Folks, I have some bad news. For this week’s review I watched a really good movie. You see, the Creep movies have been stalking me (no pun intended) on Netflix for some time now and I thought they might be good, so I didn’t watch them. To test that theory, I decided to try them out. Turns out, I was totally right. This movie was amazing; so much so that I plan to review the sequel next week.
I’d like to formally apologize to everyone that expected snark week after week, but it’s been extra negative these past few reviews, so I thought I would liven things up a bit.
That being said, I have nothing but good things to say about this movie. My only criticism is that it was a bit short and I just wanted more. Then again, there’s a sequel, so I doubt once I finish that one, I’ll feel the same way.
If you’ve noticed, I don’t have my bullet points at the top of this review. Those are typically reserved for the worst parts of the film to be summarized, but this movie is all awesome, so I’ll just talk about it as a whole.
Creep is a movie made in 2014 written and directed by the stars of the film. You literally can’t get any more indie than that. I love that fact. Better yet, after glimpsing the Creep 2 credits on IMDB, I found that Patrick Bryce (Aaron) directed the sequel as well.
Josef (played by Mark Duplass) is a man that has some really severe mental issues. I’m unsure exactly what they are because he’s so perfect a character that not only is Aaron fooled, but so was I. Josef then ends up stalking and killing Aaron through a series of manipulative scenes in which the two learn to trust each other. Let me explain what I mean. Josef is incredibly manipulative. To someone, like myself, who knows what manipulation looks like, it’s incredibly obvious from the beginning. Whether or not the story about him having cancer is real, it’s still what he uses to convince Aaron that he should stick around. Aaron is a videographer that simply needed money. He took the job and didn’t ask twice (though clearly he should have). In my personal opinion, this is one of the best movies I’ve ever watched. That might be a stretch, but let me do my best to convince you.
Aaron is an every-man character that represents us. He’s naive, but he’s not stupid. He called the cops, recorded everything, and wasn’t afraid to tell Josef when he was scared or wanted to leave.
Josef is perfect because we never find out if he’s lying and keeps us on the edge constantly by jump-scaring Aaron and the audience. Seriously, those jump scares were something else entirely. We knew that it was in Josef’s nature to do it, but it still scared us every time he did because he’s an unpredictable character. He acts like a child, speaks like a child, and only lets slip small truths to the lies he tells to make us trust him.
I wish we had learned more about Josef’s sister. She seems to know a lot about what is happening to Josef and closely monitors his mental state, since she’s always calling. We’re left wondering if “Buddy” the proverbial child Josef is making this documentary for, is actually a real kid. We never find out if Josef actually has cancer, and for all we know, his sister could be lying for him and it could all be a huge conspiracy.
The movie progresses slowly yet quickly. We see enough bonding between Aaron and Josef to warrant Josef’s closeness and stalker-like tendencies but at the same time I felt like it moved really quickly. This is probably a good thing now that I’m thinking about it. It made the movie seem real and believable. Like this is what would have actually happened if this guy was a real person.
I’m not sure where else to put this, so I’ll mention now that I was really creeped out with the stalking scenes. It starts innocently enough with a strange DVD arriving at Aaron’s house. Eventually things escalate and Josef then ends up in Aaron’s house. He cuts his hair as he’s sleeping, sends him mysterious packages, and one night, stands outside of his house just waiting and watching.
The worst part is that this abuses Aaron’s innate nature to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and he ends up taking pity on him and gets killed. That’s Aaron’s one character flaw; he cares too much.
The entire movie can be summed up in a few simple bullet points so I won’t bore you with an outline, but I will go over a few of my favorite parts with you (that aren’t going to be in chronological order).
- I loved the ending. It was absolutely outstanding. Aaron is killed with the axe from the beginning sitting on a park bench by Joseph in the Peach Fuzz mask. I was left to wonder if he actually was “the best person ever” as stated by Josef as he watched it unfold because though there are several things that made noise (Josef swishing his coat behind him to get to the axe, things dropping on the ground, and no doubt the feeling you get when someone is moving directly behind you) Aaron didn’t turn around. Then Josef does one last jump scare to the camera recording the incident, then screams into the camera on him as he’s watching the footage. This i just plain creepy and has several connotations that all end up meaning he’s insane.
- As uncomfortable as it was to watch, the bathtub scene really stood the hairs on the back of my neck up. It was full-force Josef that he was using to test Aaron’s durability. Not only did he talk to the camera (and Aaron) like a baby, but he also jokingly attempted suicide. The only scene I can compare watching that to is the needle pit scene from Saw…3? 4? One of the later ones.
- Finally, the scene where Aaron drugs Josef and tries to get his keys back. This scene is absolutely terrifying because, even though Aaron drugged him with benadryl, he was still awake enough to walk around, talk, and run down the stairs. I realize it isn’t a potent drug for some and people can get hyperactive when on that, but it rarely does that AND make you tired. To add to this scene, as Aaron is looking for his keys, Josef’s phone rings and it’s his sister. She warns Aaron to get out of the house and thankfully he does. Her character isn’t listed on the IMDB page, but I have a feeling she’ll make an appearance in the sequel.
Before I sign off on this review, let’s look into some trivia and interviews, shall we? I found a 30 minute interview with the directors/writers that I’ll summarize here so you don’t have to sit through it. If you want to, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzq7mgTPKzo
The movie feels incredibly natural and could have been a YouTube vlog if not for the horrific murder at the end. Turns out, it is all natural. That’s exactly how the two would act in real life. Patrick (Aaron) is a naturally likeable person that gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and Mark (Josef) is someone that can alter his personality to get what he wants. The two combine in this movie with a 5 page outline of scenes and no scripted dialogue, so what we see is natural and raw. I would love to see the stuff that didn’t make it in.
On that note, they comment that there is a lot that didn’t make it into the movie. It took a year and a half to film, which, for two people with the talent they have, must have been strenuous.
Mark says he feels his best when he has limited materials and has to do his best to get his character across. I think that makes for a memorable and believable character in this movie and is partially what makes his role so impressive.
Some trivia from the movie for you:
There’s not a whole lot, but on the IMDB page under the “Goofs” section, one viewer brings up the fact that Josef uses fake names to lure in his victims but when his sister calls, she calls him Josef. Did he slip up by telling Aaron his real name or are the two in cahoots? Maybe we’ll find out in the sequel!
Overall, this was an amazing movie. I’m sorry if this review was shorter than some others. I find I don’t have as much to say when a movie is good aside from “this movie was amazing” about 20 times in a row. Now I want you all to tell me how much you loved or hated it too. What was your favorite part and have you seen the sequel? I’ll be reviewing that next week, so stay tuned for two positive reviews in a row.
Last Week’s Review: Cube 2: Hypercube
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