The Cinefessions crew loves sharing their opinions on films, but not every movie can get the attention it deserves with a full review. Enter the Cinefessions’ Capsule Reviews. These capsule reviews cover five of the most important aspects of a film, which allow the crew to deliver their opinions on any movie clearly, decisively, and with brevity. These are not our full thoughts on any film, just a highlighting of the major pros and/or cons.
Title: Creep (2014)
Director: Patrick Brice
Runtime: 76 minutes
Story & Script
Aaron, a professional videographer, gets a job from a Craigslist ad that calls for one day of filming in a remote mountain cabin. When he arrives, he eventually meets Josef, who is eccentric, to say the least. Josef tells him that he is dying of a brain tumor, and wants to leave a video diary for his unborn son, Buddy, to watch because he will likely be dead in 2-3 months. Things get odder and odder as the day progresses, and eventually Aaron starts to realize that not everything may be as it seems.
This is another found footage film. It has an interesting story that I wanted to see to the conclusion, it just takes a while to get there, which is crazy to say in a film that is over in 76 minutes.
Mark Duplass plays Josef and writer/director Patrick Brice also stars as Aaron. There are the only two actors in the film, and both are good, with Duplass being great. Josef is such an odd character, and it’s really tough to know what to make of him, which is intentional. Duplass finds an incredible charm with the character that is both creepy and funny at the same time. Brice gets a lot better as the film progresses, but never gives a poor performance.
Creep is a perfect example of a film I hope to make one day. It is incredibly simple, using found locations, one, maybe two cameras, and only two actors. I love intimate projects like this. Where writer/director/star Patrick Brice goes wrong is with the pacing. There are a lot of scenes here that only lengthen what feels like a short film into a feature that are disguised as tension building moments. A 76-minute film should never feel like it drags as much as Creep does. Even with that, though, there is an awkwardness that I love about this film. I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing or scared, and I loved it. It’s one of those things that not a lot of people will appreciate, frankly, and will leave a lot of viewers cold. If you’re like me, though, Brice and Duplass have created something worth watching.
There are a few different moments that stand out to me in this film, all of which involve a choice that one of the characters has to make. The smart choice would be to do the opposite in virtually all of these scenarios. This insistence to make the wrong choice that puts the character in danger is disappointing, if necessary. It feels like a perfect storm of sorts, and one different decision could’ve taken this film in a whole different direction. I’m not sure if this is a compliment or a complaint, but seems, if nothing else, like an important observation.
I’d watch Creep again to refresh myself before the announced sequels come out. There is just something about it that is watchable for me.
I doubt that a lot of people will like Creep like I did. There is a ton of shaky cam footage, some dumb decision making, and poor pacing. Even so, there is a lot to admire with what this two-man crew was able to create. It’s both creepy and funny, often at the same time, and it could go in a few different directions. The ending gave the film a boost for me, but is something else that a lot of people may not like. If you’re anything like me – a fan of found footage films, interested in character studies, and can stand slow burns with an odd sense of humor – give Creep a shot. Otherwise, just move on from this little oddball.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.