“… manages to not only be as good as the first film, but even better.”
Last night I watched Creep 2 and it might be my new favourite film of the year. Before we get into it I want to ask, or rather beg, you to watch Creep 2 before you read an further. If you’ve seen the original movie and liked it, you’ll love Creep 2. If you have yet to see the original, go and watch it and then watch Creep 2. I’m not going to spoil Creep 2, but it’s one of those movies that is best to go into blind. Anyway, for those who didn’t listen to me let’s get into the review. Creep 2 picks up a little while after the first film leaves off, and Josef (now known as Aaron) has lost his motivation. As a last-ditch effort Aaron decides to hire Sara, the creator of online series ‘Encounters’ in which she meets with people who post personal ads on Craigslist, to help him create a documentary chronicling the greatest serial killer that the world doesn’t know about.
What I really loved about Creep 2 was the decision to take the story to a completely different place. The first film was pretty straight horror. It was a conventional found-footage film, and the plot revolved around you not knowing whether or not to trust Josef. The second movie takes this story to kind of a meta place. Instead of just retreading the same story that was used in the last movie, the same story we’ve seen a thousand times, Creep 2 decides to make the film about the plight of the artist. Both Aaron and Sara are people who are at the end of their ropes. They’ve lost all motivation in their respective forms of self-expression, and they need that one thing to kickstart their passion again. This was interesting to me not only because the plot itself is intriguing, but it also added a lot of comedy to the story. Aaron has lost all motivation for his murders, and that image (one of Aaron essentially going through the motions while taking someone else’s life) is not one that loses it’s hilarity. As a matter of fact, this movie might have the darkest humour that I’ve ever seen. The entire time I was watching it I kept thinking to myself: “I don’t know if I can show this movie to anyone else”. What is being shown on screen is so graphic and demented, but I couldn’t help but laugh. It might have been one of the funniest movies I have seen all year as well. But that’s not to say they got rid of the horror aspect altogether, because it was still very much present. Instead of manifesting itself as unease of one character like in the first film, this time it makes itself known by presenting two characters to the audience, each one so weird that you’re not sure who to root for. These two characters, Aaron and Sara, were like a match made in weird heaven. Every time Aaron tried to scare her off by doing some weird shit, she wasn’t only down with it but she would up the ante. This created a weird power struggle between the characters, and in that battle the audience always won.
As far as the movie itself goes, I cant really talk about direction because it is a found-footage film. One thing I can discuss are the performances, and they are great. Once again we get to see Mark Duplass give his all playing this deranged man whose real name we have yet to learn. Because of the power struggle between characters that I mentioned earlier, Duplass is able to go even weirder with his performance. And this time it’s not even just creepy weird, but there are a lot of scenes in which he is essentially parodying the temperament of the modern artist. I would like to say that Duplass’ performance gave us a more in-depth look at this fascinating character, but instead it just made everything all the more confusing. As far as Sara goes, I found that Desiree Akhavan did a great job. Much like in the first film, a lot of her performance was based on subtlety and in that regard she knocked it out of the park. I would say that a lot of the dialogue coming from Sara was a little flat, but it makes perfect sense when you take her character into account. Sara is like a journalist: she will do anything to get the story that she wants to get. She acts as an unbiased documenter, trying her best to not get too involved one way or the other. Like a photographer in a war zone, she tries her best to not fuck with anything. She will ask enough questions to move things along (and try to poke the bear more than a few times), but does so in a way that is so neutral because she just wants the truth. Honesty the relationship between these two far surpassed the relationship between Josef and Aaron in the first film, and it constantly had me engrossed by what I was seeing. Creep 2 clocks in at 80 minutes long, but that time flew (and I really mean flew) by. I could have easily watched another five hours of these two characters interacting with one another because everything about them is so fascinating.
Overall Creep 2 manages to not only be as good as the first film, but even better. The scenarios get more fucked up, but they also get a lot funnier leaving you feeling terrible for laughing. The performances are amazing, and the plot itself was a really interesting way to evolve the story that was introduced in the first film.
I give Creep 2 an A