Creep 2 (2017) Review: A Killer Mid-life Crisis
|Synopsis: A video artist looking for work drives to a remote house in the forest to meet a man claiming to be a serial killer. But after agreeing to spend the day with him, she soon realizes that she made a deadly mistake.
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Ludwig von Stroodle:
The follow-up to Creep (2014) succeeds in one an area most horror sequels fail; it’s different enough from the original to be refreshing and unpredictable, while retaining what people loved about the original. Mark Duplass is back as the titular Creep in all his uncomfortably awkward glory, but the dynamics of the situation are completely different. He excels at playing the world’s most bizarre game of cat and mouse – one where the cat is a socially awkward pathological liar who gives the mouse every conceivable reason to flee, but suckers him into staying through guilt, sympathy, and social etiquette.
This installment’s “victim,” Sara (Desiree Akhavan), is the host of a failing web series called Encounters where she meets up with all the lonely weirdoes posting the sort of sad ads on Craigslist that nobody in their right mind would ever respond to. “M4F to pretend to be my mother and be proud of me” – that sort of thing. So Sara is a decorated veteran when it comes to creepy dudes, and when Aaron starts to play his games, she shuts that shit down.
She fixes the biggest issue I had with Creep, which was why anybody would stick around as long as Aaron (hey, that’s the name Josef is going by in this movie!) did. If you didn’t bounce after the awkward horror of Tubby Time, then you deserved whatever happened next. Watching everything after that, there was always a part of my brain screaming WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU STILL THERE?! But Sara’s job is to deal with these people, and she’s fantastic at it.
The atmosphere of the movie is also quite different. The first one was tense and suspenseful; you expected shit to go down any minute. Creep 2 isn’t as much of a thriller. The Creep tells Sara that he’s a murderer right off the bat, but she doesn’t believe him. There’s a fascinating power struggle between the two characters, and Sara seems to be in control most of the time. They’re essentially playing chicken, and it’s the Creep who flinches more often than not. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a horror movie where the killer is in that kind of situation. But I’ve also never seen a movie where a serial killer goes through a midlife crisis, grows a ridiculous pony tail, and listens to jam bands either, so the filmmakers are breaking all kinds of new ground here.
The scenes are interesting, fun, and sometimes even funny, but there’s not much actual horror until the end. All in all, it’s a very enjoyable movie if you go into it with the right expectations.
Ludwig von Stroodle’s Rating: B
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