Creep is also a found footage movie. That now makes three found footage movies in three days. I swear I’m not planning this. All I knew about Creep is that people seemed to like it as I remembered reading some positive reviews for it a few months back. When I booted it up and saw that it was indeed going to be another found footage entry, I almost stopped and found something else for day 4. But this one was only 77 minutes long and I really needed a movie I could burn through quickly so I decided to stick it out.
Out of the last three movies, Creep is not only the best movie but makes the best use of the found footage format (alliteration!). The premise is incredibly simply. Aaron is a videographer (who doesn’t appear to be all that good based on this movie but whatever) who is offered $1,000 by a man named Josef to drive out to his house and spend the day shooting a video. He has no idea what the video is going to be but he needs the cash so why not. Josef at first appears to be a genuinely affable dude, but it doesn’t take long for Aaron to notice something may be up with this guy.
I’ll stop there as the biggest appeal of this movie is never being quite certain where it’s going. While there are definitely some predicable reveals, Creep goes some directions I was not expecting. Hell right when I thought the movie had reached its inevitable conclusion, it spends the following 20 minutes completely defying how I expected things to play out. It was a great “wait….how are they going to keep this movie going after that?” moment. It all leads to a seemingly divisive conclusion that I personally was 100% on board with.
Mark Duplass plays Josef and this movie belongs to him in every single way. Since the core premise is him wanting to be documented, 80% of this movie is simply him on screen and he remains a thoroughly engaging presence from start to finish. Seeing what weird bit of business he is going to bust out next is both entertaining and nerve-wracking, with a sense of tension always lurking even in scenes of levity. Patrick Brice as Aaron (also the director and co-writer of the film) is good, but next to Duplass it’s hard to match up.
I’ve seen a lot of talk online about how this should hardly be considered a horror movie, but I don’t really get where that is coming from. Yes there is a lot of dark comedy here, but as I mentioned there is always an air of dread surrounding everything. There’s also a steady supply of usually well executed jump scares which, unlike in many found footage movies, don’t feel forced and are actually a logical fit in the plot. There are undeniably the cheapest of cheap jump scares, but it works in the provided context.
Creep is certainly not going to be for everyone as even at a brisk 77 minutes it isn’t always in a rush to get where it wants to go. I was way into it though. Duplass gives a tremendously watchable core performance and the story, while nothing ground-breaking, managed to take enough unexpected turns to hold my interest. So I say give it a shot!