July 18, 2015

top-5-sliceNow streaming on Netflix is director Patrick Brice‘s horror/thriller Creep. Starring Mark Duplass (who also co-writes and co-produces) and Brice, the found footage pic debuted at SXSW in 2014 before releasing to VOD platforms back in June. The runtime is short (just 82 minutes) and the premise is simple: Aaron (played by Brice) is a videographer who answers a Craigslist ad offering $1,000 for a one-day video job only to find that all is not right with his client Josef (Duplass). Saying “all is not right” with Josef is an early frontrunner for biggest understatement of the month.

Labeled as a horror/mystery/thriller, I expected Creep to have some scares and it doesn’t disappoint in that regard. What I didn’t expect was for the film to tap into the notion of human sympathy so strongly. Brice and Duplass do a brilliant job of positioning Josef as a sympathetic character; as someone who is deeply troubled, lonely, and sad. They force us to view Josef through Aaron’s eyes (the found footage technique is effective here as we only come to know Josef through Aaron’s camera lens) and we accept Aaron’s decisions against our better judgment as a result of the sympathy we share with him for Josef. The end result is not only an effective horror film, but also a fascinating look at how easily we can be manipulated and the dangers of misplaced compassion.

Enough psychology, let’s get to this week’s Top 5:

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