Creep 2 Directed by Patrick Brice
Written by Patrick Brice & Mark Duplass
Starring Desiree Akhavan, Mark Duplass, Karan Soni
Distributor: Orchard Entertainment
Release date: October 24, 2017 Video On Demand
In 2014, Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass co-wrote and starred in a low-budget indie horror film called Creep. It lived up to its name it spades as both Duplass was a creep and the film was creepy as hell. Brice and Duplass crafted a near-perfect example of minimalist filmmaking. It featured two actors, essentially one large set, and a “script” full of improv. The plot: a videographer answers a Craigslist ad to film the last day of a dying man’s life, leading to a one-camera feel light on editing and cuts, and putting the audience right there amongst the uncomfortableness. And Mark Duplass upped the “creep” factor to 11, creating what just might become a new horror icon. Now, Brice and Duplass return with Creep 2.
Creep 2 opens with a man (Karan Soni) opening a package containing a stuffed wolf with a hidden camera and disc reading “Watch me.” He realizes he’s being stalked and tells his friend Aaron (Duplass), who promptly confesses before slicing his throat. Cut to “Encounters,” a YouTube series by struggling filmmaker Sara (Desiree Akhavan). She answers bizarre Craigslist ads and films the meetings. She’s ready to quit when one ad piques her interest: asking for a videographer who is honest and emotionally brave, “Let’s go deep. Together.” One 3-hour drive later, she meets Aaron and it doesn’t take long for things to get weird.
Duplass is shockingly comfortable in the role of a serial killer. Somehow he’s crafted a character who is at the same time sympathetic, likable, and sociopathic. What I particularly loved about this film was how both Aaron and Sara are dealing with their own unique versions of writer’s block. He admits to murdering 39 people and feeling empty as he approaches his “40th.” Meanwhile, she is fully aware she’s violating all her own rules by being alone with this guy, but she’s desperate for a break and is willing to play along. The male/female dynamic dominates this movie and it is for the better. They get meta with it right away as Aaron confronts Sara about breaking through their gender-related intimacy issues leading to a scene that would be a lot less uncomfortable if Harvey Weinstein’s name weren’t in the news every 10 minutes. But kudos to Duplass and Akhavan for carrying this film and bearing it all to do it.
I really don’t want to say more and spoil it. The film is so simple and so effective. Being the title of the film, it’s hard not to circle around to the word “creep” when describing how you sit and watch this. You are immersed in this tiny world with this crazy guy and this woman who we’re never 100% sure about. Is she so determined to gain career satisfaction that she’ll put her life on the line? How much of what either of them are saying is an act? By constantly challenging the audience and somehow getting you to like and sympathize with crazy people, I feel Brice and Duplass have achieved more with this sequel than they did with the original. Since Creep is supposed to be a trilogy, I cannot wait to see where they go next time, and how far.
Creep 2 is out on VOD today, October 24, 2017. The first Creep film is available now on Netflix and VOD.
[Photo Credit: Desiree Akhavan. Courtesy of The Orchard. Used with permission.]