Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Run, Run, Run: "Creep" owned by Mark Duplass' scary, eye-twinkling turn

Creep (2015)
82 min., rated R.

The bloom is not yet off the rose with producer Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity," "Insidious," "The Purge" and "Sinister"), as he's usually spot-on in trusting the right directors' micro-budgeted projects for his Blumhouse Productions. Yet another found-footage horror item, "Creep" finds a secret weapon in mumblecore auteur Mark Duplass (also known to give little indie movies a push from behind the camera as a producer when he's not directing or acting in them himself). For Patrick Brice's first film (his second, the slight but very amusing and surprising "The Overnight," just saw a release prior to this), the filmmaker takes a foray into the tired template, but with limited resources and an effective creep factor from the casting of Duplass, the result is a solid character study of a scarily ingratiating psychopath.

In March 2012, freelance videographer Aaron (Patrick Brice) answers a Craigslist ad for a filming-services gig that promises $1,000 for the day and appreciates discretion. His road trip leads him to a lakeside cabin in Crestline, California, and a huggy man named Josef (Mark Duplass) who has hired Aaron to make a video diary for he and his pregnant wife's unborn son. He's a cancer survivor, but two months ago, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Josef openly admits that he now has two to three months to live. Inspired by the 1993 Michael Keaton film "My Life," Josef wants Aaron to keep the camera rolling at his family vacation home to document him for the man he was. Eventually, Aaron begins to question why he is really there. After he realizes Josef isn't telling him everything, he tries to bail but Josef invites him in for one celebratory drink before sending him on his way. Might Josef just be an oddball loner or is he, indeed, a creep? To read the rest of the review, go to Diabolique Magazine.

Grade: B - 

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