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Creep (2004)

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Directed by:

Christopher Smith

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: Germany, United Kingdom

Brit writer-director Christopher Smith presents his first full feature-length offering with ‘Creep’, a grubby little horror flick about a Gollum look-a-like hiding in the London Underground and doing all sorts of nasty things to complete strangers.

It stars the once-promising Franka Potente as Kate, a German party gal who’s on her way to woo George Clooney (and not, disappointingly, David Hasselhoff) when she nods off at Charing Cross Station, misses the last train, and ends up locked in for the night. She soon discovers, of course, that she’s not alone – not even close to it in fact, because she’s soon accompanied by a couple of tramps, a sewage worker, and the flaky-skinned gore-flicker of the title.

Dubbed ‘Craap’ upon its release by senseless internet message board wags, this at-times disturbing tube yarn starts off reasonably enough but doesn’t take long to grow tiresome and also a bit silly. Smith shows he has considerable potential as a director, displaying an effective, distinctive style behind the camera, with an approach nicely-suited to the horror genre – but, on this occasion, his own story badly lets him down. The premise is too weak and one-dimensional to fill out the relatively-short 85-minute running time, the tale increasingly comes to rely upon the downright implausible, and the pedestrian dialogue leaves the decent cast looking distinctly uninspired. The decision to allow us to see the villain in full light halfway into the film is also a major error, particularly as he’s instantly recognisable as a bloke in a body stocking with some unconvincing make-up plastered onto the outside.

Fans of ‘Run Lola Run’ will enjoy this latest opportunity to see Potente doing lots of running about looking stressed (for old times’ sake, if nothing else), but ‘Creep’ is noteworthy for little else. Too weak and unoriginal for seasoned horror fans and too gruesome for the casual viewer, it’s caught in a sort of cinematic No Man’s Land – or perhaps that should be No Audience Land.

It's Got: Paul Rattray as a homeless who, predictably, has a Scottish accent. Don’t they all?

It Needs: To do without the gimmick of our baddie taking a hoard of rats with him everywhere he goes: what is he, the Pied Piper?

DVD Extras There’s a surprisingly impressive array of extra features for this one, given the low budget nature of the flick. You get a director’s commentary, a decent 35-minute ‘Making Of’, further 5-minute featurettes on production design and make-up, ‘Frightfest Q & A’, an alternative beginning and ending, trailers and TV spots. Many of the bigger movies would do well to take a look at the package on offer here. Version reviewed: Creep (Pathe Distribution Ltd) DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

28 Days Later…, Death Line, Mimic

Summary

It’s murder on the Underground in this less-than-convincing British gore show.

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