Creep (2014 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Patrick Brice|
|Edited by||Christopher Donlon|
|Distributed by||The Orchard|
Creep is a 2014 American independent found footage horror film directed by Patrick Brice, based on a story written by Brice and Mark Duplass, and is Brice's directorial debut, as well. Creep premiered on March 8, 2014, at South by Southwest, and was released on video on demand on June 23, 2015, by The Orchard prior to an international release via Netflix on July 14, 2015.
The film follows Aaron (portrayed by Brice), a videographer who answers an ad, created by Josef (portrayed by Duplass). As they get closer together, he discovers that his client is not who he was expecting.
Aaron (Patrick Brice) is a videographer who decides to go and work for Josef (Mark Duplass) after answering his ad. All Aaron has to do is record Josef throughout the day. After making him wait for quite a while, upon arrival, Josef insists on hugging Aaron, and insinuates there will be "more of that to come." Josef tells Aaron that he beat cancer two years earlier but now has a large brain tumor. His wife, Angela, is pregnant, and Aaron will be recording a series of videos for Josef's unborn son, as he is dying and will never be able to see him grow up. Josef tells Aaron that he and his wife are calling the baby "Buddy."
Later, Josef asks Aaron to go hiking with him. While getting a jacket, Aaron is startled by a wolf mask in the closet; Josef tells him that his father used to wear the mask, pretending to be a friendly wolf named Peachfuzz. While hiking, Josef claims to know of a secret place with "healing waters" and leads Aaron to a hidden waterfall. He writes "J+A" on a large stone with a rock, drawing a heart around the initials. Throughout their time together, Josef repeatedly scares Aaron, excusing his behavior by claiming he has a "weird sense of humor."
At a restaurant after their hiking trip, Josef admits to Aaron that he took photos of him before they had met, as he wanted to get to know Aaron before meeting him; he apologizes profusely. He also says that Aaron has an "animal in [him]," as he looked ready to kill Josef when Josef scared him. As Aaron gets ready to leave that night, Josef asks him to stay for a drink and to turn off the camera; Aaron shuts off the video but leaves the sound on. Josef tells him he lied about Peachfuzz, and he wore the wolf mask in order to "rape" his wife to confirm his suspicions about her animal pornography habit. An unsettled Aaron drugs Josef's whiskey with Benadryl, lays him to sleep and takes his phone, which starts ringing. It is Josef's "wife," who tells Aaron that she is really just his sister, that her brother has problems and he needs to get out of the house. Aaron finds Josef gone; Josef scares him again and tells him that he doesn't want to die. Aaron attempts to leave, but Josef blocks him. Aaron charges at him, and the camera shuts off.
When the video resumes, Aaron reveals that he escaped and made it home, but soon received a DVD in the mail from Josef of him burying large trash bags in the yard; Aaron thinks it is meant as a threat. He has also been having terrible nightmares about Josef and him. Josef sends him a large box with a knife and a stuffed wolf in it, as well as another DVD with a video of Josef apologizing and saying that he really cares about Aaron. Josef now repeatedly calls Aaron "Buddy" in the videos. Aaron rips open the stuffed wolf, finding a locket with Josef's and Aaron's pictures in it, which he throws away.
After getting no help from the police, Aaron hears a trash can fall one night, and as he investigates his home, Josef appears at the front door. Days later, Josef takes the camera and films Aaron sleeping. Aaron finds another DVD labeled "My Last Video" in his house. Josef, in the video, apologizes again, revealing that he found the locket in Aaron's trash, which hurt him greatly. He claims this led to the realization that he needs help, as he is sad and needs a friend. He asks Aaron to come to the public lake by his house to talk so they could finally have "closure." His pleas move Aaron enough to compel him to go to the lake. Josef approaches him from behind, puts on the Peachfuzz mask, and swings an axe into Aaron's skull, killing him.
As a goodbye to Aaron, Josef films himself watching the murder tape, which he has already done several times before. He expresses admiration and even puzzlement at Aaron's naivety and kindness, and claims he loves him and considers him to be his favorite "of them all." He puts a DVD labeled "Aaron <3" in a cabinet full of videos and DVDs with different people's names on them, as he identifies himself as Bill over the phone while speaking to yet another person about hiring them for the same job for which he hired Aaron.
Duplass said that the film's story "was inspired by character-driven dramas that are, at their heart, two-handers: My Dinner with Andre, Misery, and Fatal Attraction" as well as "[his] myriad of strange Craigslist experiences over the years." Brice and Duplass originally began working on Creep under the working title Peachfuzz, but chose to rename the film as the title's relevance came later in the movie's plot and they did not want viewers to "spend the first half hour trying to figure out why the movie is called Peachfuzz and [not] pay attention to the very intricate details". The two built the movie from a series of conversations they had with one another and decided to refine Creep while they were filming, which enabled them to film and screen portions of the film to see what would or wouldn't work on camera. As a result, the film had multiple alternate end scenarios and Duplass stated that there were "10 to 12 permutations of each scene".
