Ever since The Blair Witch Project popularized the format, a lot of filmmakers made found footage movies. For every great example, like the REC series, there have been many bad ones. Although many creators have tried to put their twist on it, they’re not always successful. The 2015 movie Creep, however, is one of those rare exceptions.
The Plot Summary for the 2015 Movie Creep: I’m a Weirdo
The premise of Creep is simple. A videographer named Aaron (Patrick Brice) sees an online job ad that looks pretty easy. Someone wants to hire a cameraman to film their daily routine. Whoever it is, they’re offering $1000 for a day’s work. If that seems too good to be true, then your instincts are working just fine.
Aaron’s instincts might be okay, but his bank account isn’t. In need of money, he contacts the man who placed the ad and they arrange to meet at the man’s house. Once Aaron arrives, he meets Josef (Mark Duplass). Josef explains that he wants to make a record of his life. Sadly, he’s terminally ill, and he’s also an expectant father. He wants to leave a kind of video diary behind for his son, a la the 1993 Michael Keaton movie My Life.
The idea of this kind of project charms Aaron, despite his misgivings about the situation. And at first, Josef seems like a well-meaning, if socially awkward weirdo. As the day goes on, though, Josef’s behavior starts to seem less bumbling and harmless, and more sinister. It seems as if he hasn’t been honest with Aaron about what’s going on. He even might not be honest about who he really is. So the tension rises as you’re not sure what either of them will do next.
In Production: The Making of Creep
Most people probably know Mark Duplass from his comedy roles, like Pete (or “Tall Guy,” as Rafi called him) on the FX series The League. Along with his brother Jay, he’s also a pioneer of the mumblecore film movement.
Duplass cowrote Creep with Patrick Brice, who also directed the movie. Creep was Brice’s directorial debut, but he’s directed several other movies since then, including Creep‘s 2017 sequel, Creep 2. He met Duplass through coincidence; his girlfriend was Duplass’s nanny.
Duplass and Brice wanted to make a two-hander movie that was more about characters than plot. Duplass also had a number of strange Craigslist experiences that influenced the story, as he explained to the Austin Chronicle. He also wanted the story, or at least the title, to be a little ambiguous. It would seem apparent, for instance, that Josef is the creep. But why then does Aaron do the things he does?
And the Critics Loved It
There was a a consensus with critical reactions. Creep earned overwhelming positive reviews. It currently holds an 89% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, for example. Critics who liked it thought it blended its dramatic aspirations well with the found footage horror aspect. They found the final sequence chilling.
However, the movie didn’t please everyone. Some horror movie purists, for instance, thought it was too slow and deliberate to be effective. Others thought Josef too obvious from the start; they thought it would be scarier if the audience had a chance to be drawn in like Aaron is. Nevertheless, even detractors praised the performances.
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featured image via Blumhouse Productions and Duplass Brothers Productions
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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.