By Dave B.
In Creep 2, videographer Sara (played quite well by Desiree Akhavan) is struggling with the realization that her vlog about emotionally connecting with society’s unique and interesting people isn’t successful so she decides to find a more compelling subject for her work. She encounters Aaron through a personal ad. Aaron is experiencing a mid-life crisis of sorts: his passion for killing has waned and he unsure of what to do next. Like the original Creep film, Creep 2 is filmed in the “found-footage” style and Mark Duplass reprises his role as Aaron. Except for those two facts, Creep 2 is profoundly different from its predecessor. Calling the original Creep a horror movie was a bit of a stretch. Creep 2 is even less of a “traditional” horror story. I’d call it a character study and frankly, I think it manages to improve on the first installment of the Creep series.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Creep 2 will be special and significantly different from Creep. For example, within five minutes of meeting her, Aaron admits to Sara that he’s a serial killer. She (mostly) doesn’t believe him, but finds him fascinating and that’s the dynamic that exists through most of the film: Aaron reveals himself to her and despite her disbelief of most of what he says, he’s too interesting of a subject for her to just walk away. What makes this dynamic compelling is that Sara is smart and tough as hell. Yes, she’s foolish in not recognizing how dangerous Aaron is, but not so foolish as to take no precautions against him.
Duplass delivers another excellent performance as Aaron, but I found the character to be less…creepy this time around. To some extent that’s unavoidable as that which is familiar tends to become less disconcerting. But I also think that making Aaron less creepy was just a wise writing choice for the character, as it allows Sara to more plausibly empathize with him and get into his headspace. In fact, the best thing about Creep 2 is how well both Aaron and Sara are written. They’re both extremely interesting characters and finding out more about them keeps the interest level in the film up, despite there being fewer thrills and chills than in the first Creep.
80 minutes is the perfect length for this movie. It was short enough that the interactions between Aaron and Sara didn’t get stale, but long enough that it doesn’t leave a lot of unanswered questions. My only major complaint about Creep 2 is that I thought the last couple of minutes were overly convenient and predictable. That’s ok though. The ending definitely wasn’t so egregiously bad as to ruin the good elements that came before it.
No surprise, I’m recommending Creep 2. Except for not being scary, it’s a great horror film, with a better plot than the original. If you’re looking for thrills, there are more fitting movies and you may want to give this one a pass. However, if the prospect of dynamic interplay between a charismatic psychopath and a fearlessly empathetic vlogger seems like it would interest you, you’ll be hard pressed to find a movie more fitting than this one.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.