Let’s watch a movie about a cameraman.
If you’re anything like me, anytime you see a movie is found footage you throw it to the back of your watch pile (or throw it out the window—I’m not judging). However, Creep might be one of the exceptions that many of us will have not seen due to getting burned so many times before.
We follow cameraman Aaron as he takes a job to document cancer patient Josef’s day for his unborn child called Buddy. Josef wants to make a sort of video record for Buddy to get to know his dad since Josef only has a couple months to live.
First off, great start. Aaron is funny and likable, and Josef is quirky (a little too huggy), but also likable. Neither of them are dicks from the first frame, and the setup makes sense (also makes sense to why everything will be filmed). The film has a plausible edge to it, and it forces Josef up against this reality. Is he a patient wanting to chronicle this, a lunatic, or just a creep? (Or all of the above?) They keep him weird enough, but not too weird.
We as the audience know things will take a sinister turn (due to the title and genre), but Aaron doesn’t, and isn’t given a reason to be suspicious for a while. Josef is weird, sure, but he doesn’t come off as a cardboard cutout villain by any means. Josef’s weirdness turns to obnoxiousness, and he becomes more annoying than threatening. The slow progression of creep (pun intended) works well here.
Aaron starts to notice some oddities in what Josef says, but Josef answers these concerns quickly. We have smart characters here, and this is something that sets this film apart from many other horror films. Even when Josef does and admits to things that are uncomfortable, it is still plausible that Aaron would just finish the job.
The film is a slow burner through and through. I did not find it boring, but I could understand if someone else had that criticism against the film. The film could have perhaps trimmed a few minutes in the first half, but it is nice to have a long set-up. When the narrative turns at the halfway point, the story starts to click into place.
Unfortunately, the latter half of the film (which is spoiler central, so I will be vague) is where we see some poor decisions by Aaron. The realism of the film begins to wane due to his inaction as events become increasingly sinister. By the end, I liked the film, but as I watched my notes became more negative in the second half. While you might be frustrated, the film does end up working overall.
I have mentioned before that found-footage can be a way for interesting stories to be told that don’t have the budget or backing of larger endeavors. This is an example of found footage proving its worth. It almost would not have worked as well with the viewer being able to see both men at all times.
I say give this one a go. Worth a watch.