Since the start of this new decade it is quite apparent indie filmmakers have taken over the landscape. Sure, blockbusters and releases by major Directors will never die out, but this truly seems to be an age for the independent market. Not just independent studios mind you; dozens (if not hundreds at this point) of films have come out with a DIY effort. The Duplass Brothers, Mark and Jay, seem to be one of the heads of this new paradigm with Mark giving us yet another outing in Creep. Not only is Creep another successful outing for a Duplass but it is another showcase that independent is where you go for your craving in horror.
Creep follows Aaron (played by Director/Writer Patrick Brice), a cinematographer who goes to the woods to film eccentric Josepf (Mark Duplass). What follows are a series of moments and events that go from odd job to true nightmare for Aaron. Since this is a horror film of the ‘found footage’ type this reviewer was going in for the typical tropes and scares that come with it. While this film does not break new ground in terms of story structure, it must be said Brice and Duplass honestly make a tense film. They actually revolve the scares around the limitations of ‘found footage’ rather than filling the frame of jump scares or stupid, CGI creatures.
It also must be said that with Brice and Duplass being the only figures both in front of and behind the camera this film has a lot more care put into it. In front of the camera we will mostly see Duplass as this unnerving figure whose overall plan for this helpless cameraman gets clearer and sinister as the camera rolls. The film relies more on sort of twisting how the story goes to confuse the audience a bit. So expect a good amount of false leads and the two characters pointing out faults in narrative logic as it goes on. Having said that this film can be incredibly easy to read in terms of where it goes from point A to point B; so be prepared to fully see where the end leads if you are good at predictions.
It should be stressed again how these two are able to make a ‘found footage’ film scary to watch. Since this genre of horror has been played out pretty much anything you can think of has been done to death. While Creep does not change the game with this genre there are nice, subtle touches to keep it separate from the rest. Brice certainly has a great eye for shots so expect some excellent framing throughout and a good sense how a camera should naturally move around. There is also a good sense of pacing where Price and Duplass let the scenes breath and it is more unnerving to linger on moments rather than have quick editing.
Again, Creep is not the most original horror film nor does it do anything incredibly outrageous to change the game. But what Creep does is slight, almost unseen touches to make it an incredibly successful horror film. The performances are genuine, the camera work for a ‘found footage’ film is effective, and these two guys just understand how a film like this works. Creep is another testament to how today’s age of indie filmmaking is changing the landscape of movies. Cause even a slightly predictable movie like Creep can wind up being excellent if you just try a little bit harder.