Horror options on Netflix this October are atrocious, but the vindication is so sweet. For years, and I mean YEARS, I’ve collected DVDs of all my favorite horror movies. These DVDs are like my security blanket. They come along every time I visit family just in case anyone’s up for The Shape or Evil Dead oh how ’bout some George Romero, please. These last few years the sisters have been particularly judgy towards my collection, treating it almost as badly as they treat my handy flip phone. They have several hundred channels each and at least three different streaming services. Yet who do they call before these fall weekends, asking you’re bring your movies, right? They call me: Old Lady Luddite is suddenly in demand.
To those of us who only subscribe to Netflix and get all of five TV channels, at least we have Creep. Also, were rabbit ears ever considered cutting edge? I’m just wondering. I don’t have rabbit ears on my 100-year-old TV. Those? Those are very high tech super slender robots who like to lean from atop my TV. Yeah.
I loved this movie even before it began. Mark Duplass is in it! He’s impossible not to like and on screen gives off a distinct we’ll-be-best-friends-forever-you-and-me-if-you-can-just-find-a-way-to-wiggle-into-my-life vibe. It’s his likability that makes the experience of watching him play a charismatic weirdo so disturbing.
Since there are so very few horrors on Netflix right now, you’ve probably already seen this. I like to think everyone has. I almost skipped this one because it’s found footage, but the style fits the premise. A freelance camera man gets a one day gig on Craigslist. He’s to film this guy for a day. This means no annoying shaky camera because the character’s a pro.
I’m not going to give you any spoilers. Watch the trailer and you’ll see Joseph/Mark Duplass has hired this camera guy to film him for a day because he has terminal brain cancer and wants to make a video diary for his unborn son. During their day together, Joseph advises his new friend to follow his feelings. The camera man is a good person who ignores a minefield of red flags throughout the day on account of Joseph’s sad situation. They go for a walk in the woods together and have some laughs with Peach Fuzz, the adorable little wolf mask below:
In the vein of Roman Polanksi’s Rosemary’s Baby, Creep turns a picturesque blue sky day into a nightmare we all see coming. The terror here is subtle. They get the one jump scare out of the way in the first few minutes, shown in the trailer, and then proceed to dig under your skin. The whole movie is eerie because its plausible. We don’t always see the camera man, but we hear the doubt in his voice, feel the discomfort in his hesitation. Because he’s holding the camera he’s our eyes. We’re put in his shoes and have to watch, like a doomed choose your own adventure with no choices to make because we’re too nice to hurt a creepy stranger’s feelings.
How can anyone not love this movie? Look at this long shot on the stairs where our camera guy succumbs to good manners over survival. Joseph stands back-lit, beckoning us up.
Remind you of anyone?
Oh, hey pal.
Michael Myers is like don’t you trouble yourself with these stairs. I’ll bring the party to you. You just stay right there. Don’t run. There’s no point running. I slow walk faster than you can possibly run.
Creep is a deceptively simple, super slow-burning, gore-free horror movie. And like some of the very best ever made, it’s low budget. There are only two people in most of the movie, but I didn’t notice this until it was over. The tension is massive yet naturalistic. I expected things to escalate, but had no idea from scene to scene what would happen next.
The end strikes as both a surprise and inevitable.
My sister didn’t like it, proof Creep is not for everyone. Creep is for me. Mine. It’s going in the collection.