Patrick Brice does not want you to spend the
night at any stranger’s place. Notable only for being exceptionally forgettable,
his second film, The Overnight, chronicles the mounting awkwardness a yuppie dinner party turned sleep-over, at least as far as
anyone can recall. For some reason, it has played just about every major
festival, even though the only memorable thing about it are the jokes about the
guy who isn’t Jason Schwartzman having tiny junk. However, you will definitely
remember Mark Duplass is the title character of Brice’s first feature, Creep (trailer
here), a Blumhouse BH Tilt production, which opens
its belated premiere theatrical engagement this Wednesday at Videology in
Like Safety Not Guaranteed, this Duplass film also starts with a classified ad. It
seems a well-to-do dude requests the services of a videographer to film him
over the course of a day. It pays
$1,000, but “discretion is appreciated.” You don’t say. When Aaron arrives for
the gig, Josef tells him he is dying from a brain tumor, but wants document how
he really was for his unborn son. His inspiration is the Michael Keaton movie My Life. That alone should raise Aaron’s
In fact, it does not take long for the video
freelancer to conclude there is something very off about his client. Josef’s
family vacation home is also unsettlingly remote. Nevertheless, one grand is
one grand, so he sticks with it. At first, Josef just seems annoyingly
eccentric, but he eventually tells Aaron some pretty whacked out stuff.
Clearly, Josef is playing some sort of game with him. Unfortunately, viewers
will have a better idea than Aaron where it is all headed, because they know
they came to a horror movie.
Yes, this is a found footage film, but given
the set-up, it makes sense to have all the bedlam documented on Aaron’s camera.
Frankly, there is nothing radically original here, but it is seamlessly cut
together by editor Christopher Donlon (fortunately, narrative developments
allow for and even require a bit of snipping together). As a result, it is a
tight film dominated by Duplass’s performance. He is massively creepy, so to
speak, always just peaking over the precipice of camp, without ever plunging
over the top.
producer-horror mogul Jason Blum owe a major debt of thanks to the owner of
that mountain home. Its staircase is likely to become iconic among genre fans. Of
course, Blumhouse does plenty of this sort of thing. They did not invent the found
footage sub-genre, but one could argue they took it to the next level, nearly
cornering the low budget studio market in the process. This is one of the
better examples, powered by Duplass’s unabashed scenery chewing. Recommended
for fans of Duplass and Blumhouse, Creep opens
this Wednesday (9/2) at Videology (but it is also already available on VOD and
even streams on Netflix).
Labels: Blumhouse, Found footage, Horror Movies, Mark Duplass