Sunday, July 21, 2019

A German Socialite In Underground London: Creep (2004)

Creep (United Kingdom/Germany, 2004)
Rating: ***1/2
Starring:  Franka Potente, Sean Harris, Vas Blackwood

So apparently, not only are the London undergrounds infested with clans of cannibals (Death Line (1972)), hungry werewolves (An American Werewolf in London (1981)), giant mutated roach-manti (Mimic (1997)) and Apocalypse-fearing murder zealots (End of The Line (2009)), but now we also have to worry about deformed hermits with a killing streak...

When word gets around that a certain George Clooney is attending a function that's just across London, socialite Kate (Franka Potente) aims to get a piece of that action (and Clooney) and books a ticket for the last rail ride for that night. Being fresh out from another drug-and-booze party, Kate got some shut-eye while waiting for her train, only to wake up some time later to find the underground station closed, locking her inside.

An empty ride does eventually shows up at the platforms for Kate to hop on but unbeknownst to her, this isn't lady luck giving her a hand; not only does her train suddenly powers down and stops mid-travel, momentarily leaving her in the dark, and a drunken co-worker from the party she just attended somehow found his way to Kate's train to go rapey on her, but somebody else is stalking the underground railways. Somebody who has no problem dragging Kate's attacker off and onto the tracks. Somebody carrying a knife to stab and slice people around.

Thus begins a long night of horror for Kate as she struggles to find a way out through the London Underground, all the while being stalked by our deformed and deranged killer (simply named "Craig") who proceeds to slaughter whoever unfortunate enough to tag along with our periled heroine, as well as those who just happens to be around.

Excelling in creating a claustrophobic and gritty atmosphere, Creep (2004) does its hardest to make the most out of its simple premise as a horror film taking place in the 400 mile underground track, wherein hapless socialites and random misfits are equal game for an unknown killer. It made good use of the maze-like subterranean set-up to pull all sorts of nasty surprises ranging from the believable to the fantastical, giving our killer all the places he can hide and creep around at, as well as show just how far from help our characters are, elevating a feel of hopelessness from escaping the night alive. The film's take on the subways does open to a couple of plot holes such as the presence of abandoned abortion clinics that serve as both our killer's lair and possible hint of origin. It's never addressed properly, with only pictures and jars of pickled babies giving us some idea to what may have gone down there and how our titular creep came to be, although this lack of detailed explanation, coupled with the film's brooding pacing takes care of brewing straightforward and humorless build-up for the movie's mostly workable scares.

The main cast mostly consists of random folks our Kate encounters, more or less fodder to pad the kill count, thus a patch or two of sensible acting can be seen from these good folks whenever they're on screen. In turn, German actress Potente herself has a great deal of the spotlight on her, who does a fine job as a doomed socialite, more so that it does act like a double edge sword since it made her character unlikable to a fault, but otherwise can still be root for when shit hits the fan. And with Sean Harris taking in the role of the deformed pseudo-gynaecologist that spent his life underground killing people and shrieking like a velociraptor to a tee, it's not hard to feel troubled for anyone in this predicament.

Personally, Creep (2004) is one of my childhood horror movies, frequently played at late night cable with most of its gore somewhat intact. It's a decent film then and it still is whenever I'm in the mood to watch it, withstanding its slow start and somewhat unliakble leading leading character. It's gory when it needs to be, creepily atmospheric and gritty all through out, and successfully made a creep named "Craig" terrifying in my eyes, this movie has a lot of good to offer and probably more for slasher fans. 

1 male found stabbed in the eye with a surgical machete
1 male slaughtered offcamera, bled to death from wounds
1 male had his throat cut with a surgical machete
1 male found with a throat cut
1 male repeatedly stabbed on the face, neck broken
1 male found dead, body submerged in sewage
1 female found slaughtered, body hoisted in a cage
1 female eviscerated through the groin with a surgical machete
1 male had his head shoved and impaled through a metal debris
1 male had his throat stabbed and ripped open with a train-caught chained hook
Total: 10

No comments:

Post a Comment