VERDICT: "In The Zone" - [Mixed Reaction] These kinds of movies are usually movies that had some good things, but some bad things kept it from being amazing. This rating says buy an ex-rental or a cheap price of the DVD to own. If you consider cinema, ask for people's opinion on the film. (Films that are rated 2.5 or 3 stars)
Franka Potente is Kate, a socialite on her way to a party in London where George Clooney (Yes really) is believed to be hanging at and where she will attempt to seduce him (Yup, I'm not kidding).
However, she falls asleep at the subway station and misses the last train, leaving her trapped inside. Jeremy Sheffield's Guy is pursuing her though, and when a train finally arrives (Yes, the logic's already disintegrating), he appears out of nowhere and tries to rape her. Unfortunately for him, there is a real killer in the underground who drags him off her and wounds him fatally.
The rest of the movie is killer-pursues-Kate.
Quite frankly the logic in this one was never meant to be particularly strong. It's not even obvious that she fell asleep while waiting for the train, and instead it could have been mindgames. And indeed, mindgames seem to be the only explanation for some of the slightly ludicrous events which occur in the first half.
Nonetheless, this movie is about running away from the bad guy, whose appearance and identity imply he's 'not normal' (Are they ever), and to this end the film does a decent enough job. Once the bizarre first half hour of silliness is past, it is simple enough fare, with more than a hint of severe gore.
There's little more that can be said, such is the basic nature of this, but if you accept the intrinsic daftness of some of it, you'll get a reasonable kick out it if you like the genre.
Indeed, Franka did her job by carrying this underground horror (literally for you Brits as this takes place within London's subway tunnels) for the first hour. The preoccupying interactions among the cast raise it above the typical slasher expectation. Then it goes own the tube (ha!) once we're introduced to the killer who has the weakest backstory of any horror movie monster in history. No exaggeration! Writer/director Christopher Smith must've banged his head against his keyboard for weeks trying to explain this thing's existence until he finally said, "Fuck it! Some kind of medical mistake! I don't care, I'm done!" Sometimes if you can't think of a good reason, you should simply not ask the question; worked for High Tension and Texas Chainsaw Massacre for example.
Better than I expected with a couple good jolts but still not worth recommending, except perhaps to Franka fans.
I keep reviewing Christopher Smith movies, and I keep reviewing them favorably, though it has always seemed to me that just under the surface there's a truly great filmmaker straining to get out, while Smith's current output still ranges from good to firm. Creep, his debut feature, is ironically the last of the four he has directed at the time of this writing (April 2013) that I've sat down and watched. And of the four, Creep may be the one that comes closest to greatness, though Black Death did give it a run for its money.
Creep is the story of Kate (Lola Rennt's Franka Potente), a bored partygoer in London who heads off to another party via the subway-but falls asleep on the platform on the way to party #2, waking up only after the station has been shut down for the night. She meets a few of the station's otherwise-homeless denizens and fights off another alumnus of the party she'd just come from (The Children's Jeremy Sheffield) (and here's plot hole #1-would this guy, drunk and drugged up, have really hung around the platform that long waiting for her to wake up, or would he have just taken advantage of the situation when she passed out?) before things get really interesting. And by "interesting" I mean "people start dying and once again Franka Potente finds herself running for her life in a movie."
It all sounds like it's been done before. And trust me, it has, but as I have said a number of times before, Smith's specialty is taking tired plots and giving them legs. It helps that Smith, here, also assembled a monster cast, including Paul Rattray (Max), the late Ken Campbell (A Fish Called Wanda), Vas Blackwood (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels), Kelly Scott (Atonement), and Sean Harris (The Discovery of Heaven) in principal roles. Some were already established and some were on their way up-the casting of Harris was especially prescient, it turns out-but all bring their A games to the table, which is part of what makes this flick so much fun to watch. The other part is seeing all these pieces we've seen dozens of times before (and many times since-I'm convinced that both the filmmakers on the Canadian flick End of the Line and the game designers for Hellgate: London are both huge group fans of Creep) put together in interesting, if not unique, ways. (Smith seems to have honed that part of his craft as he went along.) It's nothing you haven't seen before, but I had a fun time with it; monster-movie fans could do a lot worse than checking this one out. *** 1/2