Even though the Silent Hill movie won’t be hitting theatres for some
time now, fans of creepy, surrealist and occasionally gruesome horror can
snag the next best thing in the UK’s offering, “Creep.”
First off, you’ve got to love that title. It’s truth in advertising.
Personified. Yes, yes, it’s called “Creep” largely because of the
villain’s name, but truth be told this is some fantastically creepy stuff.
I mean REALLY creepy. And if you don’t believe me, just check out the
menu. Those different security camera angles, each revealing a new and
progressively scarier detail, are an excellent stroke.
But even these hair-raising menu options (no, it’s not hyperbole. Hit
the special features button and see for yourself!) are no match for the
first eight minutes. The first eight minutes are going to be home to a
lot of edgy moments, and it has the effect of putting you on edge.
Now, the plot doesn’t sound like it should be very creepy. Basically,
a model agency booker named Kate is going to try and get across town to
meet George Clooney. I think we can all be pretty confident that she’s
in London. Anyway, she can’t get a cab to meet George, so she turns to
the subway to get her across town, and after downing one of those
little bottles of what I’m guessing is vodka (though from the way the girl
was drinking at the party she’d just left it could be paint thinner for
all I know) she “dozes off” (read: passes out for those not inclined to
be charitable) And by the time she wakes up, the station is empty, and
everyone around her is gone.
Okay, Silent Hill moment, right? Right.
And then the next train comes in. And then…all hell breaks loose.
Seriously. We’ve gone from creepy to bloodstained in the space of
around, oh, five minutes or so. And that’s the thing that got me about
“Creep.” This isn’t one of those movies that takes a while to get fired
up. This isn’t one of those movies that pulls a Monev the Gale with a
wild opening ten minutes and then can’t keep up with the rest of the
film. This starts big, runs big through the middle, and then finally ends
on a pretty big note. It does not lag. There are no slack moments.
Sure, there’s some quiet time for plot development–everybody worth
talking about’s got that–but even that quiet time is well used to develop
And even better, some of the scariest parts of “Creep” take place in a
brightly lit environment. Now how’s that for originality? Everybody
since the dawn of horror’s been counting on the moving darkness to yield
scares–“Creep” stages most of its shock value in a white tiled subway
station with overhanging flourescent light. Now THAT is bright!
Perhaps the biggest reason for applause for “Creep,” the gore
factor–which you’d rightly expect to be ramped through the roof–is actually
toned down. Splatter is a minimum here, and used rather sparingly,
especially when compared to some bucket-based filmmaking we can all name.
Ladies, a special note–always wear pumps. The biggest heel you can
get. Aside from the fact that most of us guys truly enjoy the sight, as
Kate demonstrates at the fifty seven minute six second mark, if you’re
ever trapped in a sewer system by a homicidal flesh eating ghoul, those
six inch stilettos to an eye just might save your life.
Think about it.
The ending features a plot element seemingly tacked on at the last
second to give our main baddie a little note of humanity (which I actually
found rather forced and a bit confusing, it’s kind of like “Dr.
Giggles”, but only a bit), some fantastic cat-and-mouse work, and even a
surprise comic twist at the end.
Yeah, that’s the twist! The ending’s funny!
The special features include audio and video options, several making-of
featurettes including a Q&A session at Fright Fest 2004, director’s
commentary, an alternate ending, an alternate BEGINNING, and trailers for
“Saw II” and “Bloodline.”
All in all, “Creep” is an excellent example of some creepy, surrealist
horror with just enough gore to keep the plot spicy. A freaky opening,
a solidly done middle and an ending with a laugh is just the
combination “Creep” needs to put it to the top of a rental list.