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Creep (2004)

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Plot Summary:
"Trapped in a London subway station, a woman who's being pursued by a potential attacker heads into the unknown labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city's streets."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 31 January 2005 My Rating: out of 5


Franka Potente's latest horror movie finally arrives in UK cinemas after strong word of mouth and heavy advertising, or lack of it, if the story about the poster being banned in the London underground is to be believed. Although you can't really buy advertising like that, so it all worked out in the end.

Whilst the film for me was a mixed bag, it has definitely taken steps to ensure that UK horror continues to become more popular and we should see some good horror movies being made in the UK in light of this.

Franka Potente plays Kate, a bitchy booker at a modelling agency, who falls asleep on the platform after a boozy agency party whilst waiting for the last train. Kate awakens, and her anger at being locked in the station soon turns to terror as she is stalked by an unseen assailant through a series of maze like tunnels under the City of London.

The film starts out well with a simple yet effective title sequence, and an obligatory early death before introducing us to the main protagonist and her problem very quickly. Now I'm all for getting into the thick of things, but the film moves a little too fast at times, and this ultimately made me question things more. For example, Kate manages to fall into a very deep sleep in a matter of minutes, so deep that speeding trains and people making a noise don't disturb her slumber...she wasn't even drunk.

The film does actually manage (dare I say it) to be quite creepy throughout it's first half, but like 'Jeepers Creepers' our initial shock at seeing the Creep and his abundance of screen time, thereafter quickly lessens the films impact.

The film is definitely a one woman show, as the supporting cast (who are all stereotypes) are only there to be killed off, despite providing some humour (security supervisor) but then none of them are even that likeable so you don't really care if they die or not.

Franka Potente is more than capable of carrying the film's weight however, and it is her character arc that keeps you intrigued. She starts out as a bitchy socialite and is in an entirely different place by the end of it. The fact that she (and her character) is German means that she gives it her all, which a pampered English woman may not have done. At the first sign of trouble, the high heels are off, the work boots are on, and she's running for her life.

The film's gritty visual style coupled with disgusting locations, great sound design, and indeed the excellent music by British band The Insects, are invariably it's strongest features.

The film scores extra for carrying an 18 certificate and for showing lots of blood, despite still actually holding back on a lot of the gore. If your friends tell you about all the gore sequences that made them feel queasy, then Director Christopher Smith has done his job, as a good portion of the horror is psychological and therefore makes you think you have seen more than you actually have.

The film does have moments that come across as laughable or stupid, such as the hotly talked about surgery sequence, and the moment where Kate stands about doing nothing which results in the death of another character, but in the end it's only a movie and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Creep is cleverly designed to come across as more terrifying than it actually is, and for most audience members it will work. The film is disgusting however and does have many wince inducing moments to look forward to. It gets extra points for having a kick ass female lead, not skimping on the gore and for proudly carrying an 18 certificate.

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