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Star - Franka Potente
Genre - Horror
Run Time - 85 minutes
Certificate - 18R
Country - GB
Awards - 0
Blockbuster Rental- £1.49 per night
Amazon -£3.06 DVD (£4.99 Blue Ray)
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So, does anyone know why the London Underground stations are color coded? Well folks the answer is because when it was built back in the day most Londoners were illiterate and so went by the colors to remember their stop. Some would say we are heading back that way with the current education system in London. The Underground is also the setting for some iconic horror movies and scenes, none more so than American Werewolf in London, what then first time director Christopher Smith based Creep (2004) around. Some critics have said his opening movie is very similar to Deathline (1972), another British film set mostly on The Underground. The same critics didn't stop there and Smith hiding on the Underground with a similar savage bloody mauling that his monster dishes out in his movie.
For me I find Smith an interesting director and enjoyed all of films that came after Creep, going on to make the enjoyable low budget horror comedy Severance and the enigmatic slasher horror Triangle, and the dark and foreboding and somewhat grisly gothic period horror 'Black Death', a director on the up curve ever since Creep.
Energetic German actress Franke Potente takes the lead here, she of the Bourne movies (Mat Damons love interest) but made her cracking film debut in the rather good and fast paced German language drama Run Lola Run. Oh, the London Underground is now 51% above ground after the expansion into the suburbs and so should be known as the London Overground from now on.
* Franka Potente as Kate
* Vas Blackwood as George
* Ken Campbell as Arthur
* Jeremy Sheffield as Guy
* Paul Rattray as Jimmy
* Kelly Scott as Mandy
* Joe Anderson as Male Model
* Sean Harris as Craig, the "Creep"
=== The Plot===
Two sewer workers, supervisor Arthur (Ken Campbell) and apprentice George (Vaz Blackwood, the black guy who holds up the supermarket in 'Only Fools and Horses'), are doing routine maintenance when they are pulled of their regular route by strange noises down an off tunnel. Here they discover a new tunnel, recently made by unknown person(s), a woman's screams emanating from deep within. Arthur ventures in and doesn't come out, George soon meeting the same fete when he looks for Arthur. Something is down there that can take out two grown men.
Back on the surface and obnoxious PR girl Kate (Franke Potente) is in search of George Clooney, hopping from fancy London party to fancy London party to meet her idol (presumably to meet for coffee), where a pushy smarmy chap (Jeremy Sheffield) tries to hit on her. Shaking him off she heads for the Underground, where she catnaps on the platform. Waking up she is alarmed to find that she is locked in and almost everyone has gone home.
Apprehension ebbs a little when she finds a train still running, but the carriages equally deserted, the driver's throat cut and the cabin locked. As the train rumbles and screeches through the deserted tunnels, guess who is the only other person on the train? Yep, it's the letch guy from the party, somewhat oddly, who makes the most of the solitude and jumps the pretty blonde. Did he kill the driver we wonder and is she next? Well no as he is quickly attacked for his sins when they stop in the dark tunnel, a trail of blood and screams accompanying his slither under the train.
Kate makes a run for it, where she stumbles upon Scottish homeless couple Jimmy (Paul Rattray) and Mandy (Kelly Scott) and their little dog Scratch (Pebbles), all three living in a hidden compartment off the walkways. This is their home and there, only, on the condition not to annoy the security guy up in the CCTV booth, who watches the empty tunnels, walkways and elevators by night, between cups of hot coffee and reading the paper.
Jimmy: 'Homeless people don't go missing, homeless people *are* missing.
But tonight the guard has a distressed blooded woman down on the platform with a badly inured man, screaming down the emergency phone for him to call an ambulance. But before he can, he, too, is dragged to his death by the mysterious predator, Kate and the homeless couple now the next targets as London rumbles above, a maze of hundreds of tunnels, rooms and corridors their only chance of escape as the unseen evil pulls them deeper and deeper into the cobwebbed Underground.
Kate: 'What about the live track?'
Jimmy: You will be ok if you don't touch......that one......and that one......oh and that one....
With this debut low budgets horrors it's a great way to see if a fresh director has game as he gets to grips with the tone of the films he wants to make. I think it's a little unfair to get stuck into them early, as those smaller critics did back in 2004. The best batsmen in the world rarely score hundreds in their rookie seasons. First time films are rarely reviewed by the serious movie press in trepidation of the dross to come and so often thrown to the wolf pack of lesser hacks. I'm sure many top directors made mistakes in their early films and so I decided to ignore the negativity here. Maybe Smith does try too hard to make American style horror movie and the finish too glossy around those predicable genre clichés but there is enough here to enjoy and credit his craft.
This pared-down shocker might be light on plot, but it's packed with creepy frights. I particularly enjoyed the exploration of the hidden underground that was heavily exploited in the war as hospitals and bed space. There are all sorts of things down there we don't know about and some still up and running today. When you see the open top mail train growl through you can only smile with glee. There are old stations and some derelict and rat infested disused lines that go off into the unknown darkness, all very spooky. Yes there are 'you have to be kidding' moments, like when the obnoxious guy from the party just so happens to turn up on the same deserted underground train as our unorthodox heroine although I presume that was something to do with the all men are creeps theme to the film.
