Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice return to “Creep” you out in a sequel that surpasses the original and breathes new life into the found footage sub genre.
In a sub-genre of horror that is difficult to get right, CREEP 2 defies all expectation to deliver a “found footage” movie that is extremely well written, perfectly cast, and filled with tension plus a good number of scares.
In the 2014 film, CREEP, we meet our charming and slightly off-center serial killer, Josef (Mark Duplass). In CREEP, Josef pretends to be a dying man and hires a videographer to film his last healthy days before he succumbs to disease and death.
CREEP 2 starts off some time after the events in the first movie, and Josef now goes by the name of Aaron, which was the name of his victim in CREEP. Aaron is creating another murder video, and admits to have become bored with the game and with killing.
As Aaron confesses that he finds murder not as fulfilling as it used to be, we are introduced to Sara (Desiree Akhavan), a film artist with a YouTube series called “Encounters.” The series focuses on Sara’s encounters with men who post on Craigslist in hopes of meeting someone to help fulfill their strange desires.
Sara hopes to film an episode that is truly artistic and original, but she has become disillusioned by the men she has documented, causing her work on the series to suffer and feels that she is a failure.
It’s at this point that Sara finds Aaron’s post on Craigslist, requesting a videographer for one day and a pay of $1,000. This is where CREEP 2 really takes off and becomes a kind of rom-com/slasher film. Aaron is upfront with Sara, revealing himself to be a serial killer with 39 kills. Sara doesn’t believe him, or doesn’t care about his boasts in hopes of getting compelling footage.
Aaron is a compelling and hard-to-hate killer. He reveals himself and tells stories in such an endearing way, and we know that most of what is coming out of his mouth is complete and utter bullshit. The fact that Aaron comes across as a sweet man, with some odd behavior ticks, compels Sara to remain at the house and continue filming, All the while, she seems to become more and more attracted to him.
What keeps up the tension is watching Aaron struggle with mid-life murderer crisis and knowing that Aaron has some plan. We don’t know what his plan is, but Aaron is nothing if not a planner.
Sara is a fascinating character and is a perfect foil and complement to Aaron. She can call him out on his behavior and give it back to him in spades. How far will Sara go to get her magnum opus — her ultimate episode of “Encounters” — is the question you will be asking to the very end of the movie.
Writer/Director Patrick Brice and writer Mark Duplass have created a world and a character that are the most compelling in modern horror.
The duo have not only created a sequel that is better than the original, but they have shown that there is still life in the found footage genre. Brice and Duplass prove that with creators invested in telling a good story, and not just keeping the budget low, an effective and horrifying found footage style movie is possible.