So, director Patrick Brice’s Creep franchise isn’t really horror–at least not in the pedestrian sense. It’s not slasher, though from the title and the title cards you might expect it to be.
That or exploitation.
See what I mean?
And in my opinion, that’s a mistake. Not that I have anything against slasher or exploitation, it’s just that–for the most part–those particular (sub)genres aren’t very sophisticated.
(Relax. I said for-the-most-part.)
And Creep and Creep 2 are very…well, they’re more clever than sophisticated, but still…
It’s kind of like false advertising–the old bait and switch–and like any good sales agent will confirm, that can backfire on you. Hence, I’m not so sure that Creep has really found its audience.
If that’s the case, then that’s too bad. A lot of people are missing out.
The franchise falls into a hybrid subgenre that can best be described as psychological/found-footage horror (with a healthy smattering of black comedy thrown into the mix.) Much like the title character, the films are disquietingly approachable, yes, even weirdly–NO—horrifyingly, yet, adorably unique.
That’s part of the fun.
Josef (Mark Duplass) is the creep, of Creep. He’s the kind of guy who lives to freak people out. Literally. That’s his job.
(Well, he’s independently wealthy so he really doesn’t have a job, but you know what I mean… )
For instance, he might tell you that his mom has cancer…or that he has cancer…and when you get all sad and empathetic, he’ll pull a Joe Pesci in Goodfellas on you. “You should have seen you’re face” is one of his favorite games. And he will go to elaborate extremes to pull you in. He’ll drop trou, trick you into confessing an embarrassing story, jump out of a closet and scream in your face…
And then there’s Peachfuzz.
Yeah. That’s him above.
Peachfuzz is a mask that Josef’s father designed, or so the story goes. Josef likes to scare people with it…he likes to make them feel uncomfortable…unnerved…like when he does this crazy little song and dance…
Hello, my name's Peachfuzz I might look like I'll eat you up But I'm friendly as a rabbit
Scary. And funny. It really is.
I mean, even though the guy’s a real creep, you can’t help but like him. I’m serious. He has these boyish good looks and this mischievous charm, the way he just goes for it.
And there’s this alluring–I don’t know that I would call it a twinkle–it’s this impish glow in his eyes. That’s how he gets people to go along with his shenanigans even as they grow increasingly wary. And worried.
The people, not the shenanigans…
That and his money. He runs ads in search of videographers on Craig’s List, offering a thousand dollars a day.
And just what does he want videoed?
Himself, of course…just like any self-respecting malignant, psychopathic narcist would.
Stream Patrick Brice’s masterful horror franchise Creep and Creep 2 on Netflix. Skip it if you’re looking for gore.