Tag Archives: Creep

Saturday is Horror Day #35 – Creep(2004), V/H/S 2, Waxwork

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Creep (2004)

 

Kate (Franka Potente) goes to a party with some friends, but it isn’t quite what she hoped for. A guy she works with, Guy (Jeremy Sheffield) doesn’t know how to take no an answer, making himself quite obnoxious. But Kate has better places to be. Her friend knows where George Clooney is partying that night and has two tickets for them to get in. But her friend leaves without her, so the disappointed Kate heads to the subway, hoping to find her. Having had a bit to drink, she falls asleep and only wakes after the last train has gone.

 

The station is eerily silent with no one else there. To Kate’s dismay, when she heads up, she finds the gates locked and no one around. When after a while a train unexpectedly shows up, she gets on with great relief, only to find Guy there. And he still won’t take no for an answer.  But as he tries to assault Kate, something grabs him and pulls him off the train. Suddenly Kate becomes painfully away there is someone or something else down there. Something deadly.

 

Kate has to navigate the subway tunnels, searching for a way out. Her life depends on it.

This isn’t a half-bad horror movie. It has a creepy premise, and who wouldn’t commiserate with Kate,

who is having a bad night and just wants to get home? That is the secret of horror films. You care what happens to the main character and live vicariously through them, which also means you become scared for them as well, which heightens the thrill of the movie.

 

When Kate runs into George, the new subway employee, she feels a sense of relief at seeing another human being in the same predicament as her, sure that by working together, they can flee this place.  There are a number of jump scares, not unexpected. And the atmosphere is sufficiently icky/creepy to convince me not to go into a subway, ever. But what does bother me is the answer to the riddle, the explanation for the place Kate found, and for the guy who obviously lives in the tunnels and probably has his whole life. One can extrapolate based on what is shown, but that really isn’t quite enough. And so you are left with a great big WHY at the end of the day. I am giving this 3 Stars.

V/H/S 2

 

A private investigator and his girlfriend/assistant are given an assignment to find a missing student by the student’s mother. She gives them permission to go into his house in order to look around. The PI breaks in, but can see nothing, other than a video set-up and some VHS tapes. He has his gf watch the tapes while he searches for clues in the rest of the house.

 

 

What she finds is a series of found footage videos, with different stories. One of the films is about a man who lost his eye in an accident and is given an experimental prosthetic eye with a camera. The only downside is that the camera sees all, and he’ll have virtually no privacy. After coming home from the doctor’s office, he begins to see strange things. People who look like they are dead. Naturally he starts to freak out. And then he receives a visitor – a girl who was also in the office. She says she needs to talk to him and he will want to hear what she has to say. Apparently she had a cochlear implant, and now she can hear the dead people he can see.

 

A young man has a video channel and is going to make a video of his bike ride. But inside the woods, he almost runs into a woman who is covered with blood, screaming that he has to help her boyfriend. Panicked, he tries to help. But what he sees in the woods is a lot worse than an injured man, and when he returns to the woman, it seems she has met the same fate. Things just go downhill from there.

Young documentary makers want to film an interview with a cult leader in Indonesia. He reluctantly 

allows them to visit the cult in their compound. But from the beginning, something seems off, maybe even unnatural. They all refer to the Leader as the Father, and he talks about taking them to their safe haven. Shades of Jim Jones! Or is it something worse?

 

Two brothers and a sister are left home alone for the weekend while Mom and Dad are away. The boys decide to prank the sister and her boyfriend when he shows them and interrupts them in the bedroom. They vow revenge. But what starts out as a simple prank becomes far worse when aliens decide to attack on that night, and they want to take the boys with them.

This film is similar to the one before in that it involves found footage on a video tape. But the stories are different, and each is told rather well. And there is more than a sufficient creep factor for horror buffs. The couple who are the investigators are the framework the film is built on, their story framing the whole. The one about the implant could be a glimpse of the future. The alien story might be a little over the top, but feasible if you believe in aliens. The cult story is very damn creepy, because I’m sure there are people out there just that fanatical about their cult leader. Definitely worth watching. I give it 4 Stars.

