Let’s get creepy (again).

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Creep has its flaws, but it an overall enjoyable film (particularly the first half), so I decided to give the sequel a shot.

Fans of the first film will be pleased to know that the quality has stayed the same. Aaron (Josef from the first one—he stole the name) is still uncomfortably awkward as he lures his victims in, but he seems smarter this time around. He truly is the star here, and he embraces this position well.

We have a new wrinkle this time. A young woman named Sara is hosting a web series called “Encounters” where she answers personal ads to explore who puts up such requests, and why. Her series seems to be struggling as the people she is meeting are quirky, but primarily lonely, and simply not that interesting. When Aaron posts another tempting offer, she can’t resist.

Sara is smart (a trend in these films), and even mentions she would normally not meet a client who she knew nothing about, but the web series is struggling. Perhaps this sort of risk-taking is what will catapult her into internet stardom.

I was worried that this would just be a rehash of the first film (and it does start out seeming to prepare for that arc), but it isn’t. Aaron confesses he is a serial killer almost immediately, and something has caused him to lose interest in his trade. He wishes to make a documentary, and Sara agrees (knowing this will make a great episode).

Creep 2 trades tension for intrigue, and the writing here is much better. Aaron is an interesting figure, who ranges from cunning to surprisingly childlike at a moments’ notice. While Aaron makes for an interesting character study, so does Sara. It is hard to determine whether she is interested in what he says just for money, or if she is perhaps becoming a sort of protégé for him.

While the character interactions are great, the film suffers when they are apart. The two of them are in separate rooms surprisingly often, and we get the tag along as Sara slowly creeps around the house looking for him. This sort of tension building is common in found footage horror, but it doesn’t really work here. The interactions between the two go beyond cat and mouse, and more into a bizarre exploration of selfhood and identity. The tense moments work less because they seem to be having so much fun when they are together.

Momentary slogs are a feature of found footage. The Creep series uses its time wisely (and keeps their films trimmed to nice little packages), but this one could probably stand for five or ten minutes removed.

I think this one is better than the first, but it also made me appreciate the first one more. It is uncommon for found footage to slam dunk it twice, but here we are. I had thought Creep 2 came out this year, and was going to say it is probably the best found footage of the year. I’d have to go back and research 2017, but I do think this is one of the better found footage samplings out there.

Give this one a go if you’re interested in good characters exploring dark areas of the mind.

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