Directed by: Patrick Brice
Written by: Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Starring: Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass
Film Review by: Rachel Pullen
Creep (2014) Movie Review
We are apparently living in the age of loneliness; people are more isolated than ever before, trapped in the so-called security of social media, we no longer seek out the comfort of actually engaging with other humans. So if, like me, you feel the despair of living in a world without much human interaction, how far would you go to engage in such an exchange? Would you drive to the middle of nowhere? Would you stay in a stranger’s house? Would you put yourself in what could be considered a risky situation in order to maintain social politeness?
Director and co-writer Patrick Brice looks at just that, not in a sense loneliness, but more how much we can tolerate as humans when confronted with an overly social person, someone who does not shy away from making an obvious attempt to connect with another human being, what we can tolerate in regards to an awkward interaction.
Creep tells the tale of a young man called Aaron (played by Patrick Brice) who as an amateur filmmaker answers an advert to help Joseph (Mark Duplass) shoot the last days of his life as a parting gift to his unborn son, but it’s not long before the star of his movie displays some rather overwhelming and uncomfortable levels of friendliness.
Within an hour of the first meeting, Joseph is stripped nude and in the bath, directing Aaron to shoot a scene of him giving an imaginary bath to his son. He instantly creates a friendship between them in his head, filling Aaron with the idea of a connection being built between them, he acts as if they have known each other for years, that they have something special, I mean shooting someone in the bath within minutes of meeting them could be regarded as a connection I guess...
As an audience of Creep, we begin to feel discomfort at how Aaron ignores the many red flags being presented to him, Joseph darts between a creepy level of friendliness, to losing his cool over the smallest things, but we can forgive him, for how many times have we tolerated an awkward situation in order to maintain a level of good manners? Aaron is trapped by his own politeness, creating a constant level of uncertainly that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seats.
Although we are fully aware of where this is heading, Creep executes it in a manner which could not be foreshadowed by earlier events, Aaron acts on his instincts and leaves, Joseph continues the charade of being just a lonely guy, just someone with little knowledge of respectable boundaries, and for just a moment you could be led to believe that things may be okay between the pair.
And that in itself is the brilliance of Creep as a film, the main horror within this piece is the power of suggestion, the idea of not knowing what is round the next bend is what causes the human brain the most anxiety, and as well as that, Aaron's actions are all too familiar, ones we have all made at some point in our lives in order to maintain a level of decorum and to not seem rude at another's gestures. Just because someone is a little odd does not mean they could hurt us, just because we see an axe in a garden does not mean it’s used for anything more than garden chores...but Creep tells us otherwise with a subtle style that is compelling to watch.
With improvised dialogue, acted by the writers/director and shot on a minimal budget in a found footage style, creep has so much to offer without spending a lot, and that realism created on screen has an effect of believability, which is just what viewers want from a horror movie. For outside the normally masked slasher who never dies, or ghosts that go bump in the night, sometimes the best horrors to examine are those that are right on our door step...inviting us over to help make a B-movie for their unborn son.