The main point here is the director gets the horror genre, even early on in his career, and builds the film proficiently from unseen threat to the realization of the threat and the confrontation of the threat, horror staples, leaving just enough space for comedy, gore and silliness. With American slashers the kids get killed in order of cool and aesthetics so you can pick the hero and eventual survivor from the protagonists pretty early on.
Like I say, Creep clearly has themes of all men are rapists going on and very much a feminist movie, even though the director and writer here are male although a feminist once told me that men can be feminist too. She also told me a lot of other things I can't repeat. But with its screechy scary music and claustrophobic tension I stuck with it and enjoyed some horror movie cliché bingo with my brother, 'House' shouted well before the end, yours truly victorious.
It did £1.7 million back from an undisclosed budget and certainly better than that in my eyes. It's one of those films that you shouldn't expect too much originality from but should ignore the critics on and give it a chance. I was intrigued early on and though Potente in the lead did enough to justify the watch and a comfortable 3/5. There has been far worse from Hollywood in recent years. I would also recommend you see Chris Smiths other films, especially Severance (2006), Danny Dyers best movie since The Business (2005). Yes, he made Danny Dyer ironic!
Imdb.com - 5.5/10.0 (19,972votes)
Metacrtic.com - 51% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com - 45% critic's approval
Dread Central -'Creep is a good time without asking too much of its audience, a film that knows how and why horror works'.
View London -'The performances are good, particularly Potente, who avoids scream queen clichés by making her character surprisingly unlikeable - Kate is rude and arrogant in her early scenes and the fact that she's German is, of course, a coincidence'.
Cinema Crazed -'Stupid despicable characters do stupid despicable things with one of the most obnoxious horror movie villains ever made.'.
Cinemablend.com -'I actually know a guy called Christopher Smith, so if it's the same guy I'm going to give him a call and smack him in the mouth'.
Shadows on the Wall-' - Disarmingly entertaining, in an extremely grisly sort of way'.
AllMovies -'this pared-down shocker might be light on plot, but it's packed with creepy frights'.
RELEASED: 2004, Cert. 18
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 83 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Christopher Smith
PRODUCERS: Julie Baines & Jason Newmark
MUSIC: The Insects
Franka Potente as Kate
Vas Blackwood as George
Paul Rattray as Jimmy
Sean Harris as Craig
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Two sewage workers are wandering through the tunnels beneath the streets of London, when a previously undiscovered tunnel is found. Arthur goes to investigate....and doesn't return. George finds him dazed, shocked and badly injured. Something odd then happens, as a screaming woman appears for a moment then vanishes, as if being pulled, back into the darkness of the tunnel.
Kate has heard that George Clooney is in town, and she decides she wants to gatecrash the party she believes he'll be at. She makes her way to Charing Cross underground station, and on the platform whilst waiting for the next train, falls asleep, having had more than a little too much to drink.
When she awakes, Kate discovers she has missed the last train, yet another mysteriously comes along which she boards. It seems to be empty, but appearances can be deceptive.
From that point onwards, things first get mysterious, then quite gory.
That loosely sets the scene....watch it yourself to discover what it's all about.
As soon as Kate began her night of terror trapped several feet underground in London's tube network, I was reminded of an old film from the 1970s called Death Line. The overall concept of Creep isn't dissimilar in many aspects, but there are differences with regard to the finer points of the storyline and what actually happens.
The acting by pretty much the whole cast is dreadful, to say the least, and the script - especially closer to the beginning of the film - leaves more to be desired than would be comfortable for most people. As is often the case with modern films, say those made since around the late 1990s, the acting did improve as it went on, but in Creep it certainly didn't achieve anything remotely commendable, let alone awardable.
I found Kate's accent to be irritating. I realise this is probably unfair as the actress (Franka Potente) is German and can't help the way she speaks, but it simply didn't sound natural to me. However, she did manage to express fear reasonably well. My favourite cast member at a pinch is probably Paul Rattray as Scots Jimmy, who Kate befriends with a view to him maybe being able to help her. Although Paul Rattray is probably the best of the bunch, it's not a good bunch. Maybe they should all go back to RADA? To be fair though and from the other side, the dialogue in Creep isn't of the highest order, so maybe that doesn't bring out the best acting from the cast.
I don't think it would count as a spoiler to say that there is some kind of killer on the loose in Creep, as it's pretty obvious early on in the proceedings, so in that sense the film is very predictable....but, when it becomes clear what the killer is up to and what environment he/she is operating in, I did develop a little fascination for what was happening, as this part of the film is quite unusual and original. The idea of a killer down London's Underground isn't original due to it having been done before in Death Line, but the way in which it happens in Creep is. I was bemused by this particular killer, particularly the vocal utterances delivered, and although in no way is this film intended to have any funny moments, I did raise a little smile here and there.
I didn't actually like the character of Kate. From the outset, she seemed shallow, brusque and sassy in a way that I don't find endearing. It also seemed that the other main characters, who are more incidental to Kate's plight than being kingpins, lacked personality and depth. I found myself asking all sorts of questions as to why certain people...the killer included...happened to be in the situation they were in, and no answers came forth. At least to know a little of the whys and wherefores would have added a dimension to the characters which made them not more believable necessarily, but more human.
One thing which is very good about Creep is the music. It totally befits the eerie happenings down in the bowels of Charing Cross tube station and surrounding tunnels, being very avant-garde with strange voices, percussion and other unidentifiable noises. This music suits the film perfectly, and is very chilling to listen to.
