Another day, another horror debut from someone who went on to bigger and better things. This time it’s writer/director Christopher Smith, whose Triangle was a sweet little mindf–k of a film I need to revisit. Despite a game cast in Franka Potente Sean Harris, Creep (not to be confused with the 2014 found footage film) features a few gnarly moments but not a whole lot else to drive a recommendation. It does what it needs to do, but without giving you much in the way of any character investment. When practically no one is likable in your horror film, that’s a bit of a problem.
THE QUICK SUMMARY: Kate is a modern affluent woman who has a line on where George Clooney is partying and plans to sleep with him. No kidding – that’s the setup. She makes her way to Charing Cross Station where she is locked in after falling asleep waiting for a train. Things go from bad to worse: not only are there disgusting homeless people there who offend her sensibilities, but there’s a messed up, malformed “creep” roaming the Underground just waiting to carve up and eat whoever gets lost in the tunnels…
The biggest knock against Creep is how unlikeable everyone is. There’s no insight into any of the characters: Kate is supposed to be our Final Girl™ of the film, but she’s arrogant and petty and never really changes much throughout the film. The film also tries to take some big swings with its monster backstory, implying weird hidden medical practices and an evil doctor but know knows? It feels like window dressing without thought to anything other than “well, this is pretty sick.”
If there’s a bright spot to be had, it’s in the titular creep, played with relish by Sean Harris. Sinewy and acrobatic, he plays the weird underground dweller as a mutant cannibal with a twisted intelligence and dark humor. You don’t quite know if he’s supposed to be super cunning or not, but it doesn’t matter because the performance is at least alive. If I have a minor complaint it’s that he’s kind of unrecognizable underneath that make up, robbing us all of the grace of his evil maniac visage (see how effective he is in the Mission: Impossible films).
There’s really nothing bad about Creep. It’s a riff on Death Line (though Smith credits his idea more to a sequence from An American Werewolf in London) that has a suitable volume of blood and gore, and a fun monster performance. If that’s what you’re looking for you found it here. If you want to see Smith play in a bigger, better space, check out Triangle.