By Jerome Reuter
Well, here we are again: the found footage horror film. Although I tend to be critical of these films, I keep coming back. I continue to subject myself. More often then not, I walk away disappointed. Sometimes you find a diamond in the rough, and it makes the nonstop wading through garbage worth it. Which brings me to Creep, the directorial debut of Patrick Brice. It may not be a diamond in the rough; but it’s certainly one of the better ones I’ve seen lately.
The film is centered completely on two individuals. Which I have to say, is it’s greatest attribute. There’s an old saying: less is more. This film does a wonderful job at applying that to the screen. The two individuals in question are a filmmaker, and a man allegedly suffering from a terminal illness. With a young child on the way, he wishes to leave some home movies for his son to watch when he gets old enough. The two meet up in an isolated cabin deep within the woods, and that’s when the story begins to get interesting.
From this point, we have a theme of isolation, as well as the unknown. We know little about the person who’s summoned the filmmaker here. However, is there nothing more sympathetic with a man who won’t live to see the birth of his first-born? The two begin to form a bond as the camera continues to roll.
It’s from this point that the film begins to shift. The friendly bond turns into obsession. The camera, being the ultimate storyteller begins to reveal more of this mysterious person’s back-story. We’re gained further access into his warped mind, and begin to ponder his true intentions.
In my opinion, this could have been done very well. However, there is an ominous lack of suspense. At this point the film holds your interest, but doesn’t do much else. The character arc is subtle, and it doesn’t shift drastically. That’s where a great deal of emphasis on suspense could have gone. With the disguise lifted from the ‘father’ we see what a dire situation it’s become. There is no mother, there is no child. All there is is a deranged human being.
This is where the film shifts into its final act, complete obsession. The filmmaker goes from the auteur, to the victim of voyeurism. This whole sequence at times seems like it could be terrifying, but once again falls short. Locking himself up in his own house, the paranoia builds as the crazed man stalks him. One of the films twists that I really liked, was the role of the camera. It has stopped being used as an implement to make a documentary, and a last will of a victim. It also serves a way for the stalker to infiltrate, and harass his prey.
During these segments, as with the rest of the film, its strength lies in only having two people in screen. I’m not going to give the ending away, but I will say this much. The ending fits everything that unfolds before our eyes.
This film certainly has quite a few flaws, I would be lying if I said otherwise. I recommend this for the casual horror fan. It isn’t something I think I’d recommend, but it’s not one I’d talk down about. It’s worth a watch at least once. One of the better of this sub genre to come out recently. Considering the sub genre I’m speaking of is found-footage, that isn’t saying much.