There are some quite bloody scenes in Creep and once or twice even I had to watch the screen through squinted eyes, plus I did jump once, close to the beginning of the film.....but, there were also fairly lengthy scenes where my interest started to waiver, and I had to force myself to stay focused. This wasn't easy, because something else rattled me quite a lot, and that was the use of some very unsteady camera work. I don't know if the shaky camera was deliberate, perhaps for effect, or if the person filming had St. Vitus's Dance or similar, but it didn't enhance what as a whole is a fairly mediocre piece of cinema.
I suppose overall, Creep lacks a depth and a sense of grounded meaningfulness which if present, would allow it to slide further up in my estimation. As it stands, it is a poor effort at creating a storyline which, if handled differently, could actually be quite gripping. As well as character development, acting and script quality, consistency and a different person in charge of the camera, Creep really needs to be much more focused than what it actually is. This is a shame, because if the untidy bits were neatly sewn together and many other improvements made, it could result in being a rather good film. All the elements are present to have turned this into a first-class, delicious piece of horror, but none of them were explored or taken advantage of.
Creep is the type of film for those who are fascinated by or are connoisseurs of tenth-rate horror films, although it lacks the charm of some of the more ludicrous old Hammer creations for example. There are moderately entertaining stretches, but it's not something I'd particularly want to see again. Overall, it is gruesome rather than chilling or frightening.
At the time of writing, Creep can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from 1p to £17.42
Used: from 1p to £17.99
Collectible: Two copies currently available @ £3.99 & £4.00
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
I am a university student and have 3 months of summer vacations which got boring after a while so I started watching films to keep myself busy.
I was looking up horror films on imdb, and noticed this in the recommendations. This film sounds like it has promise: the lead character, Kate (Franka Potente) falls asleep (as she has had too much to drink) while waiting for the last train at the Charing Cross underground station, missing the train and awaking to find herself trapped in the station as all the doors are locked. Sometime later, a train stops at the station and Kate gets on it to find her co-worker, Guy, on the train. Guy attempts to sexually assault Kate, before he is dragged off by a strange creature. Kate then seeks the help of a young homeless couple living inside the station to save herself and get out of the station in one piece.
Kate is quite arrogant and annoying, and not very likeable so I did not find myself empathising with her at all. If you don't empathise with the lead character in a horror film, you know there's something wrong with it.
I found it a little unbelievable that Kate was locked inside the station in the first place. Surely the underground staff checks the station before closing it? I have never heard of anyone being locked inside a station. Horror films tend to be unbelievable though, so maybe I am just being too cynical.
There was quite a bit of gore in the film and I had to look away a few times as I am quite squeamish. The film is watchable if you have nothing else to do, but I wouldn't recommend it. I watched it till the end hoping for some answers but it was vague and open to interpretation. Who exactly is the creature and why is he going around killing people? I haven't a clue. I was quite disappointed, because this film really did have the potential to develop into something truly terrifying, but it failed to deliver.
Creep was released on DVD in 2004, has a run time of 81 minutes, and is available on Amazon for £4.49, or at the marketplace starting from £2.73 (new) and £0.10 (used).
This review may appear on other sites under the same username.
When I first saw this horror slasher in the cinema back in 2005 I hated it. But I gave it another go and then came to rather enjoy it.
Franka Potente stars as Kate, a German girl who is on her way home from a party, but falls asleep waiting for an underground train in London.
When she wakes up she finds the station closed and deserted and soon finds out that a killer is stalking her and she needs to find a way out.
The film does create a good atmosphere of dread and fear but when the killer was found out to be who or what it he/it is then the film flat on it's face.
Even when I enjoyed it the second time around, I still had to contain my laughter at the killer.
Don't get me wrong, the back story for this person or thing is quite original and even interesting but once the killer was revealed, the film went all tongue in cheek.
Performances are all pretty good, especially from leading girl, Potente, who seems to have taken her role seriously here.
The gore level is quite high and will satisfy slasher fans.
A score isn't really relied upon to create tension here but rather the setting of the underground station and it is used to great effect.
After all, hasn't anybody came back late at night from London on the Underground and found the place just to be a tiny bit eerie?
I will recommend giving this one a rent but don't pay too much for it if you need to buy it.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
Making a film about how dangerous and downright creepy the London Underground can be after closing hours should not be a difficult task: the fear near enough generates itself, and as a result you just need to play with the audience a little bit, but bafflingly, Creep takes its inventive setting and squanders it, instead resorting to the cheap horror tactics we've seen in so many horror films of yesteryear. Despite a solid lead in Run Lola Run star Franka Potente, the film's villain is too laughable to make this the scary ride that it wants to be.
The film revolves around a German girl who lives in London, Kate (Potente), who is partying late at night, and falls asleep at Charing Cross while waiting for a tube train. She awakens and the station is shut, and bafflingly no TFL workers have told her to leave the station. She mills around, and soon enough discovers that there's an evil force living in the tube system, and what's worse, it's hungry. Rather than be sensible and simply wait where she is until day time, she ventures off on her own, discovering plenty of nasty sights, causing her to have to face off against a beast that is well built-up, but then disappointingly revealed to resemble the Yellow Bastard from Sin City with a cliched family back story.
