This review has been ‘repurposed’ from my other site, theOneliner.com
“What the hell am I doing here?”, asked existential art-rock warblers Radiohead in their seminal tune Creep. In one of those wonderful moments of synchronicity, it’s exactly the same question that will dance across the mind of the unwary who have stumbled into this dismal British attempt at a horror movie.
Objectionable PR bint Kate (Franka Potente) leaves a party early to snare George Clooney only to miss the last tube by falling asleep on the platform. The quicker on the uptake amongst us might question exactly how someone who’s dozed off for three minutes can sleep through the hardly stealthy arrival of a few tons of fast moving metal without industrial strength horse tranquillisers, however they would be advised to halt all attempts at applying logic to this movie as it’s merely the first insult to your intelligence this affront to dignity farts in your general direction.
Nonetheless, a train does show up only for one of her coworkers to appear and attempt to rape her. His forceful advances are stopped only by an unseen assailant dragging him away for a nasty beating. Spooked, Kate runs off to try and get help from the only people left in Charing Cross station, two junkie vagrants by the name of Jimmy (Paul Rattray) and Mandy (Kelly Scott). With horrendous predictably Kate ends up running through a maze of tunnels and facilities stalked by an unseen evil.
In essence, that’s not too bad an idea for a horror flick. Indeed there’s a prologue of sorts with two sewerage workers Arthur (Ken Campbell) and George (Vas Blackwood) going through their motions before finding a hitherto unknown tunnel with tragic consequences that in fairness isn’t too badly handled by relatively inexperience director Christopher Smith. It’s not redefining cinematic boundaries by any means but it’s of comparable standards to the rest of the quiet bit / orchestral stab based horror flicks that have dribbled out over the last few years. This continues slightly less successfully through Kate’s story arc, because Kate’s a nippy wee egotist who causes low-level irritation in viewers.
Quality levels plummet at a rate hitherto considered theoretically unachievable once the cardinal, suspense killing, Signs-esque reveal is made of the killer following Kate, before then only seen in tangential glimpses. This might possibly be considered a spoiler but as one can only spoil something of greater than baseline quality we’ll plunge on regardless. The miscreant, later revealed to be named Craig (Sean Harris) is the founder member of the London branch of the mutant in-bred cannibal hillbilly supersoldier zombie cyborg magic deathwarriors we’d really, really hoped we’d seen the back of in the equally atrocious Wrong Turn. While this disfigured shambling fucktard might have made for a suitably freaky reveal in the last few moments of a suspense filled flick, having him pop up on screen only half way through is something of a misstep on a similar magnitude as the White Star Shipping Line deciding against the optional iceberg detectors.
To be honest, someone in a full bodysuit of lumpy prosthetics is only fleetingly shocking before becoming ridiculous, and that’s before he’s even opened his mouth. Squealing exactly like a chihuahua being ironed is not exactly a BATTLECRY OF EXCRUCIATING HORROR, and his delusions of surgical ability (don’t ask) is of such ludicrous, baffling stupidity as to have you question whether this movie is actually happening and not the result of eating too much cheese before falling asleep. Let’s skip over his implied ability to control rats before our heads melt from the very thought.
It’d be nice to think we’re just being somewhat elitist, and that most people will find this a frightfest of spills and thrills. The fact that a good half of the audience joined in with our howls of derisive laughter puts paid to this, indicating firmly that Creep both sucks and blows. It’d also be nice to write this off as an amateur hour miscalculation on Chris Smith’s part, but creating something so staggeringly ill advised is really more a work of twisted anti-genius. After all, someone has to think this is a good enough idea to put up the money to make it. Actors have to be cast and accept the roles. Lots of people are involved in this process, and you’d think at least one of them might have pointed out how silly proceedings were and remedied the situation.
I suppose Uwe Boll’s still getting exponentially more dough for his series of video game based abortions such as House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark so Creep has as much a right to exist as them. This does not mean that you should waste a portion of your life watching it. The last quarter hour or so does admittedly become unintentionally hilarious with both Blackwood and Potente’s honest attempts at emoting foiled by the utter lack of tension created and the unerring shittyness on general display. It’s trying very desperately to capture the whole urban myth ethos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually based on one. The thing about urban myths is that they’re pretty much by definition unbelievable horse excrement, and in this sense at least Creep captures that perfectly.
I could do another few thousand words on how bad this is, but we’ll take mecry on my keyboard. A few misguided souls seem to like this, so to forestall any potential defence yes we did notice Craig’s backstory, indeed we’re clubbed over the head with it in keeping with the absence of subtlety permeating the movie, yes we did understand it, and no it isn’t any good at all. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something that fails so comprehensively at everything it tries, and the only recommendation we’ll give it is that watching something so mind-bogglingly awful does help you to appreciate good movies all the more. “I wish I was special”, sang Radiohead. We wished that Creep was special, but as it turns out it’s more like special school.