Creep (film review by Frank Ochieng).

The disturbing and mind-bending ‘Creep’ certainly startles with its sense of sophisticated salaciousness, so why should it not meet the expectations of its haunting and hallucinatory hedonism? After all ‘Creep’ was from the handlers that gave fright fans unnerving and twitchy thrills in fear-monger flicks such as ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘The Purge’. Granted that the found footage genre has become rather obligatory but there are moments when one can declare a sense of distinction and devilish freshness where frightfests in the realm of ‘Creep’ can compel with warped and contemptible glee. When a flinching film can muster up an erratic combination of chaos and comedy and still manage to stay on course in its horrific havoc then vehicles such as ‘Creep’ can claim bragging rights in the slight re-invention of the aforementioned and omnipresent found footage theme.


Part of ‘Creep’s unctuous appeal is steeped in the wicked and wayward imaginations of collaborators in director/co-writer Patrick ‘The Overnight’ Brice (making his directorial feature debut here), co-writer/co-star Mark Duplass and producer Jason Blum (‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’, ‘Sinister’). These morbid masterminds effectively instill the aptly-named ‘Creep’ with bountiful black humour in this glorified goose-bump fable that proudly struts its low-budgeted, atmospheric indie chops armed with outrageous dares and scares.

Unemployed videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) unknowingly fishes out the on-coming scrutiny when he answers a Craigslist ad requesting the secretive side of film-making. Thus, Aaron travels to an isolated cabin in the middle of the desolate mountains to meet up with Josef (Mark Duplass, from TV’s ‘The League’). The sickly Josef, proclaiming his supposedly cancer-stricken condition, wants to be filmed on video as he prepares a diary for his unborn son. Well, the gesture seems heartfelt enough under the surface and something that Aaron should handle with kid gloves, right?

Aaron’s assignment at first appears innocuous as he gathers the insights and intimate moments that Josef provides for the sake of his future offspring. In fact, the two men even become somewhat close and bond together as they wander in the mountains mixing business with a bit of pleasure tossed in for good measure. Soon, Josef steadily starts to show his true colors as his interviews become intense and erratic. The darkness of Josef’s moods shift ominously back and forth. Hence, Aaron understandably becomes quite weary of his videotaped creepy companion’s behavior. It certainly does not help that Aaron unravels some sordid secrets regarding Josef’s unsettling backstory. Just where does Josef’s degree of delusions figure in as far as Aaron’s perspective is concerned?

There you go folks...only a beastly face that a mother can love!
There you go folks…only a beastly face that a mother can love!

The shocking moments in ‘Creep’ serves its purpose effectively, especially when the cat-and-mouse titillation and tension is enveloped in a low-budget, knee-jerking production that thankfully is refreshingly taut as it is naughtily off-kilter in its serving of several jittery jump scares and, of course, the edginess of the two men, one armed with suspicion and paranoia and the other one bottled up in a hefty grip of psychosis. The constant antagonism that the creepy Josef demonstrates towards Aaron is a traumatising tease that eerily registers with numbing realization. Fittingly, the found footage fear factor angle does not overtake or drown out the psychological give-and-take anxiety between the defensive Aaron and demented Josef.

If anything, ‘Creep’ manages to not exhaust the found footage foundation as a gory gimmick that many of these kinds of fright flicks fall victim much too often. Instead, the movie is shrewdly aware to take a smirking poke at the impish concept through shaky satirical means. The real trepidation lies in the sometimes quiet yet manic motives of Josef, a live wire that can explode at any minute yet leaves one wondering as to when and where his menacing madness will filter out as it is directed toward his nearby guinea pig in the vulnerable Aaron. Both Brice and Duplass are convincingly engrossing as contributing co-writers and co-stars of an edge-of-your-seat chiller that does not necessarily need to overwhelm the audience’s nervous system with grotesque tactics of torture to bring along the bloody chase of a detached thrill.

Creep (2015)

The Orchard

1 hr. 20 mins.

Starring: Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice

Directed by: Patrick Brice

MPAA Rating: R

Genre: Horror and Suspense

Critic’s Rating: *** stars (out of 4 stars)

(c) Frank Ochieng (2015)






Frank Ochieng has contributed film reviews to SF Crowsnest off and on since 2003. He has been published in other various movie site venues throughout the years. Ochieng has been part of The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and had written film reviews for The Boston Banner newspaper (USA) and frequently is a media/entertainment panelist on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM on "The Jordan Rich Show" in Boston, Massachusetts/USA.

One thought on “Creep (film review by Frank Ochieng).

  • Your review had me wanting more. I am not a fan of stupid blood and guts horror films but this sounds like an interesting movie. Delving into the mind of a psychotic person and the tension you feel waiting as they slowly tease you giving you bits and pieces makes for a great finale. This is a lot more satisfying than the typical Jason type horror flick. Your review had me at the edge of my seat so I am sure the movie will do the same. Great review by the way.


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