An interesting concept that is very hit and miss as a horror film, namely due to the antagonist having very little menace and far too much campness about him (or "it"), Creep can't shed the dull horror formula it quickly assumes, and as a result, is not one to re-watch, really.
"This film does for public transport what Psycho did for showers"
When I saw this film advertised for cinema release late 2004 I knew we'd be going to see it, absolutely love London and am also interested in all the history behind the Underground system so knew this would be a must see.
British filmmakers don't have the best history with horror films but I was really hoping they could pull this one off.
As with many British (low budget) films the titles aren't full of big names, in fact I'd only some across one of the actors in this film before and that was in Holby City....
* Franka Potente: Kate
The main character in the film, she is the girl who is stuck in the underground system and comes into contact with the 'creep'.
A rubbish actress to be honest, she looks good and that's about all she does well!
* Jeremy Sheffield: Guy
A man who fancies Kate and follows her to the underground station, he becomes the first victim.
He seemed a good actor in Holby City (as heart-throb Alex between 2000 and 2003) but I'm undecided as to whether he can pull off a film part...
These two are the main charactors at the start of the film and then later on Kate comes into contact with a few other people such as homeless couple Jimmy and Mandy who are also played by unknowns. Their little dog was the star of the film in my opinion!
George and Arthur are two sewerage workers, they are working alongside the underground tunnels and their story runs alongside Kate's down there.
Ever missed the last train home?
Kate can't find a taxi so heads into a local underground station to get the last train into the city centre. Tired, she falls asleep at the station and when wakes all the other people waiting have gone and she realises she's missed the train!
Panicking, she realises its late and she's alone in the station when another train pulls up, thank god she thinks.....
She is a bit puzzled that she's the only passenger but glad to be on her way finally. Halfway through the tunnel the train jerks to a halt suddenly, she goes to alert the driver after getting no response from the emergency button and finds there doesn't seem to be a driver......No driver but she definitely isn't alone on the train, the nightmare starts here for Kate!
So far, so unoriginal you may think.
But the story develops and the history of the 'creep' unfolds.
As you may or may not know the Government and their Scientists did a lot of experiments in hidden rooms located off the underground system around the 1940s/1950s.
This creature that is living in the underground stations is a genetic mutation from those days and it really is unnerving to see what has been going on down there (and it all could be true....)
The story is strange because as much as you despise the creature you can't help but feel sorry for it as the film actually shows you its 'life story' which is unusual.
Some of the scenes will really freak you out; among them there are scenes of dead babies in big test tubes, a horrible 'operation' scene and the worst scene in my opinion is the 'creep' simply miming washing its filthy hands under a broken tap (it doesn't sound so bad but if you've seen the film, you'll know how disturbing it is to watch)
* The film is rated an 18 unsurprisingly because it is pretty gruesome!
I was 17 when I saw it at the cinema (naughty I know) and was very scared all the way through!
* Running time: 81 minutes. So its not a long film but it seems long enough.
* DVD Special Features:
Production design feature
Make-up design feature
Frightfest Q and A
UK theatrical trailer.
Creep is currently available for £4.99 at HMV.
All in all, a good horror film. It does what it's meant to; it scares!
The actors are rubbish but luckily enough their parts don't demand much acting, they all succeed in looking petrified which is really the only emotion needed in this film.
A good story, an original concept and the 'creep' will strangely get the watchers sympathy once you understand his background and the hell he has been through!
The film isn't great. Vas Blackwood & Ken Campbell are both committing career suicide to be in this. This film is about Kate. She's German, lives the high life & is pretty arrogant. You hate her already?
Good, because her life is about to be turned upside down after missing a friend at a party she tries & fails to hail several Black Cabs (why didn't she just phone 1 from the party - she has a mobile). Why she then tries to catch the Tube with large notes withdrawn from a cash-point (Love the scene of her being rude to the beggar - so typically London!) & then tries to buy a ticket from a machine that clearly scrolls a big red message NOTES ACCEPTED, CHANGE GIVEN), Blind & brain dead bitch, use another note! I was half expecting the travel card she buys off the girl beggar to not work (that would have been very funny!) then she goes to catch the last train. A well dressed young woman on her own with 6 minutes to wait.
Now we have seen her drinking quite a lot at the party & she drinks some more on the platform so yes she might have been quite drowsy, but she fell asleep in 6 minutes? & didn't hear the train? No-one woke her up? No staff checked the platform? What about the cleaners who do each station once it's closed, none of them spotted her?
Rather stupidly she doesn't break the fire alarm or try the emergency call button on the platform that she magically spots in a much later scene. She completely missed the 2 black doors at the top of the escalators (1 to the right in the corner, 1 to the left in the wall) which were probably emergency exits.
She gets on a train that stops in a tunnel & then goes dark and it turns out a man from the party had followed her. He tries to rape her & is taken from the train by SOMETHING! She wanders the station aimlessly until a dog finds her, she meets two beggars (a girl out of her head on drugs and a guy about to do same), the guy agrees to take her to a guard for £50 (since when did cash-points give £50 notes? never that I've seen) & They toddle off.
They see her rapist & help him to the platform. The druggie hears a scream & runs off to help his lass (who incidentally sat up & looked VERY LUCID for a lass smacked off her head). You know the pretty girl is gonna either get killed or captured by the bad man, don't ya?
