It’s a slow-burn thriller starring the incredibly in-demand indie filmmaker/sitcom star Mark Duplass playing completely against type, and boy is it unsettling and, well, really creepy.
“Creep” really makes the most of its bare-bones premise.
The film opens with Aaron (Patrick Brice) addressing the camera, stating that he has answered a Craigslist ad for a freelance video job and will be filming at this guy’s house in the middle of the nowhere. The very instant Josef (Duplass) introduces himself, it’s clear he’s not quite right. Josef claims he is terminally ill and that he hired Aaron to follow him and film a a sort of ‘day-in-the-life’ video for his unborn son.
Aaron sympathizes with Josef’s sob story and agrees to go through with the unorthodox job. As the two spend more time together, Aaron begins to question Josef’s motive. If this is all for his unborn son, where’s his pregnant wife?
It’s a complete two-hander — the only characters on-screen the entire time are Duplass and Brice, both of whom had a part in writing the film (which feels pretty healthily improvised). “Creep” marks Brice’s directorial debut, and having seen his follow-up “The Overnight” which is a hilarious comedy, it’s clear he’s here to stay. The man has already crafted two incredibly effective films in wildly different genres.
Just when you think you know where “Creep” is going, it makes a sharp turn and still manages to shock and surprise. While a lot of the beats of the story are easy to predict (it’s pretty obvious Josef is psycho from the get-go, but Aaron doesn’t figure it out for a while), the manner in which they reveal themselves is always fun to watch.
“Creep” really thrives on Duplass’ excellent performance, and it knows it. There are no frills here at all — the film is literally just a man with a camera talking to another man. The super lo-fi feel works in context and never feels cheap or gimmicky like so many found footage movies do when they try to over explain the camera’s presence.
If you’re a horror aficionado or just a casual fan of Duplass who wants to see him have some fun, “Creep” will get the job done.
“Creep” will be available to rent/purchase via iTunes on June 23rd and will be streaming on Netflix July 14th.
Watch the trailer below.
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