Do a Shot: for each awkwardly hilarious moment
Take a Drink: each time Mark Duplass creeps you out
Take a Drink: during each creepy scene
Take a Drink: for each creepy story told
Do a Shot: for the Peachfuzz mask
By: Matt Conway (Two Beers) –
One of the most interesting stories in the digital format is Netflix’s further expansion. Once known as just a library of past movies and television shows, Netflix has wisely started to create their own content. Television shows such as Daredevil, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards turned out to be surprisingly great shows, showing the potential the studio has.
With such success in TV, Netflix has now started to make their own movies. The studio has signed a multi-film deal with Adam Sandler, which is the kind of decisive move that opens a lot of eyes. Netflix and the Duplass brothers have also come to terms on a multi-film deal, making it a solid platform for the Duplasses to further expand their mumblecore brand. Their first film with Netflix, Creep, is a smart and effective twist on the found-footage genre.
Creep follows Aaron, a relatively broke man who responds to a Craiglist advertisement to be a videographer. He finds things are not quite what they seem to be with his client Josef.
Creep really utilizes its microscopic budget to its benefit, which is what smaller flicks like this should do. The found-footage photography actually has a purpose rather than just being a lazy style choice. There is no big setpiece, which is a change of pace that I enjoyed. The film feels very much grounded in reality, which benefits the tension the film is going for a great deal.
Behind the camera is Patrick Brice, who also directed the outrageous The Overnight, which came earlier in the summer. In his directorial debut, Brice shows poise and skill beyond his years, while also showing an understanding of the inner workings of horror flicks. The film actually looks quite good as well, with Brice doing double-duty as the director and cinematographer.
Performance-wise, there are only two actors to talk about. Brice is good in the lead role, making the most out of a mostly thankless role. Creep, though, is really a chance for Mark Duplass to shine, as he delivers what his perhaps his best performance yet. As Josef, Duplass perfectly rides the line between being earnest and creepy, making him quite the intriguing character to watch. The performance has more layers to it than the average horror film character, with Duplass giving audiences an idea of the inner-workings of this man.
Creep, tonally at least, plays a balancing act that it is able to successfully maneuver. The film caught me off guard while viewing because of how many great comedic moments there are. Duplass plays awkward in a way that he can be hilariously bumbling in one scene, and downright chilling the next. It’s a tonal balance that Brice is able to manage to perfection behind the camera.
The script here is quite good. A collaboration of Brice and Duplass, the duo clearly show an understanding of horror films, using the cliff-notes of the classic horror formula. However, they are able to infuse that with some more originality, especially with the two lead characters. I also have to thank them both for keeping the film grounded in reality, as there were never any implausible moments that made me question the film’s logic.
Where Creep starts to somewhat fall apart is its third act. The film seemingly has its big climax an hour in, but after that there is still about fifteen minutes left. For a 77 minute film to feel overlong is somewhat odd, but the third act essentially just felt like waiting around until the film’s finale.
That finale is also a disappointment considering the directions the film was going in before. Instead of going for a more unique ending with something to say, the ending is unceremonious and cliched. It does set up future possible sequels, but as far as a resolution to the story, it as a whole feels unsatisfying.
While it does not quite stick the landing with its lackluster third act, Creep is a fresh take on the horror genre, equal parts funny and chilling. Patrick Brice continues to prove himself as a unique voice in Hollywood, and Mark Duplass shows off some great acting chops. Check it out now on Netflix!