Well she is captured (Creep seems to be a creature of habit, he killed almost everyone else as soon as he found them - WHY did he let George & Kate live?) and escapes and then there is lots of running away, Creep is finally killed in a crap death scene & an even worse ending where Kate makes it to the platform & people start coming in to catch a train (the platform where she started!) so you see she's been there all night!
There are WAY too many plot holes and inconsistencies to point them all out. Anyone who's traveled on the Tube extensively will be picking holes in this film all the way through it. Without a doubt the biggest goof has to be the change for a ticket scene. Kate truly is blind.
If you like bad slasher/horror flicks watch this. I'm hoping it'll improve with a 2nd watching whilst listening to the directors comments. I've only seen the movie once so can't really comment on the dvd extras. I do know it has a commentary track.
The young and attractive Kate has the possibility of to realize one of its dreams: to meet its favorite actor. Come to to know the where its place idol is going decides to reach the to be able know it and to do to do an I autograph. Arrived at the station of the subway it goes to sleep on a bench and it loses l' last race. Not just it wakes up it is given back account that the station closed and no has worried to awaken it. It remains therefore trapped in that place but, unfortunately for her, that night will not pass all' sign of the boredom and of the calm. In the in fact, in all subsoil the immense area route from the tracks of the subway, it is gone around a' monstrous and horrifying entity that wanders at hunting of human beings. Kate therefore will be compelled to escape sottoterrà in order to avoid to to be imprisoned from such monstrosity, will have to I wander in the darkness in wait that make day in such manner that those desolate stations return to to be populated. In its escape it will meet some persons that, by force of circumstances, are trapped actual like she. And' l' beginning of a true and actual nightmare. The film of Christopher Smith is presented godibile under every appearance. In primis the gloomy ambientazioni and worrying contribute not little to give back the film upsetting and claustrofobico. Some threatening stages I am worthy of note. The actors if extract it distinguishedly and the plot runs rather well. The resonant one is hit and, in some points, is indispensable for create tension that then flows in moments of authentic fear. L' entity that lives those places is horrifying to the just point, enough to arouse fear and disgust. In conclusion a production of all respect that does not disappoint the onlooker but that holds glued it to the chair in wait of what is about to happen, and what is about to happen is something of terrifying. From vision.
One booze filled evening Kate leaves her party in the hope of getting a date with George Clooney who is apparently in the area. Unable to hail a taxi in a dress that barely covers certain assets, Kate rushes underground to catch the last train of the day. With less than 10 minutes to wait she consumes yet more alcohol and drifts off to sleep. When she wakes she has of course missed the last train and finds herself trapped underground.
Her panic is short-lived as another train comes along and Kate hops aboard and begins to settle down for the ride. This is one ride however that Kate will soon regret taking as it appears that she is not alone on the train, and is unaware of the horrors that await her.
I remember seeing the trailer for this film, and reading some promising reviews about Creep around the time of its release. I remember thinking that this film had the potential to be chilling, as many people including myself have a fear of being stuck all alone in the dark and being freaked out by sounds around you.
At the beginning of this film I could sympathize with Kate and feel her fear of being all alone, and the emotions she must have felt when another train pulled into the station.
So then how come a film that starts off so promisingly ended up being no more than an average low budget horror, that for the most part makes absolutely no sense whatsoever?
Its basically a film where you have to remove your brain, otherwise youll spend the whole time questioning everything thats going on rather than sitting back and enjoying it.
Right from the start where our heroine finds herself stuck underground sounds implausible as I doubt there would be no way of you getting out in such a situation.
That is the first of many questionable moments during the film, which really shouldnt have arisen if more thought had gone into the proceedings.
My other problem with the film and one that is certainly not unique to Creep, is the fact that apart from the odd moment I never felt concerned enough about Kate to care whether she made it out alive. You see we never get to find out much about Kate, only the fact that she likes a drink or six and has a hideous taste in clothes.
Its important, for me at least when watching a horror film to be able to form some sort of attachment to the character/s. Having one dimensional characters meant that I couldnt have cared less what happened to them including the heroine.
There was even a hint halfway though that there was more to the killer than meets the eye, but for some reason this was thread was just left hanging. If these characters had only been developed more, then the film would have been all the better for it.
The acting was again on the whole a disappointment, although Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity/Supremacy) did the best she could with a limited script. For the most of the film she basically just had to run around screaming and shouting f**k, so nothing too taxing, and one that wont win her any best actress awards.
The best performance actually was given by the dog that belonged to a homeless couple down below, and he was the only one who I cared about the fate of.
The other characters featuring the rather I fancy myself Jeremy Sheffield (Holby City)
were instantly forgettable also, and their only real purpose was to hang around to add to the body count tally.
Sean Harris (who?) was just irritating as the bad guy, and every time he screeched I just wished I had ear plugs.
Where the film did score some points was for the very realistic gore that takes places on many occasions throughout the film. Ive lost count when watching these sort of films how many times Ive been less than impressed with the make up used, but in this film the blood looked very realistic indeed.
For those of you who cant stand rats then I advise you to stay clear of this as there are quite a few of them gnawing away at victims flesh.