Waxwork

 

A new waxwork museum has just opened up in the middle of a well-to-do residential neighborhood, and some of the teens are curious. A couple of teenage girls receive an invitation from the proprietor (David Warner) to come for a private party at midnight, and they can bring some of their friends. But no more than six people, please.

 

 

Mark (Zach Galligan) likes China (Michelle Johnson), but she is rather flirtatious, to put it mildly. He agrees to go to the waxwork to be with her. The group assembles outside the door on time, but a couple of the kids chicken out, to the disappointment of the diminutive man who answers their knock. The group begins their tour of the wax exhibits, and are surprised at how lifelike they appear.

 

 

 

Some of the exhibits include Count Dracula, Jack the Ripper, the Mummy, the Marquis de Sade, as well as others. But something strange begins to happen. One by one, the teens find themselves inside the different exhibits. More than that, they are part of the exhibit. And suddenly they find they are fighting for their lives in order not to become permanent parts of the exhibits.

 

 

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this comedy horror movie, but I became really interested. Okay, the characters are a little stereotypical teens, but that works in this context. It’s watching what happens when each gets pulled into a different exhibit that makes it interesting. The girl’s reaction to the Marquis de Sade (J. Kenneth Campbell) is not what you would expect, neither is the girl who winds up with Count Dracula (Miles O’Keefe). David Warner is handsome as ever, and look for John Rhys Davies as a werewolf, and Patrick MacNee as Sir Wilfred.  A fun romp, although maybe it could have been tightened just a bit. There are a few moments that last too long. I give this a solid 3.5 Stars.

 

Saturday is Horror Day #33 – Girl in the Box, Creep (2014), Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Girl in the Box

1977 was a different time, when you could hitchhike all over the country and not worry about anything but your destination. Colleen Stan (Addison Timlin) is hitchhiking when she accepts a ride from a married couple, Cameron and Janice Hooker (Zane Holtz and Zelda Williams). What she doesn’t realize is this couple is not normal… and they’ve already buried one body.

It doesn’t take long for Cameron to put his horrific plan for Colleen into motion. Driving her to an out of the way spot, he handcuffs her and forces her put her head into a heavy wooden box and covers her body with a blanket so no one will see her, then drives home. After dark, he moves her inside and into the basement.

Cameron’s wife Jan is very meek and submissive, as if she is afraid of doing anything to anger her husband. She goes along with what he wants, but it’s clear that on some level it’s disturbing to her. But in her own way, she can be just as cruel as him. Cameron quickly controls the helpless Colleen and lays down the rules. She is to call him Master and Jan is Ma’am. She is to do everything requested of her. If he says the word, she is to run to the arch in the living room, disrobe, and stand there with her hands pointing up.

Fearful of discovery, Cameron builds a coffin-like box for Colleen, which he keeps under his and Jan’s 

bed. Colleen is forced to stay there up to 23 hours a day. He tells her about the Company he works for, and how people have slaves, like her, and forces her to sign a slave contract. He warns her that the Company will hurt her and her family if she should escape. And she believes him.

Colleen settles into her life of slavery and drudgery, and life goes on, Jan has a baby, and she’s still there. But she is so brainwashed that when Cameron actually allows her to go home to visit her family, she tells them she is fine! But Jan is reaching her breaking point, as she sees how Cameron prefers Colleen, whom they call K. She leaves her husband, with their daughter, but comes back when he is gone in order to free Colleen and send her home.

This is based on a true story, and it is horrific. The film is well done, and I think the actors did a good job. Cameron is creepy and cruel, and Jan is subdued most of the time, as if she has given up on life. I can’t imagine having to endure such a life for seven years! Colleen Stan must be a very strong woman. I liked the movie (not the subject matter of course) and I give it 4 Stars.

