CREEP **** USA 2014 Dir: Patrick Brice. 82 mins
A sparse two-hander, CREEP offers a slow-burn, uneasy take on the well-worn found footage theme, nicely acted by co-writer / director / star Patrick Brice and co-writer Mark Duplass, himself a director of note in the Mumblecore sector, notably BAGHEAD and CYRUS. Videographer Brice gets an offer of $1000 a day to venture to a cabin in the mountains and record the last months of the dying Josef (Duplass) who, inspired by the movie MY LIFE, wants to leave video documentation for his unborn son.
Duplass is a seemingly nice guy and a relentless practical joker, but the more time Brice spends with him, darker and stranger underlying elements are exposed, including the truth behind a 99 cents wolf mask he keeps at the cabin, and the unveiling of lies within his sad life story. Produced under the prolific “Blumhouse” brand, this is a low key but highly unsettling study of a desperately lonely man’s transition from eager-to-please outcast to relentless kleptomaniac and, ultimately, psychopath. It cleverly and effectively switches viewpoints at crucial junctures, building inexorably to a potent but inexplicit scene of violence captured in long shot via a static camera and bowing out one with a final, bone-chilling confirmation of a frighteningly damaged mind : “You were the one I loved the most…out of all of them…” A tiny-budgeted, modestly made gem.
Review by Steven West