It was a shame though that the make up department however failed to live up to expectations when it came to the revealing of the baddie in the film. The first initial glimpses of him made me believe that his unveiling would be truly horrifying, but alias when I did see him in the flesh so to speak I actually burst out laughing. Note to make up department, horror films arent scary if the killer looks so fake and silly that the audience laughs instead of shuddering with fear.
Directed by Chris Smith ( Severance) this is only the third film that hes written and directed, and one can only hope he gets better as time goes on. With a weak script and no sense of which direction he wanted the film to take, what were left with is this mess. The tube station setting with its many tunnels and obvious dark corners should have made for plenty jump out of your skin moments, but Smith fails to use this setting to its full potential.
At just over 80 minutes in length, the ending couldn't have come soon enough for me.
While the running time isnt long by any means, the fact that it still felt dragged out meant Id had enough at the halfway mark. If Kates situation had been more believable from the start and the back story of the killer explained a little more, then this film could have been so much more than your average slasher films.
This film is rated 18 which I feel is justified as it does contain strong bloody violence. As I mentioned the gore is very realistic throughout and while it wasnt enough to make me squirm, Im sure there are many of you that may find it all too much to watch.
While Creep had so much potential it failed to deliver the goods in most areas, so therefore I dont recommend you buy this film. If you do want to see it then I suggest you rent it out, or better still just wait until it comes on the tele and if youve got nothing better to do then give it a go.
Creep was released on DVD in 2004 and is available at Amazon for £5.97, or new & used from the marketplace starting at £1.99.
Horror underground. Kate a German student in London loves going to parties. One night she falls asleep at Charring Cross station. When she wakes up it is late and the station is closed.
When the last train stops at the station she is attacked by a man she met at the party. Before she is sexually assaulted the man is pulled out of the train by something.
Kate runs out of the train. The last train gone, she has nowhere to go. Whatever attacked the man in train stalks her.
She runs for life through the darkness in underground tunnels.
Creep is a decent thriller. The plot is not original. However it is effective, until the end of the film you are guessing about the fate of Kate played by German actress Franka Potente.
The film asks you the viewer to feel sorry for the characters. Creep thing which is chasing Kate is in the tunnels because of what happened to him earlier in life and Kate at times comes across as a nasty bitch but her frantic attempt to free herself of whatever is chasing her won me over. I felt sorry for the rough sleepers in the station as well.
Creep is a British film. It is directed by Chris Smith. I am not familiar with that name.
I liked the film though. I thought Franka was excellent.
It's late and on her way back from a party in Central London, Kate opts to take the Tube home rather than get an expensive taxi. Making her way down to the platform she drops down onto a bench and momentarily rests her eyes. It's been a long night and after many glasses of wine and without realising what she is doing, she falls asleep. When she awakens with a start, the platform is deserted and there is no sign of a train. Dashing back up the escalators, the locked shutters confirm her fears that she has somehow missed the last train home. Just as she is beginning to consider a night alone in an underground tube station, she hears the sound of a train pulling into the station below and dashes on board. The doors close, and Kate sits back, breathing a sigh of relief that she will soon make it home that night after all.
How wrong can you be ?
Do you find the London Underground creepy? I do, especially late at night. I'm not sure if it's the seemingly endless flights of stairs and escalators that seem to take you further and further down into the bowels of the city or whether it's the maze of platforms and passageways to be navigated. One thing is for sure, whenever I finally board an Underground train, it's quite a relief to get away from the station. In either case, what a perfect setting for a horror film but more importantly, however, what a disappointing attempt at making one.
Creep suffers from many things. An obviously low budget doesn't help things, but keeping things in the confines of the station and platform helps this. The performances are far from inspiring too - a London Underground security guard is particularly irritating and quite why British directors seem to think all homeless people in London are Scottish, I'm not sure. But these are superficial things that, in a better product probably wouldn't make much difference. Where Creep really falls apart is the utter implausible pointlessness of the whole thing.
Not long after Kate realises that she is trapped underground, she also realises that there is someone (or something) down there with her - and it isn't very friendly. And so, very quickly things transgress into a standard routine of stalk and slash. So why does this all go so badly wrong?
For starters, the idea of being locked down in the Underground doesn't work for me. I struggle to believe that anyone could actually be locked in, in such a fashion. My suspicions have been confirmed too. When Kate goes back upstairs to find the gates locked, what she would actually find is that although they are locked from the OUTSIDE the gates can still be opened from the INSIDE in case (guess what) a situation like this actually arises. Furthermore, the apparent inability of a security officer to acknowledge her apparent plight is utterly ridiculous, given the fact that whatever she is up to, she clearly shouldn't be down on the platform. A homeless couple of teenagers are thrown into the mix to give Kate somebody to talk to - and to give the stalker a couple more bodies to stalk. There's even a half-cocked red herring towards the start that further undermines the suggestion that she could get locked in overnight. Conceptually, it's all very silly therefore.
You could, however, still suspend disbelief at these practical issues if there was a worthwhile character at the heart of things. But there isn't. The "stalker" in question is some rotten-looking geezer, who wears little, chops people up and stalks the sewers looking for willing victims. If I told you that most of the film takes place in Charing Cross station, which is located underneath Charing Cross hospital, you might get a clue where he comes from. That won't spoil things for you, because believe me, even when you've watched the film, you still won't really understand what on Earth he is all about. Some half-baked plot about a child's ward and a surgeon get thrown in from somewhere, but ultimately he's as pointless as a chocolate tea cosy. Random killing and torture is common place in such films, but the bizarre thing about Creep is that there is a suggestion that the killing and torture is not random, but then there is no real explanation of it all either. It's really quite infuriating.
