M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Five of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2014 and going through September 30, 2015. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on June 23, 2015. Available On Demand, digital download, and Blu-ray/DVD! Also streaming on Netflix!
Directed by Patrick Brice
Written by Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
Starring Patrick Brice, Mark Duplass
I can’t say enough good things about CREEP. It’s one of those films that is brilliant in its simplicity, but by saying that it isn’t giving the film the credit it deserves. This film is the polar opposite of all of the big budget, wham-bang horror films we are used to seeing in that it focuses mainly on strong performances and a rock solid story in order to convey a film that is unlike any you’re bound to see.
CREEP follows a struggling young filmmaker named Aaron (played by director/co-writer Patrick Brice) who answers a Craig’s List ad which leads him to a secluded house in the hills. There he meets Josef (THE LEAGUE’s Mark Duplass who also co-wrote this demented gem), an eccentric who tells Aaron that he is dying of a brain tumor and wants him to film a day in the life, “kind of like the beautiful film MY LIFE with Michael Keaton” as Josef explains. To tell you more would be a disservice to the film but trust me, as the title of the film indicates, Josef’s story is not on the up and up and things get very, very creepy.
CREEP plays with our expectations from the beginning. Aaron has no idea what this job entails and hypothesizes to the camera as to what he will encounter once he arrives at the place. Once there, Josef changes his story over and over as a means to get Aaron to stay with him longer. It’s not unlike the discombobulating way the Joker describes his origin in THE DARK KNIGHT in order to sow chaos and confusion. Simply casting Duplass; who most know as one of the knuckleheads from THE LEAGUE and immediately will make those who know him from the show smile, is misleading as the more we get to know this friendly character, the more bizarre and frightening he becomes. Those expecting bromance antics here when they see Duplass’ name are going to have their world flipped at what he does in this film.
Still, the whole thing plays out perfectly as Aaron, who is good natured and sympathetic to Josef from the get go, is lead into Josef’s twisted web. Duplass plays Josef a little too uncomfortably real; a manipulative and dangerous character that many may recognize from real life who looks harmless on the outside, but is able to bend and twist situations to drain whomever he is focused on simply to fill a need inside of him that cannot be filled. This is a perfect example of a person who is too gullible and kind hearted getting pulled into the life of someone too selfish and manipulative. The dark places CREEP goes is enough to unsettle and disturb just about anyone and while you want to laugh at how weird Josef is, you can’t help but just stand back and wonder what new kind of craziness is going to happen.
Both Duplass and Brice are amazing in their roles, making this no budget film engrossing simply through their performances alone. For the most part, this film feels like it cost nothing to make as it seems only a camcorder, a mountain home, a pancake lunch, and a weird werewolf mask is the extent of cost necessary to make it all work. But though the budget is small, the talent of the two men behind this film is priceless. Told in the oft scoffed at found footage format of first person handheld POV, CREEP is a deeply disturbing film that is going to get under your skin, camp out, and won’t leave—no matter how hard you try to get it to do so.
THE 2014-2015 COUNTDOWN!
#6 – CREEP
#7 – LATE PHASES
#7.5 – WER
#8 – IT FOLLOWS
#9 – SPRING
#10 – EAT
#11 – GOODNIGHT MOMMY
#12 – LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
#13 – STARRY EYES
#14 – THE BOY
#15 – THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN
#16 – THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME
#17 – THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS
#18 – CUB
#19 – POD
#20 – BACKCOUNTRY
#21 – CLOSER TO GOD
#22 – WE ARE STILL HERE
#23 – A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
#24 – WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD
#25 – THE EDITOR
#26 – DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD
#27 – PARA ELISA
#28 – THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT
#29 – FROM THE DARK
#30 – EXISTS
#31 – A PLAGUE SO PLEASANT
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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