Creep (2014)

Aaron (Patrick Brice) accepts a job to video a man named Josef (Mark Duplass) for one day for a lot of money. He drives to the man’s cabin to begin his day, and learns that Josef has terminal cancer, and wants to leave the video as a message to his unborn son whom he will never meet.

Josef is very fond of pranks, as Aaron quickly discovers, and he never knows when he’ll find Josef lying in wait to pounce on him. The two proceed to spend the day together, hiking far into the woods at one point, and talking all the time. They have some heartfelt moments together, and as the day progresses, begin to tell one another their secrets.

Aaron begins to discover there is something a little (or a lot) off about Josef, and the wolf mask he named Peachfuzz is the least of his worries. After answering Josef’s phone, while he is passed out, Aaron begins to realize the predicament he is in, especially when Josef’s sister herself says to get out of the house. Now.

Aaron makes it home, and he thinks it’s over now. Except when the package arrives, and he realizes Josef knows where he lives. And he isn’t about to stop stalking Aaron anytime soon.

At first, I didn’t know what to make of this film, other than a weird kind of sob story about a dying man. But it is a lot more than that. In fact, it isn’t even that. The title says it all. Josef is a creep, and he will creep you out. The acting was good. I understand a lot of it was improvised. Not surprising since they are also the writers of the film, and Patrick Brice is the director. This one will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat, bracing for whatever is about to come next. Well worth watching. I give it a solid 4 Stars.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) does not tolerate bad cops. Ever since he turned in one of his fellow officers, he hasn’t been the most popular guy in the precinct. He responds with snarkiness and curses and an ef you attitude. His commanding offer, Captain Angie Garza (Marisol Nichols) is trying to help, but he’s resistant to her efforts. To make matters worse, she assigns him a partner, William Schenk (Max Minghella). She wants Zeke to show him the ropes. When a new case comes in, Zeke reluctantly takes the newbie with him.

The initial report says a bum was killed by a train in the subway. But close investigation reveals this was no bum. Not too many bums wear Fitbits. A package shows up at the station addressed to Zeke. It contains a flash drive, as well as a tongue and a policeman’s shield.  Turns out the dead man is Detective Fitch, who Zeke had been at odds with. Accused of giving false testimony against innocent people, his tongue was torn out. And judging by the video on the flash drive, the killer is a Jigsaw copycat.

When Captain Garza tries to give the lead on the murder investigation to another detective, Zeke lashes out and lets them know he should be the lead, and he doesn’t care if the others like him or not. Angie finally gives in and Zeke takes the lead.

When Zeke goes home, he finds his former captain sitting there – none other than his father, Marcus

Banks (Samuel L. Jackson). Zeke is none too pleased to see him, and maybe their relationship isn’t the best. But Zeke reluctantly agrees to meet his father the next night for dinner (they live in the same building) and to discuss the case.

More cops are being killed, and more messages are being left as Zeke delves into what is happening and why. Is the killer a wannabe Jigsaw, or are his motives more personal?

Having seen all eight Saw films, I was very excited to learn about this new addition to the fandom, and greatly looked forward to seeing it. I was not disappointed. I have always liked Chris Rock and he does prickly very well, with a get-out-of-face attitude that just doesn’t quit. He’s trying to play the hand he’s been dealt, but the people around him don’t make that easy. His new partner turns out to be pretty nice, and Zeke warms to him as he puts a picture of his family in the squad car. Plus he’s a hard worker who isn’t afraid to stay later to get things done.

While technically not an actual Saw film, Spiral is definitely a part of the Saw family. Lots of gore and guts for those who are fans of the original, an interesting storyline, and an unexpected twist that will keep you guessing. I really hope they make another one. There is great future content there. I give this film 4.5 Stars.

Side note: Look for Trevor Gretzy, son of former Blues hockey player Wayne Gretzy, in a small role.