Thursday, 28 August 2014

[Frightfest Review] - Creep

Stars; Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Director; Patrick Brice
Writers; Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Running Time; 82 mins

A videographer answers a Craigslist ad for one day of filming in a remote location. Despite his client's unusual requests all seems fairly harmless until night falls and the truth behind his client takes a frightening turn.

The found footage genre continues to prove controversial not in terms of subject matter (although Cannibal Holocaust is still an exception) but saturation of market leading to a plethora of poor quality productions. CREEP definitely falls into the high quality category and leaves genre leader Blair Witch Project in the cold. It is also refreshing to have a found footage story idea that steps away from the usual rag tag team of film students venturing into dangerous outlands to investigate sinister and deadly occurrences, which has side-stepped the tiresome trap.

Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass had this idea of improvising the production working from nothing but a ten page outline. This creates a completely spontaneous experience that is as much of surprise to the players as the viewer. The shaky cam point of view works well in creating an uncomfortable attention grabbing feel to the picture making good use of the remote location. There is a welcome dynamic between the leads Brice and Duplass who clearly have an excellent working rapport that comes across in their performances. The improvisation adds unpredictability to the film making Brice's (as Aaron the videographer) shock reactions very real for the viewer.

Brice and Duplass took the notion of less is more on board keeping the focus on themselves with no additional characters except a voice on the phone and the memorable "Peachfuzz." Much effective and chilling use of the remote location is made all adding to the film's foreboding feel. Brice's discomfort coupled with Duplass's Josef increasingly disturbing antics make for edge of the seat viewing with bouts of bizarre humour. The slow unravelling as to the true nature of Josef's character with a surprising finale leaves one breathless at the end.

The success of CREEP lies in its simplicity in every respect and gives the viewer a fresh and genuinely "scary" take on the found footage genre, something that it desperately needed. The atmosphere created is so tense it could be felt in the auditorium making this a truly gripping film so much so that it feels longer than its sparse 80 minute running time. It will certain make people think twice before answering an ad on Craigslist.

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