Thursday, November 12

Some quick thoughts on Creep (2004)

After seeing this was a 2004 "Demon in the Rough" and given a 9/10 rating over at FearFinder, I figured I'd finally give Creep a watch hearing so-so reaction for years. I'm sorry to say I'm going to have to fall in with the crowd that wasn't bowled over by these creeps in the London Underground.

Basically, Creep is a slept-through-her-last-train-chance Franka Potente versus Castle Freak that shrieks and looks like the nocturnal vamps in The Descent in the subterranean catacombs of the London subway system. Without spoiling the plot; the film rests on a blanket of easy coincidence. Every twist doesn't come as much of a surprise and even the chair jumpers are of the obvious "it'll be behind her/him" variety. Events snap in place so sourly for Potente's rather bleeding heart character you expect her at some point to blurt out "it's been a rare night..." when reflecting on her amazingly bad horror flick luck. Writer/Director Christopher Smith crafts a razor slick thriller that has an infatuation with splashy grand guignol horror but has a very tough time filling itself with any genuinely unique qualities. You know there's a problem when the most cringe-inducing moment is Potente ripping off a bloody hangnail while taking a bath in murky shit water.

What's also frustrating is how the freak beast villain is meekly made out to really be just a pitiful soul who the heroine and audience should feel empathy towards. The problem is we don't spend much time with this "human being" besides witnessing him brutally attacking and slaughtering innocent victims. There's some allusions to his torturous past but it's simply no excuse for his monstrous actions. At a certain point, this sub-human taunts using the final pleas of one of his victims knowing the emotional effect it would have. This high level of thought only made me dislike him more; he isn't just some inbred creature working on id impulse alone. Potente's character operates under a cracked ideology for not beating this wanton murderer's face in during the multiple opportunities to do so even after seeing him do his grisly work firsthand. Where's the balls exhibited by Lola, Franka? Though the disgusting open sore-riddled genetic abomination is fashioned by great make-up work and has a gory dispatch reminiscent of the lingering kills in Italian horror of yesteryear.

Ultimately, there's far more tension and terror in the short London Underground chase sequence in Landis's classic An American Werewolf in London than in all of Creep that's essentially another Diet Coke of a horror movie. As a sidenote, the edition I watched was Pathe's British DVD which sports a fantastic transfer and is framed in the film's intended 2.35:1 widescreen ratio. Liongate's U.S. disc is misframed at 1.78:1.


FearFinder said...

Sorry you didn't like it! It's a film I definitely need to revisit (it's been awhile), and will have to see if I can re-justify the high rating.

Jayson Kennedy said...

No need to apologize. :-)

This one was on my radar for a long time so it was inevitable. Shame I didn't care for it.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this movie - it wasn't outstanding, but it wasn't a huge disappointment. I liked the humanity of the baddie - I suspect it makes some people uncomfortable because we like our good and bad split neatly in two (I still like id-driven monsters too though). Make-up was great, and that bit where they turn the light on suddenly scared the living shit out of me. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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