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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.71%
Worth A Look42.86%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad: 7.14%
Total Crap: 14.29%

2 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Creep (2005)
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by Scott Weinberg

"Run, Franka, Run!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2004 TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL: Subways tunnels are creepy; anyone who lives in a big city knows it. There's something unsavory about those endlessly dank and deserted subterranean labyrinths that capture the darkest parts of our imagination. Take a look at John Landis' "American Werewolf in London" or Gary Sherman's "Death Line" for a few solid examples of cinematic subway terror. It's fairly obvious that first-time director Christopher Smith has seen both movies, because his debut "Creep" borrows liberally from both while staking just a little new claim of its own.

There's not really a whole lot "to" Mr. Smith's Creep. It stars Franka Potente (Run Lola Run, The Bourne Identity) as a snooty young lass who unwisely falls asleep while waiting for her subway train, waking up just in time to spend the next 70-some minutes chased around the slimy and rat-laden tunnels by a misshapen freakazoid who shrieks a lot.

That's pretty much it. So clearly inspired by Sherman's Death Line (a.k.a. Raw Meat) that it could almost be considered a remake, Creep is not all that concerned with things like plot, character motivation, sense or logic. Questions as to the admittedly creepy killer's lineage are left unanswered, while the underground presence of medical laboratories and underwater prison cells are left equally unexplained. The characters behave precisely like all horror ciphers do: They wander around aimlessly, they make way too much noise, they leave potential weapons behind, etc.

But this is not the sort of stuff that the horror freaks are worried about. We're concerned with the jolts, the gore, the monsters and the mayhem. And Smith delivers this stuff with a fairly adept touch. Franka's Kate runs across a handful of unlucky subway tube-dwellers, each of whom earns a gruesome dispatch in relatively short order. These kills are nastily intense and should prove quite satisfying to the gorehounds in attendance.

The setting is suitably unsettling and quite effective, yet there's a somewhat paltry skimpiness to the affair that leaves one a bit underwhelmed. Sure, it's pretty nasty to see a young gal get skewered while tied to a rusty old obstetrics table, but without a logical reason for all the mayhem, the sequence feels more exploitative than grimly horrifying. For a debut film, Creep is so well-directed than one wishes it were just a little more well-written.

Potente does a fine job in the lead role, though she's not required to do much more than scream, run, run and scream. A few of the supporting soon-to-be-corpses pique our interest and/or sympathy, but they're all dispatched rather unceremoniously. There is a cute little dog, however, if you're really on the lookout for a rooting interest.

On my way from the screening to the keyboard, I found myself torn between giving "Creep" a 3-star (Just Average) rating or a 4-star (Worth a Look), but such designations seem almost academic for a simplistic little horror-fest like this one. If you're a fan of all things horror-centric, this is one you'll certainly want to check out for yourself. And if you generally avoid movies in which a feral, drooling lunatic slashes up a half-dozen unlucky Brits, well, then you weren't all that interested in "Creep" in the first place. Light on plot and almost entirely devoid of logic, the movie still manages to deliver a heaping handful of grisly goods...if, like me, you're into that sort of thing. 3.5 stars for the horror freaks; 1.5 for anyone else.

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originally posted: 09/13/04 00:37:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/21/09 TigerSlap Pointless and unpleasant... 2 stars
5/30/08 AbsolutDunkelheit666 Excellent. Very well made British horror film. 5 stars
4/15/08 missy it scared me. Worth watching, although some things could perhaps have been done better. 4 stars
4/03/07 chris f very good film would reccomend 4 stars
12/21/06 Haza its more funny than scary 2 stars
12/10/06 Remmy Definately a good Horrof flick if you're familiar with the london tubes! 5 stars
10/10/06 jack Cheap, exploitation film. Period. 1 stars
9/28/06 Doug Spencer Good movie, would like to know sound track at the end of the movie 5 stars
3/08/06 Richy Boy Genuinely unpleasant in places and great if you know the London underground 4 stars
1/29/06 Indrid Cold One of the best direct-to-video horror movies I've seen; great visuals and moods. 4 stars
12/30/05 tatum Starts well, quickly becomes nihilistic and a chore to sit through 1 stars
12/28/05 Corky Short on logic, viscerally high on the creep scale. Director Smith is one to watch. 4 stars
12/24/05 hibbyX Completely overrated, thoroughly average, not scary, and quite stupid. Pass on this shyte. 1 stars
10/27/05 chris a good film worth getting 4 stars
10/17/05 Vince it's creepy all right 3 stars
4/17/05 Creep Watcher Stupid show but the monster screams are funny as fuck 1 stars
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  20-Dec-2005 (R)
  DVD: 20-Dec-2005



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