Directed by Patrick Brice
Distributed by Blumhouse Productions
If you needed any further proof as to why you should NEVER answer a personal ad online, then Patrick Brice’s Creep is the perfect cautionary tale to abide by. Brice pulls double duty here as BOTH the director and actor, sharing the load of work with director/writer/actor Mark Duplass – we have a two-man play that not only makes you question someone’s intentions, but their sanity as well.
Brice plays Aaron, an overeager videographer who is reticent about his need for some quick cash, and upon those needs he answers a Craigslist advertisement from Josef (Mark Duplass). The requirements for payment are quite simple: Show up with a camera, and be prepared to film for 8 hours or so. Easy enough, right ? Only after Aaron shows up to Josef’s spacious (and highly elevated) mountain home and begins to think the whole gig was a sham, he is immediately scared by the prankish Josef (aah, what a kidder that guy is!). You see, Josef is enjoying every single moment that he has left on this world: He’s been diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable brain cancer and wishes for Aaron to document as much of Josef’s teachings towards his unborn son – a direct reference to Michael Keaton’s My Life is mentioned.
The filming starts out innocently (however a little odd) and we see Josef as a man who, despite his eccentricities, simply seems like a fellow who wants to give his son the most information about how to take life and enjoy it. From Josef bathing in a tub while describing his time as a child with his dad taking a “tubby” (very disturbing indeed) to dancing around with a werewolf mask on named “PeachFuzz,” the shoot goes from wholesome to downright unsettling in a sustained amount of time.
Nonetheless, Aaron chalks it up to simple idiosyncratic behavior, and the two become friends (although not in the defined text) – it appears that Josef is getting a little too close to Aaron emotionally, and as the night drags on, things begin to spiral downwards. The remains of the movie simply must be seen, and I feel as if I’d be doing an incredible disservice to the viewers if I started rambling off further details, but take this to heart – this film is downright creepy in its presentation and the fact that this is becoming more and more of an occurrence in these days of online personal advertising. You just NEVER know who’s out there waiting to meet you, and I think that this is exactly the perfect prescription for a downright shuddersome film.
Brice and Duplass take their performances up a notch with Brice as the appetent and shielded bystander and Duplass supplying the chills as a potentially disturbed individual that just craves some friendly attention. After a short time you lose sense of the whole “heartfelt communication” between a father and his yet-to-be-born son and jump into a visual feel as if you’re the one holding the camera, slowly peeking around different corners, waiting for that elusive jump scare (and there are a few to speak of.) While some found-footage movies beg you to ask, “Why is our cameraman continuing to film while in a state of panic?,” you can understand here why the actions are necessary, and that is a solid plus in my book… I mean if I’m willing to overlook the whole shaky-cam thing (one of my biggest peeves), then this movie simply has to be doing something right – a must watch.