BY ELENA VALDEZ
Horror movies in the twenty-first century are made for profit, not for fear. Whatever is popular will show up on the screen, and this has led to the disregard of horror’s true art – the ability to provide a terror that transcends the screen, to create a twisted take on what is likely and very real.
The unsettling feelings just don’t follow like they used to, there are too many movies centered around zombie apocalypses and demonic possessions. These things are so popular they aren’t scary anymore. Horror of quality is hard to come by, and innovative story-tellers stick to what ensures the money rather than risking a failure with something new.
Director Patrick Brice takes the risk and manages to create a near perfect horror movie in his film “Creep.” Not only does he manage to bring fear to life and put his audience into the story on screen from behind the camera, but he also stars in the movie as one of the two main characters. However, not many know this movie exists and even fewer give it a chance. “Creep,” hit the theatres mid 2015 and came back for round two at the end of 2016 with “Creep 2.” The series portrays contemporary horror at its finest, impressive in each and every way.
In a Blair Witch-esque production style, low budget and minimalistic, the movie puts all focus on the story. The movie is obviously low budget, and that only adds to its charm. The movies are available for viewing on sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Vudu.
The story taps into a fear that has arisen recently with the booms in social media and online marketing; that you may never know the person behind the screen. There are always warnings to bring a friend when making exchanges arranged online. It is common sense to meet in a public place where safety is ensured and help is right around the corner, if one comes to need it.
The disregard for these precautions from the start of the movies to the end make “Creep” stay with its viewers past the movies end. This could happen to anyone, it is a real issue of the world now. That’s what makes it so eerie, it is a subtle horror that is bound to never end well.
Brice’s character Aaron, an aspiring filmmaker looking to make quick cash, agrees to film a man he found through a Craigslist ad over the weekend. The ad was vague and foreshadowed demise as discretion was advised. After a brief phone conversation, the two agree to meet up and do this thing.
Upon arrival to the point of rendezvous, Aaron meets the man behind the ad, Josef, also known as the film’s antagonist “Creep.” Josef, played by Mark Duplass, poses as a future father dying of cancer. He planned out a weekend of father-son activities, so when he is long gone his son will have something to look back on.
The requests progressively become more disturbing as the weekend unfolds, starting off in a bathtub and escalating into a long romantic walk in the woods. He wants his son to see the person his father was. The connection between Aaron and Josef on this intimate, heartfelt journey strengthens as they discover more about each other.
Josef, however, is suffering from an illness not deadly to himself like cancer; his mental state makes the man himself deadly to others. Josef is a serial killer and the looking for cameraman ads on Craigslist provide him with a series of tapes for each life he takes. He documents his killings and repeats the cycle over and over again. The first movie ends with the inevitable, as Josef finishes the film for himself.
The second movie, “Creep 2,” follows the same storyline, Craigslist ad lures the next victim in and a documentary is made of their weekend. A woman trying to make a name for herself through a “Weirdos of Craigslist” webseries responds and gives her everything to this endeavour despite the danger. She plays her cards right and manages to escape, creating an open and unsettling ending.
These movies feel real and the awkwardness of the bizarre, homicidal moments resonates in watchers from within. One moment it seems as though the two characters are best friends and the next they are playing a deadly game of hide and seek.
The creep movies are horrifically real, they leave a truly unsettling feeling. Creep ends in a way you know it will since the beginning but nonetheless hate to see. It is a shame that these movies did not receive the recognition they deserve, Creep is an horror movie that goes against the norms of the genre, making it truly scary.
- Short but sweet
- Well produced despite being low budget
- The ending is a bit open ended for both movies
- Some may not like the mystery
Photo courtesy of Creep Film Series