If you really want to squirm with discomfort, you should definitely watch “Creep”, which is available by subscription from Netflix. The found footage horror starring Mark Duplass goes where it hurts – and has a lasting effect.
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There are social situations from which you want to escape directly and very quickly. For example, when you have to hold back your laughter at a funeral in front of the entire mourners. Or that moment on a first date that makes it clear that you just don’t have anything to say to each other because the conversation is stuck in an awkward silence. The found-footage horror Creep, available by subscription from Netflix, is a film that evokes exactly those feelings – but they’re just the beginning.
Director Patrick Brice and leading actor Mark Duplass use these uncomfortable emotions to gradually feed them with fear. At some point, as a viewer, you get to the point where you simply don’t know anymore whether to laugh out loud or pull the covers over your head in trepidation. In any case, one thing is certain for me: Those who endure these 75 minutes on Netflix will have to think back to them very often in the future.
That’s what “Creep” is about
Aaron (director Patrick Brice) finds an ad online looking for a person who wants a man named Josef (Mark Duplass) to accompany them with a video camera for days. For this he has the prospect of $1,000 every 24 hours. After Aaron visits Josef and, after initial irritation, actually decides to take the job, the situation becomes increasingly opaque. What begins with bad jokes hardens more and more to the impression that Aaron’s life is more and more in danger.
The found footage subgenre has had a bad reputation for a long time. Due to the many bad offshoots and imitators of “Paranormal Activity” it has been forgotten how effective this category of horror film can be. So if you think that found footage has largely had its day, I can assure you at this point: “Creep” will change your mind.
“Creep” is a real horror challenge
Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass achieve something with “Creep” that most horror films these days completely lack: The creative duo unleashes a complete unpredictability. Josef’s behavior here is often arbitrary, which is both amusing and provocative. When he suddenly stands naked in front of Aaron at the first meeting and demands that he film him bathing with his imaginary son, then you are speechless.
And in this tonality it goes on and on. Whenever it seems that the situation is slowly returning to normal, Josef does something to torpedo the security that he had gained for a few minutes: while we were taking a walk in the woods together, he suddenly ran into the woods, leaving Aaron alone in the clearing.
Psychopath or Lonely Soul?
For a long time Creep was not played with open cards, which is also due to the sensational performance of multi-talented Mark Duplass (who is also active as a writer and musician). Duplass keeps raising doubts as to what Josef’s real intentions were when he posted the job advertisement on the Internet. No matter how insane he may appear, Mark Duplass gives this character an unmistakable tragedy through his multi-faceted play. Joseph is a lonely soul.
To a certain extent, pity and threat are balanced in his case, which makes it all the more complicated (and exciting!) to somehow be able to grasp the character Josef. “Creep 2”, which is also available on Netflix and is a really successful sequel, even expands on this aspect, although at the end of “Creep” you can (almost) be clear about what you’re really up to with Josef. That’s why the “Creep” double isn’t just gripping as a found footage horror. Both films also function as ambivalent character studies.
What’s more: In “Creep”, Josef’s erratic behavior causes jump scares that turn out to be so violent that they mercilessly turn into parody: Josef keeps jumping out from behind random corners and roars into the camera. Simply that way. It’s great fun and a dig at other, much less successful found footage films.
The new Netflix film from the “Creep” and “Creep 2” director
Anyone who has watched “Creep” and “Creep 2” and got a taste for Patrick Brice will have the opportunity to see their latest film on Netflix from October 1st. This one is titled “SOMEBODY is in your house“. It’s about a killer who hides behind a mask when murdering, which is modeled on the face of his victim. That sounds quite exciting, as Patrick Brice could expand the classic slasher with an innovative idea.