Director : Patrick Brice
Writers : Patrick Brice & Mark Duplass
Your view on Creep is going to largely depend on your opinion of the “Found Footage” genre. Personally, they always feel riskier than ‘real’ movies as I can’t help but equate low production values to the value of my own time. But I have pushed through this bias before and have been pleasantly surprised by Paranormal Activity and Troll Hunter,before, and the involvement of Mark Duplass here was enough to take the risk.
It opens with the camera turned onto Aaron (Patrick Brice) , a videographer who has accepted a cash assignment via Craigslist to film a guy for a day at his mountain home. Down the barrel of the lens, he half-jokingly worries what the intentions of the client may be. We have the luxury of knowing the movie’s title, so we have a clue, but who we find is a friendly guy named Josef (Mark Duplass), who alternates between enthusiastic and uncomfortably open. He’s seems like the kind of friend that you had when you were a kid who liked you way more than you liked him, but you had to hang out because your parents were friends.
What follows sometimes feels like and audition tape or a filmed acting class. You know that Josef isn’t telling the whole truth, so he probably should seem like he’s acting, but the simplicity of the setup subverts the notion that this is a real movie. It feels cheap and homemade and he fact that it’s supposed to doesn’t make it any better. But just as you start to consider bailing out, it begins to get hold of you. You begin to wonder what's going to happen and you want to follow Josef down that bush track to figure out if any of the story he is spinning is true. Much of this comes down to the performance and charisma of Duplass.
As the day goes on Josef’s mood transitions from jovial to petulant and then spirals downwards from there. The tension builds quite nicely and as Joseph alludes to baser instincts, it’s clear that Aaron should leave. But this is essentially a horror movie so you know that he can’t .
It’s possible that Creep is more successful at highlighting the accessibility of film-making rather than creating a standalone piece of entertainment. They were smart to keep it short at 78 minutes, but this one falls into the category of admirable but not required.
Not Required Viewing