He’s a weirdo.
Sara (Desiree Akhavan) is a vlogger who’s desperate for any sort of fame or fortune. Hell, she’d do anything for more than nine viewers, which is all that it seems like her videos get. Then, she stumbles upon an odd Craigslist ad and all of a sudden, inspiration hits Sara. All she has to do is drive out to see this person, film them for a whole day, and get a grand total of $1,000, and be on her merry-way. Seems simple and cool enough, but once she shows up, Sara realizes that she’s got a little bit more to deal with. For one, the subject, Aaron (Mark Duplass), is a bit of a wack-job. Secondly, he says that he’s a serial-killer who, in all of his 40 years of living, has killed 39 people. So why is he asking for Sara to tape him and tell his whole life story? Sara doesn’t quite know or get it yet, but she’s fascinated, by both Aaron, as well as the story, so she sticks around, shoots, and waits to see what happens. It’s a decision she may soon regret, or love.
The original Creep was nothing entirely special, but considering that it was a found-footage flick that didn’t feel like a retread of every other one that came before it, made it worth the watch. And yes, it was also funny, a little weird, tense, and scary, but most of all, it was a found-footage movie and with them, you can only do so much. Director/co-writer Patrick Brice and co-writer Mark Duplass tried their best to go truly above and beyond convention, but in reality, had to stick the landing in there somewhere.
It was a solid diversion, but a diversion nonetheless.
That said, I don’t know how many people were clamoring for another Creep and in the first five-minutes, it becomes abundantly clear why. Aaron shows up, like he did in the first one, terrorizes some dude, kills him, and cackles at the camera. And scene. It’s made for shock-value, but just feels grotesque and a little boring, as if the movie was trying to give us that uneasy feeling right off the bat. Instead, it just feels like a cheap attempt at shock-value and it comes off dumb and ill-conceived.
But thankfully, right after this cold open, Creep changes its tune and becomes, not just a lot smarter, but much more interesting than even the first one. Rather than sticking with this evil maniac Aaron, who spends mostly all of his time, finding people, stalking them, and killing them, we’re introduced to Sara, a character who we think is going to become easy prey to Aaron, like all of the others, but she’s different.
Much, much different.
It’s hard to really say why, though. What I can say is that Desiree Akhavan is pretty great in this role of Sara because, even though she’s supposed to be our protagonist, we’re never too sure if we can trust her. We get the sense that she’s just playing along with Aaron to get good-footage, but we also get the sense that there’s something darker and more menacing about her that not only makes us want to see more of her interactions with Aaron, but also get an idea of her backstory. It’s a shame that ever since her directorial debut a few years back (Appropriate Behavior), we haven’t seen a lot of Akhavan, but here, she proves why she deserves to be around a whole lot more.
Same goes for Duplass who, once again, gets to have some fun in the role of Aaron. However, my biggest issue with the movie is him and it makes me wonder whether or not this sequel was as well thought-out as it could have been. We do get some more digging-in deep into Aaron’s psyche, as well as his upbringing, but whenever it seems like we’re getting somewhere smart and dramatic, the movie switches gears and decides that it’s time for silly genre-thrills. In the first movie, this worked because it was, well, a found-footage movie and not much else – in this one, it feels like a cheap back-out, as Brice and Duplass didn’t want to get as serious as they could have.
Which isn’t a problem. Especially in a horror flick.
Consensus: Creep 2 works on a much more interesting level than the first did, however, also suffers from some of the same old genre-thrills we’ve seen before, time and time again.
6.5 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: The Orchard