Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf? Um….after seeing the Creep movies? Me! *hand skyrockets*
Creep is a film that I have been meaning to watch since I saw trailers for it, and it just somehow always got pushed down the list. I am a huge Mark Duplass fan and really believe that he is one of the great, underrated talents that film and television have today. His previous work has always really touched me, and I think that people can relate to his blend of frustration, self-doubt, nostalgic reminiscing, and yearning that comes with getting older.
Even though I was sold on all of that, was I completely confident in his skills when it comes to horror? I am ashamed to say that the answer was no. However, after seeing his bonkers HBO series Room 104, I remembered Creep and thought that it might be time to give it a try. And, hooboy, was I ever rewarded.
The premise of the first movie is simple. A videographer is hired by a man who claims that he is dying of cancer and is making a video to give to his unborn son. It quickly becomes apparent that Joseph is not who he seems. At first, he seems like just sort of an odd duck – a little weird, sure, but just a dude marching to the beat of his own drum. a little new-agey, but not harmful. As the film progresses, there is a slow build to show us that he is not who he seems. Answers to questions that seem a little off or contradictory, uncertainty of locations, the usual things that give a red flag that someone you’re talking to is not telling the truth.
But then, things take a really dark turn and the wolf mask comes out.
I realize that this all sounds like pretty standard fare, and it is in the sense that they are using some common horror tropes (a house in the woods, a maniac in a mask). But this is where Creep veers into indie gold territory. There is the moment that you are anticipating the climax, but then the movie keeps going! The wolf plays with his food. He opens his mouth, shows them his teeth, and the victims are swallowed up, oblivious.
This is the component that makes Creep so scary. You can see yourself falling prey to this guy. He knows what to say, and he understands people. He is also a whole lot smarter than anyone gives him credit for. He is the quintessential guy next door that was always such a sweet boy until they find heads in his freezer. There is nothing supernatural or unbelievable about him…he is real-world, persistent, modern terror, and it will haunt you. I watched this in bed next to a sleeping grown man, and still looked out the window before I turned off the light. If you’re looking for unsettling, look no further than Creep. Check out the trailer on Blumhouse Productions YouTube channel below:
The funny thing is, even after being blown away by this movie, I saw there was a Creep 2 and I again had doubts. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Blumhouse. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Mark Duplass. It was that I am always leery of sequels.
I am all for continuing a story. The most successful franchises in my opinion have been the ones that further an ongoing plot. Otherwise, they are recycling the same film over and over with cannon-fodder characters replacing each other in an endless line of victims. This was my fear for Creep 2. After all, we already know he’s a murderer. We already know his MO. How much more could we possibly get out of this story?
I should have known to let the trust win out.
Creep 2 blew my mind! Here we find Mark Duplass in his glory as the serial killer’s midlife crisis sets in. He finds his job old and stale, and it just doesn’t have that same spark that it used to. Cue a brand new videographer. Ho hum, same old thing, right?
Nope. Not right. This time, we are completely shocked as he sits down with the videographer, tells her he is a serial killer, explains his boredom, and tells her he wants to make a documentary. All cards are now on the table.
What I absolutely loved about this element of the story was that there was no reason for him to mislead the heroine this time. Everything was out in the open, and we got to learn more about what made him how he was. The question remaining was, is a serial killer capable of change? Will the story end differently this time? And how much has he actually revealed of himself?
Creep 2 was a compelling watch that really switched up the story while managing to keep the killer sinister and an enigma. You were driven to watch compulsively, not even wanting to look away for a moment. I would recommend watching these back to back – there are a couple of neat little mentions of things from the first one that I don’t think I would have caught had I not watched them so close together. This is by far the most worthwhile sequel I have seen in a long time – you won’t regret it!
From what I can tell, this is not confirmed. All I can tell you is that I would be first in line! If anyone involved is reading this, please please please do it!!! This is one horror fan who would be eternally grateful!