Sunday, October 07, 2018

31 Days of Halloween 2018: More Reasons To Stay Off Of Craigslist In 'Creep 2'

[Once again I'm going to attempt to do a horror(ish) movie review a day for the entire month of October. I've done this the last few years on The Cleveland Movie Blog. Most of the time I succeeded (usually with the help of a few other writers). Other times I didn't. We'll see if I can pull it off this year.]  

Mark Duplass returns as a killer who likes to toy with people who are too kind and/or na├»ve to realize he’s bad news, despite all the obvious signals he gives off.  The character Duplass plays now goes by the name Aaron, which was the poor sap he killed in 2015’s CREEP. “Aaron” is starting to get bored with his usual modus operandi, though.

The other main character in CREEP 2 is Sara (Desiree Akhavan), a videographer who also has a youtube channel in which she documents the various unusual people she meets on Craigslist. Unfortunately Sara isn’t having much luck finding an audience for her show, and is about to throw in the towel when Aaron contacts her. As in the first CREEP, he offers Sara $1000 to record him for a day. But this time, he has a different end game in mind.

As in the first film, Aaron’s behavior should be enough to send anyone packing as quickly as they can. But Sara’s own interest in the odd and eccentric, and her belief that this could be the segment that finally gets her youtube channel some views, compels her to keep on filming despite the obvious danger she’s in. And to be honest, Sara is a little off herself. As was the case with Aaron's victim in the original CREEP, you could arguably apply the title to Sara as well. 

But who are we kidding, Aaron is way creepier.

This is a dialogue heavy character study filmed in the “found footage” style. The characters play psychological mind games with each other and nary a drop of blood gets spilled. That’s obviously not going to be every horror fan’s cup of tea. 

For those open to something a little more low key, however, CREEP 2 offers a believable premise with some genuinely disturbing moments. And if you liked the first CREEP, this might even be better than the original. As simple and minimalistic as the premise is, Duplass and Brice found a way to put a fresh spin on it, and the ending is not what you'd expect from your average horror sequel that just tries to rehash the original.

Director/co-writer Patrick Brice and his star/co-writer Mark Duplass know exactly what they can and can’t do with the limited resources at their command, and never allow their reach to exceed their grasp. Rather than being an obstacle, they turn their low budget into an asset. In theory, just about anyone with a cell phone camera and a couple of friends willing to appear on camera could make a movie like this. It’s kind of inspiring.

No comments: