Monday, January 31, 2005

Title: Creep
Cast: Franka Potente, Sean Harris, Vas Blackwood, Jeremy Sheffield, Paul Rattray, Kelly Scott
Director: Christopher Smith

This British horror has had something of a problematic start. Trailers did the rounds some time last year. With an initial release date given as October 15th of 2004, the non-appearance suggested that it had received a limited release and had disappeared without trace. Instead it was put back, finally getting the release date of January 28th 2005. Of course the fact that the initial listing was given a tentative certificate of 15 and the final listing said TBA, with the release given an 18 on appearance in the cinema, may go some way to explaining the delay in Creep’s distribution.

As a film it is a low budget affair, set in the London underground. While it is in some ways clichéd and by the book, Creep still has something to offer as a half decent b-movie. Demonstrating the kind of unremitting violence and nastiness that no doubt accounts for the upgrading of the certificate, and brings back memories of last year’s release of the film Saw.

Franka Potente (Run, Lola, Run; Princess And The Warrior; Anatomy; Blow; The Bourne Identity) plays Kate, a German woman in London, who falls asleep on the platform of an underground station on the way home from a party. Just as she is about to be raped by a man who has followed her from that party, he is pulled off her and murdered by an unseen killer. This starts the slaughter, various train workers and homeless people being killed round each corner. Potente flashes back to Run, Lola, Run, which made her name in her native Germany, though in this case as she runs through corridors, tunnels, and eventually the sewers, she is trying to save her own life rather than someone else’s. A role which she plays to it’s fullest, though it perhaps would have been nice if the budget could have stretched to a decent dress, since she has been plonked in a yellow, floral piece of hideous cloth.

Some of that budget has no doubt gone on the effects for the “creep” though. The creep being one of the more effective mutated/deformed, knife-wielding dweller of darkness. His first appearance is actually a particularly nice piece of cinema - given that in a theatre you are pretty much guaranteed a reaction from this scene. Past the tick box appearance of the foetus in a jar and the jangly little kid’s toy, there is a certain vague attempt to provide a back-story. Interestingly these references are under stated, suggesting an origin story without belabouring the point. Overstating the point often being one of those points open to plot holes and losing the audience’s interest.

The setting makes a change from the more traditional haunted house or dark wood. Though apparently there was a film in the early 1970’s, Deathline, which was also set in the London underground - a film held with mixed regard all these years later. Then there is Kontrol, a Hungarian film with a serial killer stalking the underground system - which I hope to see at some point in the near future.

Visually and sonically (soundtrack provided by The Insects) Creep creates a suitable atmosphere, providing a decent enough example of the genre. Particularly with it’s almost charismatic psychotic.
 Posted by Hello

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