Creep: Movie Review

creep - poster

This is a found footage movie, and the set-up is simple: Aaron answers an ad placed by Josef, a man who is dying of cancer.  As a father-to-be, he wants someone to record a day in his life, so his son will be able to see the kind of man his father really was.  Josef even references the film My Life, in which Michael Keaton does pretty much the exact same thing.  I kind of chuckled, because I love the idea of someone taking life cues from a subpar Michael Keaton movie.  But I digress.

Listen guys, there's this movie called Game 6...
Listen guys, there’s this movie called Game 6…

We all know where this is going.  We know that someone is the titular Creep, and we’re pretty sure that someone is Josef, mainly due to his penchant for jumping out at Aaron from hidden corners and wearing a cheap werewolf mask he calls “Peachfuzz”.  The clues are subtle, but I was able to pick up on them.

Pictured: Maybe a Creep. It's hard to tell for sure.
Pictured: Maybe a Creep. It’s hard to tell for sure.

Eventually, Aaron picks up on these clues and decides to leave Josef, a grown man who thinks it’s acceptable to say “tubby time” in the presence of another human being.  I thought this would be the finale: a game of Peachfuzz and mouse in an empty house.  I was mistaken.  The movie went in a slightly different direction at that point, and I was happy that I did not have to sit through 30 minutes of seeing the camera look over a couch slowly, then run down the steps.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

For spoiler related reasons, I won’t get into where the movie went from there.  It was an interesting little twist, but it didn’t add much to the movie.  I understand that this was not an action-filled gore-fest, but there was a ton of dead time in this movie.  I feel like they thought it was creepier than it actually was.

This was an extremely small movie.  There are only two actors listed: Patrick Brice (Aaron) and Mark Duplass (Josef).  (We actually hear a female voice over a phone at one point, but we never see her and the voice is uncredited.)  To love a movie like this, you have to connect with the characters.  Or, at least, not actively loathe them.  That was a test this movie failed for me.  Mark Duplass was basically his same character from The League, only with eyes that were slightly more dead.  He still had that same smarmy look, and I couldn’t shake it.  He didn’t scare me.  He annoyed me.

* makes an Adrian Peterson joke *
*makes an Adrian Peterson joke*

Aaron wasn’t much better.  After escaping the house, he had a number of moments where he is just talking to the camera, and he came off as a vlogger talking about what kind of dinner he was going to make that night, only with worse decision-making.

Went to the store to buy parsley, but they were out. Hashtag parsley life.
Went to the store to buy parsley, but they were out. Hashtag parsley life.

I understand what is going on here.  In this era of sequels, remakes and reboots, we have a tendency to champion anything that is new.  Creep is a perfectly fine movie that grabbed a lot of hype for being small and original (or, at least, a new take on an old story).  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Had I stumbled across this myself, I probably would have enjoyed it a little more than I did.  But, even then, I don’t think it would have grabbed me as much as it seemed to grab others.  It’s worth watching, but don’t expect anything mind-blowing.

Rating: 2/5