Let me start by saying that I’m including a few of these bullet points even though the first was a great movie, this one wasn’t as amazing. So I’m demoting it to an actual “bad movie”
Synopsis: Sara, a videographer that hosts a YouTube channel about weird people, gets sucked into “Aaron” or Josef’s crazy world. He then proceeds to come completely clean to her about what he’s done, fall in love with her, and in the end, tries to kill her.
Year Released: 2017
Director: Patrick Brice (What’s interesting here is that it was a joint writing/directing endeavor between Mark (who plays the Creep) and Patrick (Aaron from the first movie) in the first film and the two are totally different).
Rating: Not Terrible
Special effects and lighting: Pretty good actually. There are little to no sound effects, but the ones that are there are believable. Lighting is…interesting. They definitely use the fact that this is supposed to be a home movie, but some of the cool stuff (like the scene where he’s in the hot tub) is lost because all the light they use is the bright light from the camera. Also, there’s this weird scene where the light in the guest bathroom is red. I think this might be because Josef has a flair for the dramatic and would want a murder to take place in red lighting, but it’s also weird and doesn’t seem to fit in with the movie.
What I thought would happen: I thought Sara was this really brave girl that wasn’t just putting on a show and would end up killing Josef. (btw, if you haven’t noticed by now it makes more sense for me to call him Josef since we don’t know his real name). I also thought we might meet his sister at some point because of her brief involvement in the first movie, but that didn’t happen either.
Okay, so to tell you the truth, this movie made me feel some kind of way. I was mad, angry, frustrated, and bored while I watched it. So….mangfrored, if you will. To put it simply, this movie didn’t scare me. I’m not sure why. The jump scares didn’t get me like the first one, and the acting wasn’t as great.
I’ll be doing a lot of comparisons to the first movie, so if you haven’t seen it or read my review, do that here and come back.
Now that we’re all on the same page, I have a few things to say about this film. Honestly, I’m so conflicted. I know I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t that much different than the first movie, so I don’t know why I didn’t like it. Josef wasn’t hiding something the entire time and he wasn’t constantly trying to manipulate both us and Sara. However, he was obviously the same character.
To be honest, I don’t think it lived up to the hype of the first movie so I was ultimately disappointed. Who knows.
So this girl Sara is a YouTuber. She hosts a show called Encounters and is super cool. She does this thing where she looks for ads on Craigslist and contacts total strangers to get to know people a bit better. So she, of course, comes across Josef. If you skimmed past my bullet points for whatever reason, I’m calling him Josef for the sake of this review because, for me, that’s less confusing.
So Sara and Josef meet and start chatting. He tells her that he wants her to make a documentary about him being a serial killer. He then claims to have killed 39 people. Throughout this interaction, he’s being, as far as I can tell, completely honest. She doesn’t freak out in front of him, but we later see her second guess herself and stick a pocket knife in her sock for protection.
The two bond weirdly over being super honest with each other. For goodness sake, they got naked in front of each other and we got to see the dude’s wang. Rather than some kind of front for this movie Josef is totally open and honest. At the end, he even mentions that he doesn’t want to die like he had planned. This makes it seem like he was planning this grand scheme to kill his 30th victim with himself.
Something to note:
It wouldn’t make sense for him to kill himself with someone else unless he planned to fall in love. I could see how he might have manipulated that, but he was caught off guard when Sara didn’t get scared by his jump scares and the fact that he literally showed him killing someone. Also, if his sister has such a strong connection to him in the first movie, where is she here? Wouldn’t she be a creepier victim since incest is icky?
This movie rubs me the wrong way for a few reasons
- Josef is totally open and honest with Sara. He tells her stuff about his past and, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t lie past a few white lies. It’s nothing compared to his relationship with Aaron.
- Sara feels compelled to interact with Josef and go deeper into his psyche for the sake of her YouTube channel so she doesn’t interact with the red flags she sees and therefore becomes an unreliable main character that we can’t trust.