In spite of the potentially unsettling surroundings, there isn't much "creeping" going on here, either. The action switches mostly between the platforms - when you don't really see much - and some conveniently staged dark chambers beneath the tracks. The film's most ludicrous premise is the arrival of the last train, from which things start to go belly up. Somehow, the drivers are dead, but the train's still moving and in either case nobody seems to care that one of the trains has gone missing / just stopped. The more the film runs, the more you find yourself thinking, "Yeah, whatever."
The characters don't help much. Slimy guy Guy (Jeremy Sheffield from Holby City) is pretty much doomed from the outset and his dispatch neither surprises nor disturbs. The arrival of Scottish Jimmy and his crack-smoking girlfriend is not entirely unpredictable - you can't have a stalk and slash without anyone to stalk - but their most appealing feature is a rather cute little doggie that skitters and scatters his way round the corridors. Kate is herself rather uninteresting, although Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity) does her best to inject life where there probably is none. Apart from this, all we have is the ubiquitous black Cockney (think Don Cheadle from Ocean's Eleven) who routinely virtually poops himself and then freaks out. Yawn. The stalker is a strange-looking fellow, not unlike how you might imagine Gollum's older brother to look but desperately in need of better make-up - look carefully, and you'll see his body stocking wrinkling at the corners.
I expected Creep to be far nastier than it actually was, too. Aside from one slightly unpleasant scene (intimated rather than demonstrated) it's all pretty much standard horror gore-fare and was borderline 15/18 certificate from what I could see. (Jimmy's drug taking probably swayed the 18 more than the gore, so don't be fooled.) There are some jumps and scares but you'll see them coming a mile off and only the fifteen year-old schoolgirls who sneaked into the cinema are likely to be scared.
I was REALLY disappointed with Creep. I expected much more than this. I quite liked the idea (in terms of setting) and there was endless potential to be Creep-y here, but it was all unfulfilled. I suspect that Christopher Smith (writer and director) was trying not to be predictable here and avoided some of the usual traits of the genre. In fact, he'd have been better off throwing some of them in. A group of people trapped together would have at least provided more opportunity for character development and interaction - Kate's ordeal is a lonely, and rather uninspiring one. The only real suggestion of skill here occurs during the last sixty seconds of the film, where irony provides a fairly powerful closing scene. Clearly, however, that's not enough to offset the previous eighty-one minutes.
In the past few years the UK film council has put money into various British productions in the hope that theyll breath a little bit of fresh air in the UK film industry. Sadly the majority of films produced have been dire affairs that even on paper dont appear to be the kind of thing the public would pay money to see. Of course one genre that normally makes money is horror. You take a simple idea, throw in some gore and bring it in on a low budget.
Now on paper Ive no doubt that Creep sounded like a decent idea that would get people into the cinema. But the final product is executed poorly and must go down as an opportunity missed.
Kate is a woman who leaves a party on a quest to meet George Clooney at a club in London. She makes her journey across the city by taking the London underground. Sadly the affects of alcohol send her to sleep on the platform. She awakes to find the place deserted, the escalators are shut, gates are locked and everywhere is closed down. She is shut in for the night and all alone . or at least she thinks so.
Someone else is down in the tunnels with her and its someone with murderous tendencies. Bodies pile up and a night that started out with a little bit of hope descends into a nightmare.
The thing with Creep is that its unbelievably stupid and at times amateurish. For a horror film its pretty devoid of any real scares. Instead it relies on throwing in some nasty gore that just comes across as unpleasant and unnecessary. This is also a film doesnt offer anything new. The idea of being trapped in the underground with a crazed killer could have given some stellar moments of horror. But there is none of this, without credits this film runs for just over a hour and its a hour without many highlights.
Im at a loss as to why Franke Potente agreed to the lead role in this. Theres not much to play with, everybody else in the cast is mere gore fodder. The Creep in the film looks ok but all the while I couldnt get my head around the fact that it was a bloke with an ill-fitting body stocking.
At one moment in the film the lead character tries to get a ticket from the underground machine by feeding in a note. She is tapped on the shoulder by a snooty woman and informed that the machine doesnt give change. Yet anyone in the audience can see the large scrolling letters on the machine saying Change Available. If youre spending money on a film but cant get the simplest things right then why ask an audience to buy into your nightmare?
Creep goes down as another waste of British film money, I really do wonder who actually reads the script and makes the decisions at times.
If you want to see a rocking brit horror flick then dont waste your money on this and go purchase Neil Marshalls The Descent.
The DVD of Creep offers a solid audio/visual presentation. The grimy look of the film is well produced in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Audio wise both the Dolby 5.1 and DTS soundtracks offer a lot of atmosphere and nice punches throughout. But all of this cant really save the turkey that is on screen.
God forbid you actually liked this film but if you did then the DVD offers some extra treats for your consumption.
The audio commentary with writer/director Christopher Smith isnt worth much. Theres not a great deal of insight into the making of the film. At one point he compares some of it to the work of far superior directors and thats clearly a joke that Smith is not in on.
