Creep 2 (2017)

Bigger, bolder, & bodaciously-dadbod with the perfect new whitebread pilates-bro matcha-smoothie meme caricature, cyber-ambition to delve more into psychology of incels/social-media, & morbidly-beautiful love-story. A fantastic sequel. 8.5/10.

Plot Synopsis: A vlogger who craves shocking stories realizes she has made a mistake when she encounters a serial killer in a cabin.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

Review

A Found-Footage Evolution

The 2015 Original Shocked & Amazed At Its Realism & Low-Budget Thrills Expanding Its Subgenre; A Sequel Could Be Make-Or-Break

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

‘My name is Peachfuzz. I may look like a big bad wolf, but I’ve got the heart of a rabbit.’ Patrick Brice’s 2015 directorial debut brought a new flavor to the subgenre of found-footage indie horror – framing slasherisms in a Creep-y incel jacket perfect for the Social Media Age. Two years later, he and the original’s breakout star-performance: Mark Duplass’ subversive and shocking Josef are back – with bite, tons of technical prowess, and a layer of cinematic depth the original pales in comparison to. Back, bigger, and bodaciously-dadbod with the perfect new whitebread pilates-bro matcha-smoothie meme caricature, cyber-ambition to delve more into psychology of incels/sequels/social-media, diversity, & a backwards nightmare love-story executed with finesse culminating in an epic finale that atones for the original’s sacrilege, Creep 2 is a fantastic sequel better than the original (& most horror follow-ups) by far.

A Serial Killer In A Mid-Life Crisis

A Masterclass Performance By Duplass That Evokes Every Emotion Possible – Oftentimes In Pure Monologue/Long-Take Wizardry

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

The coup-de-maître accomplishment of Creep 2 is the performances – led by a masterclass performance by Duplass. One of the most impressive performances I’ve seen in the horror genre in a long time, Duplass is back and better than ever – in every way. Most striking and instantly-summarizing of his magnificent acting pedigree is the film’s multiple long-takes – one of the oldest yet seldom-used tricks in the book for actors to flex their muscles without cuts/takes to bail them out of any copouts beyond perfect performance. This wows even from the film’s brilliant opening 8.5-min scene – ratcheting-up the horror and sadistic-games of its killer with Josef (or whatever name-of-the-week he’s choosing.. only to later choose Aaron to really twist the knife in our sides) back taunting another victim with packages and black comedy of feigning concern/surprise at his stalking situation, police-interest, & gunless complacency while sneaking smirks at the camera knowing before enacting a blood-splattered finale. The ice-cold delivery and wild unpredictability of his actions and persona is elevated 10x by the rest of the film – revealing ~everything about his backstory, killing method, and routine, as well as psychological fascination and the darkest recesses of his soul (especially in that hot-tub monologue – one of the greatest soliloquies of pure acting likely in modern-horror history) juxtaposed with every other emotion you can find as he recounts his 39 kills and what/where/who/why – to his soon-to-be 40th.

A Morbidly-Beautiful Love-Story

One Of The Great Materializations Of Character Development & Documentarian Subject Analysis In A Horror Sequel

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

Desiree Arkhaven’s Sara reverberates Duplass’ performance with an impressive one of her own – the ying to Peacfuzz’s yang. An aspiring documentarian/vlogger who wants to glean art and humanistic truth from the world of online ads and the eccentric-and-idiosyncratic people who write them, she gets more than she ever thought possible in Aaron. The screenplay’s themes of cyberworld-vastness & difficulty of launching a start-up/idea to barely a few pity clicks or views regardless of quality (as well as the perpetual loneliness and incel-creation isolation) in the Social Media Age, the psychology plus partial-humanity of serial-killers exploring what turns them into the monsters they are today, sequels-and-art as a concept wanting to go bigger-and-more-ambitious like in the many All-Time great films and sequels referenced through Easter Eggs: from Psycho to Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Jaws (2) to Interview With A Vampire, and paranoia/stranger-danger lurking out there beyond the internet-screens of mysterious forums all make for a thematically-rich exposition parlayed into a love story on acid.

The Finale

A Final Act That Capitalizes & Redeems Everything Wrong With Its Predecessor – And Delivering Enough Horror To Skate

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

The two escalate into a morbidly-beautiful, backwards-twisted love-story that’s bizarre and one-of-a-kind – wherein Aaron’s pathological brokenness finds a complement that manages to reawaken his twisted passion and even scare him sometimes too in Sara, gives an incel his first kiss, and ironically both survive a violent-subverted Romeo-and-Juliet double-suicide ruined by the realization that Aaron really is the killer maniac he said he was and it was not a joke. The finale delivers everything the original’s lackluster finish lacked, being viscerally-thrilling and shocking in a heart-thumping night woods setting wherein Sara experiences the stun of Aaron’s true identity and knowing she’s about to die before beautifully-subverting its own predecessor’s ending by having Aaron be the one who forgets to look behind him. The only real problem with this sequel-analytic satirization of romance in a midnight-black horror jacket is one thing: fan-service.

Where’s The Peachfuzz?

The Only Real Problem In The Sequel Is Bizarrely One Of The Easiest To Fix: Fan-Service & More Than A Second’s Wolf-Cameo

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

The flaw of Creep 2 is bizarrely one of the easiest possible it would’ve been to fix: where’s the Peachfuzz? Indeed, a sequel not having any glimpse beyond a second’s cameo of its original’s biggest and scariest part is a fan-service deprivation akin to a Batman movie not having Bruce suit-up once. The finale act is fantastic this time around, capitalizing and redeeming the biggest flaw of its original in a shocking turn of events in the night of woods and stalk-fest back to city life – but I really, REALLY wish the final shot would’ve been Sara returning home to find the wolfy-mask’d Aaron say ‘hi Sara’ then attack as it cuts black.. or even a mail package of just the Peachfuzz mask to equally transmit the horror of the Creep not being dead. Gosh, this franchise needs to learn how to properly-end objectively fantastic movies – their own villain is themselves. Beyond that, there’s some illogic and plot holes – like in its finale’s grave one having one of the world’s most prolific serial-killers not even be able to know that his victim was dead, and of course the introduction of him accurately revealing his darkness and actions – and she barely registers the possibility that he’s telling the truth about 39 killings (herself to be the 40th). Any remotely-intelligent protagonist would’ve ran, and ran fast; Sara makes the Friday The 13th and Halloween girls look like PhD-candidates or Neurosurgeons in comparison.

Conclusion

A Better Sequel In Every Way

Back, Bigger, & Bodaciously-Dadbod With A Perfect New Meme Look, Cyber-Ambition, & Backwards Love-Story By Refined Technique

Photo Courtesy Of: Blumhouse Productions

Overall, Creep 2 is one of the best horror sequels in a long time. Beyond going for stock jump scares or simply/easily redoing the first film with another subject, it redefines and reimagines the concept altogether – while psychologically-analyzing its subject with some of the most refined poise ever in the modern genre. While I wish there was more Peachfuzz and fan-service, the phenomenal execution of such an ambitious project and thematically-resonant screenplay encompassing every emotion on the checklist makes for a monstrous-yet-elegant product you’re cued to look away from, but can’t take your eyes off. Back, bigger, and bodaciously-dadbod with the perfect new whitebread pilates-bro matcha-smoothie meme caricature, cyber-ambition to delve more into psychology of incels/sequels/social-media, diversity, & a morbidly-beautiful backwards love-story executed with finesse culminating in an epic finale that atones for the original’s sacrilege, Creep 2 is a fantastic sequel better than the original (& most horror follow-ups) by eons.

Official CLC Score: 8.5/10