In Creep 2 (review) Desiree Akhavan plays Sara, a likable wannabe YouTube sensation who drives to a remote house in the forest to meet and film Aaron (Mark Duplass), a man claiming to be a serial killer. Red flags pop up, but Desiree needs something really cool to get her views up. After agreeing to spend the day with Aaron, Sara realizes that she made a deadly mistake.
We made the right decision in talking to Akhavan, to get the inside scoop on the anticipated Creep 2.
Dread Central: I’ll admit, I haven’t seen your previous films. But I did notice in my research that you act, write, direct, and produce – oftentimes at the same time! What was it like to just act for Patrick Brice, and give up that control?
Desiree Akhavan: It was so hard. Not hard in that Patrick is one of the best human beings I’ve encountered in my life, but it’ really hard to be such a control freak and to be vulnerable. But it was a very positive experience for me. Because I trust these guys [Brice and Duplass] and they did me proud.
DC: In a two-hander like this, chemistry is key. Did you and Mark know each other, or did you have rehearsal time?
DA: Mark and I had met a few times, we liked each other – or at least, I like Mark – and we didn’t have to work at it. From one scrappy indie filmmaker to another, we have that in common and we know what it takes to live this lifestyle. I have a lot of respect for him and I can really relate. So we have a lot of respect for each other, and that’s clear on screen.
DC: Did Patrick and Mark let you have some input as to the things you thought Sara would say and do?
DA: Oh definitely. They were really generous. Having said that, I found that my instincts were off. I’m not from the horror world. If there is any genre I’m not close to [it’s horror]. I make serious kinds of movies, so I’m not surprised that you are not familiar with by oeuvres (laughs). I make small gay films, and topical comedies for the most part, and they’re super indie. I was really out of my depth with a lot of this. I remember the first day we were spit-balling and all of my ideas were just way off! It took me a while of watching them and getting sense of what the formula of this film was, to get into the right frame of mind. They were really helpful and inviting in the process. So the truth is, it’s very much their own creation. It’s not horror, it’s not horror/comedy even, it’s sort of their own weird… it’s found footage but not really… it’s just a weird Patrick and Mark world. And at a certain point I had to do what doesn’t come naturally to me, let someone else lead, and that was a really good experience for me to have.
DC: Did you watch the first Creep movie before acting in the second one?
DA: Yes, I watched Creep. I thought it was really good and really strange. Like good in that how could it be so compelling and weird? These guys are just hanging out/ I love their bromance and I love that they were both just getting to know each other, and developing this male friendship that you can’t quite trust. You couldn’t tell if Aaron was trying to seduce him or murder him, and it kept surprising me. But I thought it was also super strange in way that I couldn’t place in that I had no idea what a sequel to that would look like.
DC: In a world where some of the most popular streaming content includes shows like “Making a Murderer” and “Mindhunter”, to what do you attribute our enduring fascination with serial killers, and how do the Creep movies fit into that?
DA: I think people like character-driven stories. When you’re following a serial killer, you have this one guy in common and you kind of fall in love with him, like the anti-hero. I think it makes sense to want to follow someone like Aaron – the whole point of successful storytelling is like, do you fall in love with those characters? “Friends” isn’t a particularly brilliant show, but everybody wants to keep hanging out with those guys because we have a familiarity with them. And when you have a serial killer, it’s like, ‘I’m on this guy’s side, even though he’s a murderer and I want to speak up but I kinda want him to kill.’ Now I get to go on that ride with someone.
DC: Since you’re not in the horror world, what would you say was the most challenging part of making this film?
DA: I felt really out of my depth with physical stuff. Like when we were running around in the woods, I felt that I was really bad at being convincing. I think you’re used to using your body like that or not – I did not think I was convincing with any of that stuff and so I found that particularly challenging.
DC: But Sara is a vlogger. She’s not supposed to be shape.
DA: Exactly! She doesn’t know how to run for her life!
DC: Since Creep 2 is not actually your typical horror film, how would you sum it up?
DA: I would say that it’s a psychological dick-measuring contest between two sociopaths. A serial killer meets his match in a desperate video artist, and you never know who’s in control. Their power balance is compelling and that’s something about the film that is incredible. The audience really doesn’t know who’s in control even though from the first frame you know that you’re following a serial killer and a girl who’s out of her depth. You still never feel like she’s completely the victim or completely the villain.
Written by Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass with Brice directing, Creep 2 stars Duplass, who reprises his role from the first film, and Desiree Akhavan.
The Orchard will see Creep 2 hitting all digital formats on October 24th.
CREEP 2 stars Desiree Akhavan as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on, she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.
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