In your everyday life, what scares you? What makes you stop dead in the middle of a thought and question your surroundings? For some people that shivery, hair standing on end, bone deep unnerving feeling comes from spiders, snakes and rats. Honestly though, nothing affects me as instantaneously as a needy, over sharer that traps you in an uncomfortable conversation filled with authentic and sincere platitudes and exclamations. My stomach drops and I feel like I’ve been cornered by my worst nightmare. Anyone who utters something about the power of positive thought within five minutes of knowing them makes my skin crawl. They creep me out. Which is why watching the delightfully insane 2014 film Creep was both reassuring (I’m not alone!) and deeply unsettling.
Creep stars Mark Duplass, who I know best from The Mindy Project because I have very varying tastes, and Patrick Brice – who also wrote and directed. This film is definitely one of the most disturbingly realistic horror films of the last few years. It follows cameraman Aaron (Brice) as he heads off to meet a dying man named Josef (Duplass) who has hired him to film a goodbye video to his unborn son. Aaron arrives at the appointment, which is to take place, unsurprising, at a cabin in the woods, but can’t seem to find his subject anywhere. The camera is hand-held and shaky from the get go, and so the movie is primed for some decent jump scares and it doesn’t disappoint. Josef leaps into the frame with a scream, Aaron screams in reply. But Aaron, like most of humanity, wants to be polite to the person who is both paying him and in a very sad situation. He accepts Josef’s apology and carries on, because that’s how we do it in the real world too. Everytime someone you are just getting to know oversteps the boundaries of what is considered normal human interactions, you give them the benefit of the doubt.
And that’s what makes this film genius.
Because Josef is a psychopath that performs quirky family traditions for strangers (Peach Fuzz is a wolf mask that he wears, while dancing, and singing, and is just the MOST fantastic tool to upset a person), uses false self awareness to disarm Aaron when he feels he might have pushed him too far, and gets a paid cameraman to film an eerie pretend bathtime with his fictional unborn son. Josef uses Aaron’s basic humanity against him. Kind of like an examination of the dangers of empathy, this film caused me to have several full body, visceral reactions.
Examples of a Creeper creepin’
Whether I was laughing, cringing or jumping I was thoroughly creeped out. So the title is accurate, the camera angles and shadows cast make this a fun horror film visually too, and Mark Duplass is so much fun to watch. And the ending… well I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s brilliant. Heart in your throat, scream at the TV, and eagerly await the 2017 sequel that IMDB is promising, brilliant.
Wino Forever x