Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Film Review: Creep (2014)

Creep (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a refreshing and entertaining installment in the found-footage horror genre — a glimmer of hope."

Aaron (Patrick Brice), a videographer, is hired by Josef (Mark Duplass) for some seemingly simple freelance work...

Creep is a fairly simple found-footage film — fortunately, not another supernatural installment. Instead, Creep follows Aaron and Josef. Aaron is paid $1000 to follow and film Josef for the day. Josef, suffering from a terminal brain tumor, wants to record several messages for his unborn son. Aaron immediately notices Josef's eccentric characteristics, but finds himself willing to aid and assist. However, Aaron finds Josef is much creepier than initially suspected. The film leads to a sinister and sly final act and a decent ending. Knowing the producers and genre, you sort of know what to expect. (Spoiler: endless sequels!)

Creep is a very good found-footage horror film. First and foremost, I'm thankful this film is not a ghost film — I think we've seen enough of those in the subgenre. Creep opts for a more grounded and raw approach. For some, it may even be a relatable experience. The film does especially well in crafting a creepy and ominous atmosphere, particularly due to Josef's creepy and ominous character. Sure, there are some jump-scares here and there, but this film is more reliant on the creep factor. It gets especially creepy towards the end. There's also a dastardly pinch of black humor. It's not laugh-out-loud comedy, but I chuckled a few times. The film, however, does suffer from a few genre flaws, despite the refreshing concept. Most notable, you have the shaky/malfunctioning camera and a few dull, prolonged scenes of people doing nothing (the "home video" curse.)

Mark Duplass steals the show with his sinisterly eccentric performance. He's filled with peculiar energy — a true creep if I've ever seen one. Patrick Brice is serviceable. He's not necessarily bad, but he fails to leave an impression — just the guy with the beard. The camerawork is at least decent during most scenes, especially when they're not moving, but it can get wonky — I was genuinely nauseated at least once. Director Patrick Brice crafts a creepy found-footage horror film, injecting some much needed originality into the found-footage genre. Of course, Brice and Mark Duplass' writing should also be credited for the feat.

Overall, Creep is a very good film. It's a refreshing and entertaining installment in the found-footage horror genre — a glimmer of hope. It does occasionally revert to genre clich├ęs and flaws, but it's mostly an entertaining and engaging experience. If you're looking for a non-supernatural found-footage film and need to kill 80 minutes, this is for you.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

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