The Making of Creep is a pretty standard affair. There are a lot of interviews about the idea and the characters. A few behind the scenes shots but the credit cuts began to annoy me, as they seemed to prolong what was already a bog standard affair.
A couple of featurettes look at the make-up and production design. These are decent little numbers which probably offer more interest in twenty minutes than the entire cut of Creep.
A festival Q&A session follows which annoyingly throws questions up in text screen that hang around on screen for ages. The questions are pretty inane as well. I switched it off, as it got quite boring pretty quickly.
Rounding out things are alternate openings and endings. Both were not shot so instead we get the director explaining them over footage of storyboards. The opening would probably have been beneficial to the film as we never get a real idea of Creeps origins as a result. The ending is your usual train, heroine, bad guy encounter; you can guess how it all turned out. Theres also a look at some alternate titles that are about as interesting as finding fluff in between your toes.
Finally there are the usual trailers.
Creep is crap that is all.
OK this was never going to be amazing. I didn't get to see it at the cinema as I'm sure there were probably better films out at the time. I bought this DVD because its Halloween weekend, I'm too old to go Trick or Treating and I wanted a cheap, uncomplicated throw away horror. I got what I wanted.
The film begins in the sewer system. Two men, one who seems to have a strange love for, erm, tunnels and the other who is on community service are wondering around in the dark unblocking disgusting things from drains. The tunnel lover is obviously extremely excited to come across an opening to a tunnel that he hasn't been down in his twenty years on the job. Now this is a slasher film so of course he goes down the dark tunnel ALONE. George, the guy on community service (Vas Blackwood - Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels), has to go in after him and the film begins.
Our 'heroine' is Kate (Franka Potente - Bourne Identity / Blow), the selfish rich girl who is on a mission to get from a party across town to try and seduce George Clooney (I know). As Kate can't flag down a taxi she decides to take the Tube. After annoying a few people (including me) she gets to her platform, drinks some alcoholic beverage of some sort, falls asleep and misses the last train.
Kate has a wonder around the station to find it's locked and there is no one else around (phone call to the police anyone?). Kate hears a train and runs back down to the platform to board the completely empty train. Kate then realises she has been followed Guy (Jeremy Sheffield - Holby City) who she managed to annoy (not surprising) at the party. Fairly quickly Kate realises that something is not quite right and her night of 'terror' has started. From here on the blood begins to flow.
This film does a fine job of being a modern day hammer horror, they knew they didn't have much of a budget and they didn't try anything too big or clever. The writer and director Christopher Smith manages to keep the suspense right up to the usual point - when we see the killer. As with many films such as Jeepers Creepers the actual reality of the killer is never quite as bad as the possibility of what it COULD be before he/she is revealed. The deserted London Underground is a great backdrop for this film - it's not something too far removed from our reality to make it unfrightening. The music was perfect, dark, echoey (?) and erm creepy. For anyone who has played the game Silent Hill you will probably recognise quite a lot of the music as its pretty similar and quite a few of the scenes look like they could have been taken from the game too.
The special effects were what you would expect from a film, that aspires to be a B-movie, quite a lot of blood, some spurting of blood and some pools of blood. Oh and some more blood. This film wasnt really about effects, more about atmosphere and, thankfully, that was pretty well done.
One of the most eerie scenes is in a makeshift hospital ward, the atmosphere at this point is great, you actually want to find out what happened here and we begin to sympathise with the bad guy. Unfortunately, for me, this is where the film misses a great opportunity. For a while I really thought that we were going to find out an interesting, gruesome back story but no, it gives us a bit of a taste but leaves the viewer to make your own mind up. Sometimes this tactic works but on this occasion some more information really would have improved the whole film.
This film had me complaining all the way through. Why didn't she call the police? Why are you going down there on your own - no don't follow him! Why didn't the bad guy seem as ridiculously strong towards the end of the film? Why doesn't she kill him when she has the chance? The usual stuff really. I know most horror films have this kind of effect, I think it's actually in a rule book somewhere, but this film was just slightly more irritating.
By the end I was saying that it would serve her right if she got killed as she wasn't the kind of character that you really felt for at any point and she was really quite annoying. I was, however quite worried about the poor dog running round the station, although he could obviously look after himself because at one point he was covered in blood but by the end of the film he was miraculously clean again - very clever canine.
If Kate had been more likeable (and less irritating) and we had been given more of a back story as to the point of the bad guy then this could have been a pretty good film. As we don't the film is really lacking in some places. That said though, if you are after the same thing that I was - a cheap, uncomplicated slasher film with a difference then it's worth a look. Just expect to be shouting at the screen!
As far as the DVD extras go, I wasn't that interested in the film to care about the making of it - I just didn't like it enough. For anyone who is really into what goes in to the making of a film then the extras may be interesting but I have to really like a film to be that bothered how it was made.
Run time - 81 mins
DVD Extras - Director's Commentary, Making of Featurette, Production Design Featurette, Make-up Design Featurette, Frightfest Q&A with Franka Potente & Christopher Smith, Alternative Ending with Storyboard, Alternative Beginning with Storyboard, Alternative Titles, UK Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots.
When Kate falls asleep and misses the last train from London, panic sets in as she realises that she's locked in the underground station. She is somewhat relieved, then, when a train finally appears at the platform. Relief, however, soon turns to complete and utter terror.