Newest Review: ... 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, Ge... more
The hidden side of London Underground?
Member Name: GentleGenius
Advantages: Has potential, interesting idea, good music
Disadvantages: Bad acting, bad characterisation, boring stretches, bad camera work
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 ~~
Summary: Probably worth a watch, but don't expect anything mind-blowing