Creep is a 2014 indie… horror… uh… comedy… um…
It’s something, that’s for certain.
Written by and starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass (of FX’s The League), Creep is a low budget film that combines horror and comedy into a completely unique package that will leave you in fits of both screaming and laughing.
Brice plays Aaron, a videographer who responds to an ad on Craigslist that promises $1,000 for a day of work filming an individual out in the wilderness. That individual turns out to be Josef (Duplass), a man stricken with terminal cancer. Aaron is told that he’s been hired to film Josef’s final farewell. Josef has only months to live and he wishes to leave the video tape behind for his unborn child as a memorial.
A few twists and turns carry the rest of the narrative, which involves an ax, a wolf mask, and a horrific yet hilarious story heard only through audio.
Creep is a clever take on the found footage genre. However, instead of subverting the idea of found footage, Creep instead subverts the idea of what is scary about that style of narrative. Fans of the genre are well accustomed to the jump scares that clutter up every found footage story. Whenever a character is wandering through the woods or an empty house, meekly calling out someone else’s name, you can rest assured that a jump scare is imminent. The scare might not be a legitimate threat. It might just be a cat knocking over something, or the wind gusting through a window.
Creep cleverly manipulates this trope of the genre. Josef is a disturbed individual, but the scares in the movie come from his inopportune sense of playfulness, not really a true sense of terror. The movie builds to a hilarious final scare, which is played as a sort of meta joke/scare that details the entire theme.
The movie is genuinely frightening, as most of the jump scares are well done (and demonstrate that 90% of a jump scare is the audio mixing). As the story develops, the meta aspect begins to break through, leaving the third act a very dark comedy that still leaves you unsettled.
By the end, the story has wrapped up and one character begins to question why certain events unfolded like they did. To us in the audience, it’s a clever coda to a well done joke. To the character asking the question, it becomes a raison d’etre.
And a wonderful addition to his collection.