directed by Patrick Brice
starring Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Purely on a filmmaking level, Creep is an impressively eerie found-footage movie that is driven by only two cast members and a completely minimal budget. One of the two people that appear on screen (this movie doesn’t even show a single extra at any point) is director Patrick Brice, who takes a filming job from Craigslist from a man played by Mark Duplass. Quickly, it becomes noticeable that something about Duplass’ character, Josef, is a bit off. His extremely amicable and outgoing nature, and immediate ability to trust a stranger with intimate details about his life lay a foundation of unease. Whether or not Josef is the person he says he is and portrays becomes the mystery of Creep that is explored, a majority of the time simply through dialogue between the two characters.
Creep doesn’t rely on familiar tricks from the found-footage genre. There are only a few moments where the camera is used to limit visibility or create a sense of isolation. For the most part the movie features one of two characters directly and closely in front of the camera talking. Which may sound a bit dull, but the uneasiness created with Josef is intriguing and there are just enough ominous nuances to his words that make the film engaging and the audience wondering what will happen in the next scene. However, it is Josef’s character that seems almost certainly to be the “creep” that is identified in the title of the movie, so the mystery of whether or not everything is built from paranoia, or Aaron (Brice) is actually the menacing figure don’t seem like feasible possibilities. Therefore, while the movie was more than intriguing enough to hold my attention, too many scenes felt as if it was all about whether or not the reveal was about to happen. That is not completely a bad thing as it does build some tension, but Creep would have benefitted from Josef seeming a little more normal early on and progressed into his bizarre character at a slower pace.
Some people maybe would not even consider Creep to be a horror movie and perhaps the argument could be made for it being a dark drama or low-key thriller. It definitely is a horror film in my mind, though I think the great unease and tension that is created with the intimate style of filmmaking absolutely makes it an uncomfortable movie to watch. There are a couple of good creepy scenes (no pun intended) and it’s a movie that definitely leaves you thinking about it afterwards. Brice is good enough in his role opposite of Duplass creating a character that is hard to judge, but easy to sympathize with. Is he just there for the money, or through that is he a sympathetic person? Or if he is too trusting and naive not to see the red flags in Josef. Combining that with his position, separated from the city on a forrest covered mountain, and confined by the uncomfortable situation, his fear is real and understandable to the viewer. Duplass is a touch better, though, in a close first and second to round up the entire cast. Creep is a movie that may not be the scariest, but is absolutely strange and entertaining and well worth watching just for the unique style.