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    Creep (2015): Movie Review

    “Full tension but with sudden twist of humor.”   

    “Did I freak you out with my rape story?”

    Sensibly, such disturbing question would only come from an equally disturbing person. In Patrick Brice’s horror film Creep, a videographer comes face-to-face with a wildly terrifying client.

    Responding to an obscure Craiglist ad offering $1,000 for a day’s shoot, Aaron (Brice himself) travels to a semi-remote cabin in northern California. Upon arriving, he meets Josef (Mark Duplass) who instantly explains the job to him. His client claims to have an inoperable brain cancer and that he only has two to three months to live. Inspired by Michael Keaton in “My Life,” Josef wants to film a day of himself which can be shared with his unborn son after he has gone.

    So how does Josef’s typical day start? Aaron begins filming him bathing in a tub while acting as if the child is with him. They shoot inside the cabin and in places Josef wants. With Josef’s sick sense of humor, Aaron perceives something is a bit off with him, especially when he asks that they go from simple business partnership to friendship. So when his car key mysteriously goes missing that night, Aaron plans a sneaky escape. But then, he discovers more morbid things about his client.

    In this mumblecore movie, director Patrick Brice found a refreshing and unique way of attacking the found-footage style of filming. He refrained from the hackneyed jump scares and gore in most horror films; instead, he skilfully mixed thriller and comedy, creating balance between laugh and tension which gives us an unsettling experience. He is fond of sabotaging expectations and put light humor even in the scariest moments. That moment when Aaron is about to escape during the night, Josef dons a wolf mask and blocks the door. That is tense, but then like an energized wolf, Josef begins rubbing his behind on the door. In another sequence, Josef begins sending Aaron some “gifts.” It is an ultimate creep to realize someone is stalking you, but then, one of his gifts is a heart-shaped locket with their pictures inside and an engraving J+A on one side. Isn’t it fun and cute in a creepy manner? 

    Creep is a two-man show and in its found-footage elements, conversations flow naturally, drawing us closer to the characters. Its realness is contagious and we feel Aaron’s fright as well as sympathy for Josef. One chilling scene in the movie is when Josef asks Aaron to turn off the cam so he can make some confession. Obligingly, Aaron turns the camera off but it records the entire conversation. That’s when Josef tells him his spooky rape story.

    Aside from directing the film, Brice also showed brilliance in delivering a convincing performance as Aaron. He has a young boy’s charm and a trusting man’s heart which captivated the psychotic Josef. On the other hand, Duplass, who is one the movie’s co-producers, totally nailed it as the antagonist. He has a disturbing vacant face and a serious timing for sick humor. He is not mean in the surface; he is just the type which instantly makes you shiver and feel uncomfortable the first time you meet him. 

    Creep, in all its simple and humble makings, is a great movie to watch. It manages to be both terrifying and entertaining. There is always a comic relief on top of its building tensions. It has some expected turns and delivers smart ways to bring the perfect chills.


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