Monday, April 30, 2018

Creep 2 (2017)

A strong sequel from Brice and Duplass featuring our favourite unpredictable, slightly goofy killer. This was a DELIGHT.

Formally "Josef" but now going by "Aaron" (so he's adopted the name of the victim in the first film), Duplass's anti-hero teams up with a female videographer called Sara (the amazinggg Desiree Akhavan) for another 24 hour video-making project.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a re-treading of the original concept, because it surpasses it. Aaron tells Sara exactly what he is: that he's killed 39 people to date, that he prefers the term "murderer" to "serial killer". He says since hitting middle age he's feeling like he's losing his edge and passion for the kill. In an effort to document his story and maybe evolve his approach, he wants Sara's help. 

Sara herself is looking for the perfect final episode for a video series she's been producing. Watching back over her previous work, she confesses to her camera how lame it all seems, and really she just wanted to connect with other weirdos. The next day, her interest is piqued by Aaron's ad. Ignoring internal alarm bells during their initial contact, and not wholly believing the one thing the audience actually knows to be true - that he's a serial killer - she continues to stick around, possibly even growing fond of him, and wondering if she's just met the ultimate weirdo.

I think I might be deeply untalented...

Akhavan is instantly likeable as Sara. Self-deprecating, intelligent and fearless, she's shown as someone who knows this is a fucking stupid idea, but can't help but get pulled deeper into the strange existence of this oddball.

As in Creep, the "horror" really comes from the moments of extreme tension and unease we're made to feel as the story develops. We KNOW that Aaron/Josef is a gold-plated psychopath, and his abilities to charm and disarm are even more powerful in this sequel (confession: I fell for him a little bit watching this. Sorry not sorry?!). He tells a lie as easy as breathing, and everything he says seems genuine and delivered with such conviction, but we know from the first film that anything and everything he's feeding Sara could be false. This is now the second movie we've spent in his company and even we know barely anything about the guy. 

*swoon*... er, I mean "eeek!"

Working off of some solid writing, it's the chemistry between the two leads that really elevates this to something special. These characters really appear to be connecting, and it's super suspenseful watching them interact, wondering what exactly this relationship between them could mean. Will this be a twisted love story? Or just that both are willing to play along for the sake of what they have to gain? ...Or something else entirely?

Creep 2 is sitting at 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and I completely understand why. This is found footage done with such ease that you forget it's found footage. It leads you down a path in the dark, not even asking you to trust it, but you can't help but follow. I urge you to follow!

Streaming on Netflix right now - and there's a third installment in development, according to IMDb! If you enjoyed the first, you must see this. Bonus points for normalising female body hair and full frontal male nudity, too!

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