DIRECTED BY: Patrick Brice
STARRING: Mark Duplass, Desiree Akhavan and Karan Soni
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 realises that she made a deadly mistake.
Sara’s a video artist whose work primarily explores the intimacy of lonely men. One online advert intrigues her so much, she replies, thinking she may have found the subject for her next project. She drives to a secluded house in the forest, where a man claiming be the advert’s poster greets her; and as he said in the posting, he claims to be a serial killer. Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him.
Following on from the events of the original, we dive straight away back in to the world of Josef, now going by the name of Aaron, who claims the life of another victim. The issue for Josef now however is that he’s starting to question his purpose as his serial killing antics continue seemingly without meaning. We’re also introduced to videographer Sara, whose working on her passion project, a YouTube series called Encounters. With low traffic numbers with previous episodes, Sara decides to go out with a series finale which leads her to meet ‘Aaron’, who immediately confesses to her that he’s a serial killer and wants her to document about his life and his thirty-nine kills.
While I liked certain aspects of the original film, the film did feel like it lost some momentum from the halfway mark onwards to the end and, thankfully, the sequel manages to succeed its predecessor in being a more riveting viewing experience. While the original has us question what was the issue with oddball Josef, we know exactly who he is now going into the sequel and it manages to creates an intense atmosphere throughout his conversations with Sara, as he’s openly honest with her about his serial killing ways, even to showcase one of his murders to her, but it’s her behaviour and the way that she engages with him that makes this a cat-and-mouse game between the two. One example is that ‘Aaron’ constantly tries to scare Sara but doesn’t work, yet she manages to get one good scare reaction on him. Mark Duplass continues to do some really interesting work with the character here as we view this madman now going through a mid-life crisis, while Desiree Akhavan is a great foil as Sara, whose a much more intelligent character than the original films, but questions ‘Aaron’ being a serial killer because, why would a serial killer be so open and honest about his profession? Patrick Brice returns to helm the sequel and does a solid job once more.
While the film finds strength in its leads, I’m still not keen on how the final act played out and its the only issue that I have with the film. It just goes a certain route that feels cliched but given that they (Duplass and Brice) have been saying that they plan Creep to be a trilogy, it makes sense.
I found Creep 2 to be superior to the original, with its concept being explored further with a serial killer going through a mid-life crisis. It also helps that the interactions and performances from co-leads Duplass and Akhavan are what really sell the film.