Creep

Franka Potente in Creep

Creep is a very gruesome British horror film set in the London Underground. A young girl gets locked in after falling asleep and someone begins to stalk her, the bodies soon pile up as the film veers between excitement, cliche and, as the label says, "Strong Bloody Violence".

The film opens with a couple of sewer workers who stumble on something nasty in the dark, dank, claustrophobic tunnels. A fairly familiar but nicely done opening which gives you a taster of what is to come, but first we must meet the heroine, cue a fast cut on a screaming bloody face in the dark to a loud cheesy rock song at a bright bustling party.

Franka Potente plays Kate, a stuck-up party girl who thinks she is heading for a hot date with George Clooney. Unable to hail a cab she heads for the tube and promptly falls asleep on the platform. She awakens to find herself locked in and so she´s relieved to see another train pull in and gladly climbs aboard, naturally the train stops a few meters down the line and moments later there is plenty of blood and screaming. So begins her dark journey into the bowels of London.

Christopher Smith wrote and directed this, his first crack at a big film and he does quite a good job with the directing. The writing is full of horror cliches from the abandoned laboratory hidden within the tunnels, complete with babies in jars, to the stumbling bint who meets a succession of helpful people only to watch them die while she screams and doesn´t lift a finger to help. Then there´s the untalkative dead eyed killer with supernatural strength and all the constant panicked running to nowhere. On top of the horror cliches there are some old fashioned cliches too like the homeless, junkie Scot.

The London Underground

Backstory aside the action is mostly quite exciting and there are some chilling moments. There´s also a lot of gore and the subhuman killer employs some seriously vicious killing techniques. The sound effects on the mutilation scenes are really nasty but the camera mercifully avoids a lot of close-ups, apart from a couple of look away moments which make you squirm in your seat.

The hapless Kate stumbles from one potential saviour to the next getting each of them killed along the way until the inevitable final showdown where you hope she will die but know she won´t. The end of the film is pretty disappointing although I was grateful for the lack of a big speechy explanation.

The acting does a lot to improve things as Franka Potente is excellent as the selfish snob. Paul Rattray did a really good job with Jimmy the junkie and Vas Blackwood is really likeable as George the on parole sewage worker. Both are easily more likeable than Kate. The rest of the supporting cast were convincing too and added an extra level of realism.

Good direction, some nice effects and decent acting manage to outweigh the creaky storyline and this is quite an enjoyable, fast-paced flick which only lasts 81 minutes. Creep certainly has a harder edge than many of the recent horrors from Hollywood and the underground is a classic setting for some bloody mayhem so you might want to give it a go.


Reviewed by Simon Hill

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