Creep was such a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a horror film starring Mark Duplass, star of one of my favorite comedies, The League. I mean, there are some intense moments on that show, but I would not have guessed that Duplass would do well in the horror genre. I know that he began in the Mumblecore scene, so dramatic elements of his talent are not completely out of the realm of possibility. And I was glad to find out that his comedic chops would come into great effect in this horror movie.
I don’t want to go too far into the plot of this one, just give a brief summary. Dude 1, Duplass, hires Dude 2, Director Patrick Brice to document Dude 1’s remaining days. Dude 1 has stated that he’s dying of a rare form of cancer and would like to pull a My Life and make a recording for his unborn son to use as guideposts for life without a father. As this movie is a found footage movie, we get to see some interesting takes on the genre, where it could easily steer into cliche, but luckily this movie has some slick tricks up its sleeve.
The two stars make this movie work. They have an unsettling chemistry, which I imagine was the point of the movie. There is some great humor throughout and that really adds to the unsettling places that the movie veers into. More than anything, Dude 1 is socially awkward and he seems to have good intention, but there is a great turning point where you will probably yell at the screen for Dude 2 to just NOPE out of the house he’s in. And that sequence is a great one, one that kickstarts some creepy developments in the plot that leads to a rather subdued climax. But it’s the denouement that shows how batshit insane the movie can be. It achieves some great moments where we want people to die, but will feel bad for thinking so.
As mentioned previously, the way this movie plays with the conventions of the found footage genre is where this movie excels. Yes, it has many moments of narrative staples in the genre, mainly the confessional type of moments and the instinct to try to freak us out during the daytime. However, there is a point when the recorder, Dude 2, receives some DVDs from Dude 1 trying to apologize, but instead makes things worse between the two. Those moments lead us into the crazy that Dude 1 devolves into, and eventually into the climax. This movie was so much fun and provides some moments of fun and levity, but ultimately should unsettle the viewer and reconsider taking jobs from Craigslist.