Omar: 3.9 out of 5 stars

MILD SPOILER WARNING 

Hello fans, friends, groupies, and those few of you unlucky enough to not fall into any of these categories. First movie on our film review journey that promises to be an epic thrill ride is Patrick Kack-Brice’s CREEP, starring Mark Duplass and Patrick Kack-Brice. First and foremost I have to say what attracted me to this movie was the 93% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. My feeling with books and movies is that there are far too many high-quality ones out there for me to waste my precious free time on the terrible ones. This doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally make time for the newest Sharknado offering or sometimes even an Adam Sandler movie, but it DOES mean that when I see a new movie get added to Netflix with such a good RT score I jump on it.

But lets get started with the review…

Peachfuzz is friendly, I promise

This found-footage film starts out with Aaron (Patrick Brice) driving to a remote city in the mountains in response to an obscure craigslist ad that promises $1,000 for one days work. Now that’s a pretty sweet stack of cash for someone in desperate need of some benjis so I understand Aaron’s initial motivation. Once he arrives at the listed address he meets Josef, the likable (if a bit lonely and eccentric) employer. Without giving anything too revealing away, this is where things start to get weird with an odd “tubby time” scene, awkward fetish stories, a creepy wolf mask, and much more.

The storyline here is nothing earth shattering and it predictably includes many of the same found-footage scares that you see in other movies of the genre (jump scares, camera tricks, etc) but it’s never boring. In fact I might even say the story is refreshing due mainly to the zaniness of the script and the absurdness of Josef’s character. When I say absurd I don’t just mean weird either, I mean absurd as in senseless and chaotic in a way that just makes you laugh at times.

While Josef is dynamic and unpredictable, Aaron is a bit stale and frustrating. For the first half of the movie I can sympathize with most decisions Aaron makes and can see myself making similar decisions if I were in his shoes. I have to agree with my partner Liz’s analysis though that later in the film Aaron makes stupid decision after stupid decision. I was going to write a few of them down to show an example but decided against it because there are just too many. I mean I know the dude was thirsty for some cash but damn sometimes it just isn’t worth it.

The camerawork and art direction are pretty standard found-footage stuff, won’t be winning any technical awards anytime soon. One thing that did standout to me for some odd reason was the Peachfuzz mask. Josef’s wolf mask, Peachfuzz, creeped me out and I don’t quite know why. It might have been the disturbing backstory or the menacing teeth. Whatever it was about the mask, mission accomplished.

This is a story that on paper doesn’t sound too incredible and that’s because it’s not but this is one of those cases where the script and characters elevate a movie beyond its premise. What this movie does well it does very well and in the end I think that’s what makes it memorable. I could sit here and nitpick about the fact that the cinematography was standard, the story was nothing crazy, and that Aaron was idiotic but that isn’t fair to the movie. There are plenty of horror films out there that blow this one out of the water technically and in scale but they’re often boring and forgettable. What I find most terrifying are not ghosts, demons, aliens, or monsters. What is most terrifying to me is that life is absurd and that there are some people out there who are so in tune with this absurdity that they commit atrocities of the most grotesque nature without blinking an eye. And maybe in the end Aaron wasn’t an idiot. Maybe in the end Aaron is just proof that some of us are conniving wolves and some of us are sheep prancing to the slaughter.

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