The Pitch: Mark Duplass returns with a surprisingly solid sequel to his 2014 independent horror hit.
What I Like: I know I don't usually cover films. Generally, the ones recently worth talking about are either already covered in depth elsewhere (Blade Runner 2049) or too far disconnected from our metal mission statement (The Shape Of Water). But given that horror has a similar penchant for blood and brutalty, and the fact that very few people are talking about this one, I couldn't resist the opportunity to share a hidden gem.
If you haven't already seen Creep, I highly recommend it. It's definitely a slow burn, but it is expertly crafted and turns the tired found footage experience into something fresh and interesting. Without spoiling anything, Duplass has said in interview that the concept came to him when he followed an ad to help construct a bed for a stranger. The experience was awkward and unsettling; and he couldn't stop wondering, "What if this guy just murdered me?"
Creep 2 starts off much in the same vein. Duplass' sociopathic Josef/Aaron is at his usual games: posting craigslist ads requesting someone film him for the day. Those who apply must not "scare easily." The new element this time around is that the person answering his ad has her own subversive voyeuristic tendencies. Sara (Desiree Akhavan) is a Youtuber trying to get her channel, "Encounters," off the ground. The concept is that she answers unusual craigslist ads and films her experience. You can guess where things go from here...
Except not exactly. What I loved most about this film is that it constantly kept me guessing. Just when I thought I had the rest of the duration plotted out, my expectations were scattered to the wind. That's especially impressive for a breezy 70 minutes. I feel like these days I can telegraph most 2+ hour films. So because I don't want to spoil the journey, I'm not going to give you any more information about this film. There's no Shyamalan-esque twists...just subtle turns that keep the tension looming. And that's the second thing Creep 2 does so well. There are scenes in this movie that truly had me on the edge of my seat thanks to strong writing, steady pacing, and both performances from Mark and Desiree.
Critiques: While I applaud the ending for defying any of my predictions, it didn't quite live up to the level of the rest of the movie in my opinion. It worked well enough, but I had higher expectations.
The Verdict: Creep 2 isn't quite Get Out in terms of delivering something truly unique, but it is still a breath of fresh air that far surpassed my low expectations. Creep didn't really need or ask for a sequel, but the one we got is arguably even stronger than the original. At the very least, it pushes the narrative forward into new territory while pulling in the best elements of the original. Don't listen to the critics: watch this movie. It's currently streaming on Netflix.
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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