Christopher Smith has made some interesting films in the past few years. I liked "Severance" and I also liked "Black Death", so I decided that perhaps it was time to see the man's debut feature. And like a lot of debut films, it's neither an accurate display of the director's talent as both a filmmaker and a story-teller, but it also squanders its inventive premise. A lot of inspiration went into the film; but little went out. Kind of like the sewer system at the center of the film; which is within the horror genre, something not surprising when it comes to director Smith. But he could have done so much more here and he didn't; so "Creep" is kind of a disappointment overall.
Kate (Franka Potente) needs to hop on the next train so that she can go to a party that actor George Clooney is attending. She misses the train after falling asleep, and finds herself stuck within the station. When she's still in the train, she nearly gets raped by a guy that we saw her talking to at the party before the one she actually wants to attend. But something stops him, pulls him off, and leaves him very much damaged. Seeking help from homeless people and the station security, Kate is even more interested in finding out who did this to her sweet near-rapist.
After a lot of searching and pondering, it is revealed that there is a killer in the sewer system; a deformed, ugly bastard known only as "The Creep". He kidnaps other not-so-deformed humans and tortures, or even kills them. And he has a lot of fun with it. Oh, and I should mention that in his spare time, the guy kills already somewhat-dead laboratory patients. And I bet he has a lot of fun with that too.
"Creep" does not have a bad set-up; but it was nothing original or particularly inventive to begin with. It could of worked, but it does not. It builds tension in the most absurdly generic way; through screams and crafty camerawork, as well as make-up effects for its creature/monster/killer, and music to spice up the experience. I suppose this would work on me if I was a very gullible horror fan, but I'm just not the type of person. "Creep" doesn't have good enough characters or a good enough plot to hold its own. There are better horror movies and there are better thrillers; why would you see this one?
And then, the film makes matters worse by applying a laughable or perhaps intentionally ironic/funny twist ending, which works only somewhat, but still fails to make the film the slightest bit worthwhile. I won't spoil WHAT the twist is, but let me tell you up front that it has nothing to do with the film's killer. It almost allows the movie to be saying something; as if to make social commentary, but I don't quite see it.
The film is well-intentioned in its direction by Christopher Smith. People will go in, get what they want out of the movie, and enjoy it while it lasts, but few will really care about seeing it once more. Movies like this rarely attract an audience that wants to think, but if you're a fan of decent escapist entertainment, it might work a certain charm; a certain appeal. But for me, "Creep" is nothing more than the same genre mediocrity that I've been dealing with for years-and-years, but the good news is that Smith eventually got his act together, and followed up with some pretty solid films. My advice would be this: see those films, but don't see "Creep". I can't decide for you; and I'm not saying that the film is a bad one, but I just slapped a rating on the thing after I concluded my thoughts, and this is what it all accumulated to.