Three Shocktobers ago, I reviewed the micro-budget horror Creep for reasons that are hazy to me now. I’m sure I had no idea what to expect (other than a lot of Mark Duplass), and I was pleasantly surprised. That said, I would have never expected that a remake would’ve come to fruition, since it’s like, who knows about this movie? As far as I know it was released only on Netflix, and it wasn’t even one of those hit Netflix movies that teens love. But like a lot of horror movies, I’m sure a sequel was made for the simple fact that it’d be cheap to make. Once again, I didn’t have many expectations, but was pleasantly surprised to find that Creep 2 is just about as good as its predecessor.
Creep 2 begins with a long found-footage shot of a young man getting a package of a creepy DVD showing the inside of his house being filmed, before meeting up with his friend, Josef (Mark Duplass). However, Josef is now going by Aaron (the name of his victim from the first Creep), and after admitting to his friend that he’s a serial killer, Aaron slashes his throat. We then cut to Sara (Desiree Akhavan), a videographer who has a YouTube series called “Encounters” where she answers craigslist ads and hangs out with lonely men while documenting it. This of course leads her to Aaron, who much like in the first film, places an ad seeking someone who will hang out and document him for a day.
Sara then shows up to a house in the woods to start filming Aaron, however, unlike in the first Creep, he openly admits that he is a serial killer. Sara, surprisingly, goes along with recording him despite this admission, possibly because she’s just that desperate to put something interesting on her YouTube channel, but also because Aaron has made a point of promising not to murder her. Aaron then starts to open up a bit to Sara about how he began to kill, before Sara admits that she doesn’t think he’s actually a serial killer, and he’s just making everything up. This then leads Aaron to admit something he’s been hiding, which is that he wanted Sara to kill him and film it. However, that doesn’t quite go according to plan.
A lot of the first half of this film relies on the same kind of awkward tension that propelled the first Creep. Aaron is simply an incredibly weird guy to spend time with, but because the camera is pointed straight at him, you have to reckon with what a weirdo he is. Though at the same time, the film doesn’t completely gloss over whatever mental illness he has, as it dives a little bit into how he came to kill people. Also, it adds in a dash of humor here and there to keep things from ever getting too cringey.
I will admit the first half of this movie does drag a bit, though I suppose that’s sort of the point. Despite it’s brief 80-minute running time, I split up watching the film into two sittings, while before watching the back half I thought of a potential twist that the movie might throw at me. However, I was surprised to see that the movie went in a more inventive direction than what I’d thought of, and that’s what ultimately worked for me about Creep 2. I thought I could pin down where it was going, until I couldn’t. Just like you think you can pin down a creep like Aaron, but it’s never quite as easy as it looks.