In the second movie, Josef has now renamed himself Aaron, and is again in search of videographers via Craigslist. Sara (Desiree Akhavan), an aspiring film maker with a failing web series, responds to the ad. Aaron (Josef), however, has changed his tactics this time. He explains to Sara that he is in fact a serial killer with 39 bodies under his belt, and that for his 40th video, he’d like to film it with honesty. He tells her the truth in every story that he weaves – with the exception of his name, of course – and the two end up building quite a bond throughout the day. She believes nothing of his serial killer stories, and sticks with him throughout the making of the video, convinced that he is nothing more than an eccentric and compulsive liar. In the interest of keeping this article shorter than Stephen King’s The Stand, I will only say about the ending of Creep 2 that neither Sara nor Aaron (Josef) meet an untimely end. However, the story of Josef is most certainly not over.
The first thing that struck me about these films is how good Mark Duplass is at acting like the guy you never want to meet on the subway…or in the airport…or anywhere, for that matter. He just makes you feel like backing away slowly and pretending to make a cell phone call to your imaginary boyfriend who lifts weights and happens to be right around the corner. You’re not entirely sure that he’s going to do something weird, but there’s a serious potential for this guy to go apeshit in a heartbeat. At the same time, he’s so interesting! It’s like they say about train wrecks – they’re so terrible but you just can’t look away, and I could not look away from Mark Duplass’ character. Another aspect that makes these movies so good is that they are so plausible. The FBI estimates that at any given time, there are between 25-50 serial killers in operation throughout the United States. If each is responsible for 3 murders per year, that’s a top potential of 150 murders every year committed by an active and as yet undiscovered serial killer. How many Craigslist ads have you viewed recently? How many times have you reached out to a stranger about an item on Facebook market place? You never know who is at the other end of those posts.
As far as the filming and artistic value goes, I did a bit of research on the origins of this series, and was not disappointed. The movies were actually the brain child of Mark Duplass and Patrick Kack-Brice. The idea arose from several conversations between the two regarding the characters and the plot line, and the first film was both directed and improvised by the two of them, using feedback from their friends as guidance along the way. Though the second movie was likely at least loosely scripted, they didn’t lose any of the natural and impromptu essence that was so captivating in the first. And they’ve managed to keep it relatively in house! Patrick Kack-Brice was the director of the second film, as well. It always excites me when simple musings between colleagues and friends can turn into such a phenomenon. Much like Amityville. (Oooohhh, buuuuurn!)
My last bit of exciting news? There is a Creep 3 currently in production, so stay tuned! I encourage everyone to give these movies a chance, even if they seem hokey at first blush. If you love them as much as I do, drop a comment and let me know! If you absolutely hated them, you can drop a comment about that, too. To each his own. Either way, if you’re planning on responding to an online ad, walk softly and carry a big stick.
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 Karan Soni
Directed by: Patrick Kack-Brice
Written by: Mark Duplass, Patrick Kack-Brice
Distributor: The Orchard
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Runtime: 1 hrs. 18 min.
MPAA Rating: R