- I thought Sara was going to kill Josef, yes that would have been a cheesy ending, but it would have been better than what we got.
- I wasn’t scared the entire time I watched this movie. There was absolutely nothing scary about this one. I was actually terrified to watch the first movie because Aaron was terrified. We find out that Sara is a bit hesitant to mingle with this dude, but she’s not outwardly scared so we don’t feel anything watching her. We feel safe. Even when Josef tries his jump scare thing, it doesn’t work. This part really unnerved me but not in a good-horror-movie way, more in a “maybe stop reusing the same scare tactics as the last movie” way.
- In this movie Josef uses the name Aaron. That’s the name of the dude from the first movie. When I realize that I thought “oh cool, we’ll never know his name because it changes based on the first person he killed.” Based on the description he gave of his first kill, we can assume he essentially murdered himself somewhere along there. What I find weird about this name though is that Aaron wasn’t the last person he killed. At the end of the first movie, he introduces himself as Bill to the next videographer victim on the phone. At the beginning of this movie, we see someone opening one of Josef’s boxes only to find out he’s playing the innocent bystander/supportive friend role and not telling Dave, the guy in the first scene (and played by the guy that did Dophinder from Deadpool) that he’s really sending the boxes. When he does reveal his secret though, Josef slashes his neck, effectively making his name Dave if my theory is correct. SO why did he call himself Aaron? It makes me want to go back and re-watch the first movie. Although we don’t see how he formed relationships with many of his other victims, I can assume he’s incredibly friendly until he’s not. He’s also in the habit of being completely vulnerable in one way or another with the people he selects, so what was so special about Aaron? I don’t know but I really want to.
- The Peach Fuzz song played a big role in this movie. What makes Josef call himself a serial killer is that he has killed multiple victims. In my worldview, a serial killer is someone who kills someone in the same way multiple times. The motif of the axe turns out to be misleading when he stabs himself while Sara watches. So why then, does the Peach Fuzz song play in the beginning and at the end of this movie? Because the director wanted to make it seem like Josef was a crazy killer with a fetish for cheap wolf masks. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I got from that. The inclusion of that whistled song makes me a bit upset. In the first movie, Josef tells Aaron that Peach Fuzz is a character created by his dad to cheer him up as a kid. He made up a theme song for him and everything. To me, this seemed like an on-the-spot song because he’s good at making up shit like that to serve a temporary purpose. Later in the film, he claims it was something he bought to….do something a bit less savory. It seems to me that this song was only included in the sequel to give the viewer an eerie feeling. Josef never sang more than a few words to Sara on camera so she has no idea what he’s singing. It only makes sense to us since we saw the whole series. It seemed weird and unnecessary.
Okay, before I get sucked into the land of conspiracy yet again, I’ll finish by giving you a brief synopsis of the ending:
Josef stabs himself with the camera turned on Sara. I assumed this was his way of documenting how someone else would react to him dying, but it turns out he stabs himself, then asks Sara to do the same and mentioning that he loves her. Sara runs away and tries to come back, scaring Josef. Josef then stabs her a bunch and throws her into the grave. He gives a speech to the camera talking about his love and admiration for Sara, while behind him, she crawls out of the grave and smacks him in the back of the head with a shovel. The POV then switches to someone filming Sara from a distance on a busy street. They follow her onto a bus and sit across from her. Just before the movie is done, Josef, who we assume is behind the camera, starts whistling the Peach Fuzz song.
I didn’t like this movie as much as I had hoped I would. Sara could have kicked some ass if she had really tried so I would have liked to see that. Also, Josef’s sister is never mentioned again and that makes me sad. She’s the only one that knows the real Josef and if he had killed 37 people by that time, why wasn’t she one of them?
In conclusion, this movie is not as good as the first, but worth the watch for the possible conspiracies and themes that carried through from the first.
Last Week’s Review: Creep (Positive Review)
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