I’m a fan of horror movies in general. However, some of my favorites are rare finds – those off the wall gems that perplex you, make you uncomfortable, and that you know may never be recreated in the same form again. I’ve recently gotten the chance to revisit two of my favorite off the wall horror movies, Creep (2014) and Creep 2 (2017), starring Mark Duplass, Patrick Kack-Brice, and Desiree Akhavan. The films both follow along the lines of the found footage genre, though they tend more towards a home movie vibe, and are completely void of any special effects, creatures, or supernatural events. You’ll laugh, you’ll raise your eyebrows, you’ll make that weird squinchy face that people make when someone is behaving oddly.
In the first film, videographer Aaron (Brice) responds to a Craigslist ad for a one-day project paying $1,000. Arriving at the designated, and very remote, address with no knowledge of who his employer may be, he encounters Josef (Duplass), who claims that the cabin has been in his family for years. Josef quickly explains to Aaron that he is a cancer survivor who has just discovered an inoperable tumor in his brain, and has been given a remaining life span of 2 to 3 months. Aaron’s job for the day is to follow Josef around and document a day-in-the-life for Josef’s unborn son.
Aaron – as well as the audience – can tell immediately that something isn’t right with Josef. He is quite an oddball character with a disturbing sense of humor and zero sense of personal boundaries. The first scene that Aaron films for Josef involves what he calls a “tubby” with his unborn son. Josef sits in the full tub, completely naked, and proceeds to pretend to lift his son into the tub, easing his tootsies into the water, making googoo noises, and pretending to smell stinky feet. He then lays back and pretends to gently rub his invisible son’s head.
After the tubby, Aaron and Josef decide to take a walk in the woods to a pond that supposedly contains healing waters. When searching the closet for a coat, Aaron discovers a very menacing wolf mask, which Josef introduces as Peach Fuzz. (Spoiler alert – Peach Fuzz has a very amusing song and dance.) Following their hike, during which Josef sprints off randomly in different directions, and lunch at a diner that Josef claims to have visited several times with his family, the two return to the cabin. It’s now nighttime, and Aaron decides that he’s spent quite enough time with this weirdo. He attempts to gracefully suggest that he leave, as it is a long drive home. However, Josef convinces him to come in for one drink. Following a disturbing on-camera confession by Josef, Aaron attempts again to leave the house, only to find that his car keys are missing. Aaron, convinced that Josef has taken them, drugs him with an unknown substance, and waits for him to sleep so that he can search the house for his keys.
Whilst Josef saws away by the fire place, Aaron begins the search. He receives a phone call from Angela, Josef’s supposed wife, during which he discovers that Angela is actually Josef’s sister, and that Josef has “problems”. She advises Aaron to leave the house immediately, even if he has to walk. Josef awakens to continue his shenanigans, and the two end up in a scuffle for the door…all while Josef wears his Peach Fuzz mask.
We find in the next scene that Aaron has returned home safely, and that he is now being stalked by Josef, who somehow knows his home address. Josef sends him gifts, including a stuffed baby wolf and a heart shaped locket containing photos of the two of them. Upon receiving a plea to meet in person so that Josef can apologize for his strange behavior, Aaron arrives at the requested meeting place, where Josef, donning his Peach Fuzz mask, promptly lands an axe into the top of Aaron’s skull.
The conclusion of the movie shows us that this is not the first time that Josef has committed these acts. He has an armoire, in fact, filled with home videos of previous videographers, and files Aaron’s video in with the rest – as he speaks on the phone with his potential next victim.
Stay tuned for an exciting review of Creep 2!
Production Budget: N/A
Domestic Total Gross: N/A
Foreign Total Gross: N/A
Total Box Office Gross: N/A
Starring: Mark Duplass, Patrick Kack-Brice, and Desiree Akhavan
Directed by: Patrick Kack-Brice
Written by: Mark Duplass, Patrick Kack-Brice
Distributor: The Orchard
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Runtime: 1 hrs. 16 min.
MPAA Rating: R