Creek, The (2008) - Dread Central
Connect with us

Reviews

Creek, The (2008)

Published

on

creek.jpg

The Creek reviewReviewed by Tristan Sinns

Starring Kathryn Merry, Brian Jesiolowski, Nancy Soulliard, Dave Foster

Directed by Erik Soulliard


Ghosts are always a hazard to one’s peace of mind, but it’s even worse if they happen to be one of your best friends. It’s bad enough if you round the hallway in the middle of the night and there’s some rotten pestilent thing standing there, transparent, oozing, staring all creepy like, waiting for you to turn on the light so it can disappear in the luminescence. Worse is if you look at the thing and say, “Ralph! My god! You look like crap. Oh, wait. You’re dead, aren’t you? Hey … are you haunting me? Ahhhh, man!”

Such it is for the characters of The Creek, a new low budget creep fest directed by Erik Soulliard. Six years ago seven friends enjoyed a quaint camping trip out in the mountains. The campfire stories and marshmallow roasting were fine enough, but then someone had to get around to bashing in good friend Billy’s head with a large rock. Now, six years later, the surviving friends (many of whom are now rather estranged to one another), become simultaneously haunted by a grim-faced Billy the ghost.

These hauntings drive the friends back together, some more reluctantly than others, and after some bickering they all agree that they should revisit the camping grounds in an effort to find what needs to be done in order to put angry Billy to rest for good. Once the camping trip is made, it doesn’t take long for more of the campers to meet a bloody end, and Billy constantly lurks about looking as grim and pissed off as ever. The group struggles to survive and to figure out the mystery of just who killed Billy, and how it is they can appease his restless and unhappy spirit.

The Creek is an extremely low budget affair and it does suffer from many of the common problems that can occur with such a film. The few action scenes within the movie are one of the more obvious examples. The actors flop through these fight scenes like LARPers fighting with cardboard clubs and shields. There’s one really wincing moment where one bad guy, armed with a small board, lightly whacks two able bodied men who immediately fall to the ground, completely incapacitated. I guess the bad guy nailed his d20. It’s goofy to watch, and it just doesn’t work. People in the real world take some serious damage in order to put them on the ground, and we need to see that in film for us to stay with the movie. Fight scenes need grit in order to make people cringe; otherwise it’s like watching your two retarded brothers wrestle in the back yard for the last bag of Cheetos.

The film also suffers from some slow moments, as much of the exposition is done through long and rather drawn out conversation. There are a quite a few inactive scenes where characters simply sit and talk, discussing various theories or underlining exposition that the viewer should already know by now. I realize that this needs to be done in some manner, but it needs to be done in such a way that it doesn’t become an energy sink for the rest of the film.

Despite the problems from the low budget and its slower moments within the script, The Creek is actually much, much better than the great bulk of micro-budget films. I feel a lot of the film could have been improved simply by having a bigger purse, as well as some work in tightening of the script. Soulliard successfully creates a moody atmosphere out in the dark campground, and it is also apparent that they spent some thought on providing a wide range of characters for the viewer to see get cut down. The film also carries with it a mild twist that is somewhat amusing. Overall, The Creek is a very sincere, albeit flawed, attempt at horror filmmaking and I feel it carries with it a lot of promise for the future. I look forward to the next film!

“>“>“>

2 1/2 out of 5

Discuss The Creek in the Dread Central forums!

Continue Reading
Comments

News

American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

Published

on

Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

Sending
User Rating 3 (1 vote)
Continue Reading

News

Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

Published

on

We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

Continue Reading

Reviews

Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

Published

on

Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film
2.0

Summary

Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

Sending
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC