of a more natural dialogue, or in this case, a very naturally unnerving dialogue, into the staples of a Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) produced horror film. The combination of these three's efforts make for one, well, creepy film.
Brice plays Aaron, a normal guy looking to make a little extra cash when he answers a craigslist ad that will pay him $1,000 for a days work to videotape a day in the life of Josef, played by Duplass. The shoot has Aaron driving to Josef's family cabin at a remote mountain town where instantly both we the audience and Aaron feel things aren't right. Josef greets Aaron with a loud sneaky surprise hello, and then, foregoing a handshake, straight to a stranger hug. That last sentence pretty much captures the film experience as you go back and forth from shocking jump scares and very unsettling interactions between the vulnerable Aaron and the assertively goofy Josef.
Kudos to Mark Duplass for creating a character that is thoroughly terrifying but relatable enough and more importantly sympathetic enough to believably keep Aaron in a situation that just gets weirder and dangerously weirder. Scenes that include a naked bathing Josef giving a mimed bath to his unborn son, which he calls "tubby time", will long stay in my memory banks under the title 'frightening'. "Creep" excels by shifting gears from hilarious, to sad, to scary, to sometimes all of that at the same time. And to each their own, in the SXSW Q & A after the screening Duplass said it was great to watch as some of the audience would laugh at one part but others in the audience would wince in terror.
While Duplass and Brice heaped praises on horror guru Blum, saying they helped them achieve effectiveness in a genre they've never attempted, I still had my qualms. The jump scares become all too repetitive hitting a mathematical equation that Duplass said Blum taught them. "One jump scare every 10 minutes to keep them in the mood." Another one of my horror pet peeves is when the holder of the hand held camera in a found footage film only see's what the lense sees. So when in an open room and the camera moves left so does the character's vision which results to something surprising them by jumping out to us on screen when all that character has to do is move their own head back and forth to keep informed on what's around them (thanks for letting me rant).
The end which I won't get into has a few moments of 'you should have called the cops so much sooner', but that can't take away from intense ominous vibe that permeates. I dug "Creep", it's a film that is greatly helped by a very good actor who taps into his inner creep and gets under your skin.
"This" gets under your skin.
1 Timothy 4:1
- Mar 27, 2014