Of the creative process for his character, Josef, Duplass explained "We were interested in the psychological profile of this very, very strange person. We were very interested in how you meet people and don’t quite understand what’s up, but you start to get signs. For us that was intense eye contact, lack of personal space, oversharing, maybe a little bit too much love here and there. But, for me, there’s something wrong with both of these guys. Deeply. This concept of, 'who is the creep in this scenario?'"
Creep received a world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 8, 2014 and film rights were purchased by RADiUS-TWC shortly thereafter. Plans for an October 2014, video on demand release fell through, when RADiUS didn't release the film. In June 2015, The Orchard and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Orchard's parent company) acquired distribution rights to the film. The film was released on June 23, 2015, on video on demand, prior to a global release on Netflix on July 14, 2015.
Creep received positive reviews. The film has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 24 reviews and with an average rating of 7.2/10, the critical consensus stating, "A smart, oddball take on found-footage horror, Creep is clever and well-acted enough to keep viewers on the edges of their seats". On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 74 out of 100, based on 6 reviews. The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire both gave the film positive reviews, and Indiewire noted that although the film had its flaws, they mostly worked in Creep's favor. Variety remarked that Creep "could have been more effective if Duplass’ performance were a shade more ambiguous, and the audience had a chance to at least fleetingly believe Josef might be telling the truth" but that "Despite the blatancy of his character’s ulterior motives, Duplass scores a considerable impact by making the most of the aforementioned plot twists." In contrast, Shock Till You Drop panned the movie overall, stating that "Creep might work for those don't regularly digest horror films, but for the hardened fan, this is a film that spins its wheels all too often and feels like an exercise in self-indulgence."
Shortly after Creep's premiere at South by Southwest, Duplass announced that he intended to film a sequel and after the film distribution rights were purchased by RADiUS-TWC, he further announced that he was planning on creating a trilogy. In August 2014, Duplass further stated that he and Brice planned on filming the second Creep film at the end of the year, that the film's cast would be announced during that time, and that the trilogy would be completed in 2015. However, in February 2015, Duplass commented that neither he nor Brice had been able to start filming on Creep 2 due to scheduling issues, as the careers of both men had greatly expanded since Creep's release, but that the both of them were still actively developing the project. In May 2016, Duplass & Brice announced discussions had begun on the sequel. In August 2016, Duplass revealed that he had begun trying on costumes for the film.
- "Netflix Finds 'Creep' Footage For July Premiere". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Gayne, Zach. "SXSW 2014 Interview: Talking to CREEP's Mark Duplass And Patrick Brice". Twitch Film. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Whittaker, Richard (July 14, 2015). "Mark Duplass Is a Creep". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
- Turek, Ryan. "SXSW Interview: Mark Duplass, Patrick Brice on Bringing Creep to Life". STYD. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "Mark Duplass And Patrick Brice On Mixing Comedy And Terror In 'Creep'!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "Creep". SXSW. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Smith, Nigel. "RADiUS Acquires Mark Duplass Thriller 'Creep' and Its Planned Two Sequels". Indiewire. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Miska, Brad (May 13, 2015). "Netflix Finds 'Creep' Footage For July Premiere". BloodyDisgusting.com. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- Hipes, Patrick (June 22, 2015). "Duplass Brothers Ink Seven-Film Slate Deal With The Orchard". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- Zakarin, Jordan. "Inside the Duplass Brothers' Growing Digital Indie Empire". Yahoo. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- DiVencizo, Alex (February 22, 2016). "Creep". brokehorrorfan.com. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- Moreno, Ashley. "SXSW Film Review: 'Creep'". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "'Creep' Will Scare the Sh*t Out of You!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- "Creep (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- Defore, John. "Creep: SXSW Review". THR. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Taylor, Drew. "SXSW Review: Scary Good Mark Duplass Midnight Movie 'Creep'". Indiewire. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Leydon, Joe. "SXSW Film Review: 'Creep'". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Turek, Ryan. "SXSW Capsule Reviews: That Guy Dick Miller, Creep & Open Windows". STYD. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Sneider, Jeff. "Radius-TWC Partners With Blumhouse, Duplass Brothers on 'Creep' Trilogy". The Wrap. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice Discuss Their Craigslist Nightmare 'Creep'". ScreenRant. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
- Yamato, Jen. "Radius-TWC Springs For Blumhouse-Duplass SXSW Thriller 'Creep'; Trilogy In The Works". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "Mark Duplass Says CREEP 2 Will Shoot at the End of the Year; Aiming to Release the Entire CREEP Trilogy Next Year". Collider. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Taylor, Drew. "Mark Duplass on 'Lazarus Effect' and Turning Down 'Huge Movies' (EXCLUSIVE)". Moviefone. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Duplass, Mark (May 23, 2016). "CREEP 2 discussions have officially begun". Twitter. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Brice, Patrick (May 23, 2016). "CREEP 2". Twitter.com. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
- Barkan, Jonathan (August 16, 2016). "Mark Duplass Confirms 'Creep 2' in the Works". Bloody-Disgusting. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Lincoln, Ross A. (September 10, 2016). "Desiree Akhavan Joins 'Creep 2' As Production Begins On Blumhouse & Duplass Brothers Horror Sequel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 4, 2016.