(dir. Patrick Brice)
*First time viewing
A videographer answers an ad on Craigslist to spend a day documenting a man named Josef who has a self-proclaimed “weird sense of a humor.”
From the moment we meet Josef, played by the always hypnotic Mark Duplass, red-flags go off. He stares too long, smiles too broadly, and is far too open about sharing detailed personal moments. And yet in all these moments, there is something oddly compelling about Josef, a familiar strangeness not at all different from people we have encountered in our lives. It’s this aspect that makes Aaron keep the camera rolling, that compels him to trek deep into the woods with Josef on what seems like a fool’s errand, which allows him to look past the lies and holes in Josef’s increasingly falsified tragic story. Aaron can’t help but be interested in him and neither can the audience, and through the found-footage nature of the film, both are set up as voyeurs-creeps in their own way.
There’s little violence in Creep, and for the most part Patrick Brice masterfully withholds delivering any major horrific moments. Instead of going the traditional stalker/slasher route, Brice gives us time to know Josef, or at least think we know him in the same way Aaron does. It’s often difficult to know where Creep is headed and the viewer’s own opinion of Aaron and Josef will say a lot about their belief in humanity. Funny, gripping, and upsetting, Creep is a wonderfully, low-budget and low-stakes social experiment.
Scare Factor: 4/5: Don’t let the film’s label as a horror-comedy fool you. You’ll laugh at Josef’s unpredictability and absurdity, but you’ll constantly feel uncomfortable doing so. Creep is deeply unnerving and so firmly planted in reality that it’ll make you warry of who you encounter…or perhaps not.
**Available to watch on Netflix Instant