I watched “Creep” for the first time in my best friend’s living room during my first Christmas break home from school. It was a movie she often alluded to, but I hadn’t seen it. That day, she had decided that I was watching the movie, whether I liked it or not.
At first, I didn’t understand what I was watching or why she seemed to be so enthralled. She was a film studies minor at the College (now global media and digital studies) and the first few shots from “Creep” don’t lead you to believe it will be a particularly well-done movie.
As I sat on the floor of her living room watching “Creep” on her computer, I remember wondering why I was watching it. As I sat through the first thirty minutes, I couldn’t figure out whether it was a horror movie at all. By the end, I was hooked.
Now, I am a true believer in the beauty of “Creep.” A psychological horror, “Creep” is a found-footage film written by Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, who play the only two characters, Aaron and Josef.
Described as a mix of terror and comedy, “Creep” is just as campy as every other found-footage film before it. So many scenes are so objectively absurd that taking the movie seriously can be difficult.
Still, the beauty of “Creep” is its ability to slowly build suspense. While you’re laughing at the bizarre circumstances of the movie, you feel uneasy and suspicious. You know something bad is going to happen, and you know that there is something seriously wrong going on beneath the layers of innocuous everyday activities and (mostly) light-hearted conversations between the two characters. The problem is you can’t figure out what you think will happen.
Something isn’t right and you know it. You find yourself asking, “How long would I let this go on if it were me? What’s my breaking point?”
“Creep” follows an amateur videographer, Aaron, hired off Craigslist by Josef. Agreeing to the film project, Aaron and Josef embark on the day together, but as the day winds down, it becomes clear that Josef may not be who he has portrayed himself to be.
Duplass describes it as a study of, “How you meet people and you don’t quite understand what’s up but you start to get signs.” “Creep” is about a creep. It’s someone who doesn’t quite understand the unspoken rules of social interactions and pushes people to the point of discomfort. It explores the psychological profile of a very strange, unsettling person and invites you to witness a strange and uncomfortable chain of events that you can’t quite follow.
If you’re like me, you’ll start off asking, “What is this?” and end the movie with a soft, “Oh my God.”
So, if you’re looking to start your Halloween season with a good horror film, stream “Creep” on Netflix. It’s something you can watch alone or with a group of your closest friends, reveling in the absolutely bizarre and psychologically thrilling.
We’ve all met a creep in real life. We’ve all known someone who rattles us and who makes us feel uncomfortable and uneasy. “Creep” is the conclusion to our unsettling interactions.
What if that had been you?
TW: movie contains mentions of sexual assault and violence.