“Creep” has all of the elements necessary in order to create a great horror movie. Helpless woman all alone late at night inside of a London subway station who falls asleep and wakes up to discover that there is no one else in sight. She then boards a train which stops all of a sudden and then all of the lights go off. That is enough of a premise to kick even the toughest person’s sympathetic nervous system into overdrive. So why is “Creep” not scary?
The film has one of the most incredible openings that I have seen in any horror film in recent years beginning with the obligatory set-up scene with two sewage workers in a long dark cesspool inside of the city’s underground. My heart rate begins to rise and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the rest of the film.
Kate (Franka Potente) is at an upper crust party with a room full of highfalutin party goers. She boasts that she will be attending a VIP party where George Clooney will be in attendance and also of her plans to get him into bed. Only problem is that her friend leaves the party without her and unable to get a cab, Kate’s last resort is the subway.
With a group of unsavory characters occupying the subway late at night, Kate is at least in midst of a small group of people. Until, she drifts off to sleep and awakens to find the whole subway deserted. Upon boarding the late train, Kate realises that she is far from alone.
Writer/director Christopher Smith has taken an eerie and spooky concept and used this to set-up a great opening to a potentially disturbing horror fest. His only problem is that his initial pull is not in the same direction as where his film ends up heading. The idea was simple, playing on a very generic human fear and if he had of kept that going it would have been way more effective than throwing in too much plot complication into a story that should have relied on unmitigated panic rather than thought.
The film shifts pace drastically and it soon feels as if you are not even watching the same movie. I can liken this film to putting my money on a horse that is a strong early frontrunner that loses his pace as the race goes on, eventually staggering to the finish line. By this I mean that “Creep” put too much on the table too early which resulted in the film having to clutch at straws for the entire second half.
“Creep” is disturbing to a point and is a great attempt at injecting some new blood into the horror genre, however too much stock was put into the scary concept and not enough was put into actually seeing if it could be sustained for an 85 minute running time. The gore quotient is great and is a real throwback to old school horror films.