Tuesday, October 16, 2007

creep (and just creeped out in general)

Last night's film was "Creep," the 2004 debut feature of Christopher Smith, who went on to direct "Severance," which I reviewed here last week and liked so much. "Creep" is about Kate (played by Franka Potente of "Run Lola Run"), a somewhat self-centered but basically well-meaning woman (I believe it's established early on that she's an actress, but that's not really important to the plot) who finds herself trapped in a London subway station after falling asleep while waiting for the last train (to go to a party where she planned on trying to sleep with George Clooney). She hops on what appears to be a just-about empty train that gets stuck in the middle of a tunnel, where she is accosted by a supposed friend of hers, who nearly rapes her before being dragged out of the train and attacked by something unseen. It soon becomes apparent that there is something lurking in the London Underground. Kate tries to enlist the help of a junkie couple she finds sleeping in the station, as well as a security guard, and even tries to help the man who tried to molest her when she discovers that he hasn't actually died, he's just been mauled. Eventually, though, she's caught by the titular 'creep' and finds herself trapped in its bizarre underworld. With the help of another captive, a sewer worker named George (played by Vas Blackwood), she tries to escape, uncovering more of the 'creeps' bizarre underground lifestyle...

You gotta love a movie about a C.H.U.D., right? This one also reminded me a bit of Gary Sherman's "Raw Meat" (aka "Deathline" 1972), which also had underground cannibals in the London subway. "Creep" doesn't have the two things I liked most about Smith's "Severance," mainly the reasonably intelligent, likable characters, and also the humor. But it does manage to avoid the pitfalls of it's scenario by not having endless scene after scene of Kate wandering or being chased through dark tunnels by the killer creature. Kate may not be totally appealing, but she is multi-faceted and has some complexity to her, likewise the major supporting players. Smith keeps things lively throughout, and there is something genuinely fascinating and mysterious about the creep's world when we finally are exposed to it. Christopher Smith is clearly a very talented directed of horror films, hopefully of films in general, and I would be very curious to see what his next project is. Meanwhile, I'd like to see Smith being touted as the next generation of horror filmmaker in lieu of the likes of the over-hyped American filmmakers who have been getting so much attention lately (Roth, Zombie, I'm looking at you). Smith, in both "Creep" and "Severance," makes films that are no less gory but, even with comedic elements, are much less goofy and self-referential, and have well-drawn, multi-faceted characters who drive the films along as much as the action does. In 21st century film, horror or otherwise, a little bit of depth can go a long way, and Smith definitely has, at the very least, a little bit of depth, and then some.

At the same time, to be silly and stupid about everything, I honestly don't feel like I gave this film a serious enough viewing. I've been tremendously distracted and exhausted by some domestic dramas and other general goinkadoink since the end of last week, and as I mentioned in the last entry, it's really taking a toll on my ability to concentrate. So maybe I'll give this one another viewing when I'm more on the ball and come back with some more insights in a day or two, and hopefully I'll be more with it when it comes to tomorrow's review. I'm also hoping to get some more comics stuff up in the next few days, and write a bit of TV related material as well.

In the meantime, I again wish you all a safe and peaceful week. And a spooky one. But this week, mostly a peaceful one. Like, I'm hoping this is going to be more of a "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" kind of a week than it is going to be a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" kind of a week. At the very least, maybe we can split the difference and it'll be a "Monster Squad" kind of a week, I hope, although the way things have been lately, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a "Cannibal Holocaust" kind of a week. Oh, well...

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