Creep 2004 REVIEW

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Creep 2004 offers a mixed-bag of horror elements but should satisfy most gorehounds, says KATE INGLEBY-PARYLO

A scene from Creep 2004
A scene from Creep 2004

TITLE: Creep
RELEASED: 2004
DIRECTOR: Christopher Smith
CAST: Franka Potente, Sean Harris, Vas Blackwood

Review of Creep 2004

After falling asleep on the tube, Kate finds herself trapped in the London Underground. With no escape and threats around every corner, Kate soon finds herself in a struggle for survival as she discovers the true horrors of the London Underground. Written and directed by Christopher Smith, Creep 2004 brings a fun but cheap time; fulfilling the thrills of a creature feature while maintaining the shallowness of a slasher film.

Starring Franka Potente as Kate, Creep begins as Kate is travelling on the tube after attending a party. From her introduction, she isn’t presented as the most likeable of characters. She’s rude, abrasive and rather arrogant. This is the first noticeable thing about Creep 2004. The moment you meet one unlikeable character, you immediately meet another. Whilst not uncommon within the horror genre, it does change the overall feel of the film. One that is more goofy than scary.

Whereas in most horror films you’d expect one thing, Creep usually does the other. This isn’t to say that the film is bad, but that it seems like it would be more at home with Dashcam 2021 than Eden Lake 2008. Creep 2004 isn’t to be taken seriously, and doing so will reduce your enjoyment. 

Whilst Potente’s acting is mostly good, some of her performance misses the mark. This is especially frequent near the beginning of the film, and more often than not when she’s delivering some weak dialogue. Her performance, mixed with some of the shaky script, creates a rather unconvincing delivery.

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Throughout the film, Creep 2004 touches on the issue of homelessness in London. This is depicted through Kate’s attitude towards the homeless people as well as the attitudes displayed by the various other characters. From this, it would seem like the characterisation of Kate and the unlikeable nature of most of the characters is pointing to an overall message in regard to how we view people we perceive to be less than us (like homeless people). This idea seems to be reinforced further once we learn more about the creature and who it has been eating to survive. 

Whilst this is where the film has the most depth, it is also where one of its major weaknesses lies. Not to delve into spoilers, but the more we learn about the creature lurking in the underground, the less sense the film makes. Let’s just say, the idea of a creature living and surviving in the London Underground brings a pretty extensive list of logistical questions to answer. Unfortunately, the film can’t and won’t address most, if any, of these.

Even with a lot of my gripes with the film, Creep 2004 is a mostly enjoyable ride. The gore and special effects should satisfy most gorehounds, as should the design and behaviour of the creature. The uneasy atmosphere, fast-paced nature of the film, make it easy to watch from beginning to end. Despite the characters, the film still manages to be pretty creepy.

The setting of the London Underground is well utilised, creating the familiar sense of unease and anxiety everyone has felt whilst being somewhere alone. It also manages to put a sinister twist on the feeling of claustrophobia whilst travelling on the tube. Creep has a satisfying, full-circle ending with a gratifying arc for at least one of the characters.

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Overall, Creep 2004 is a very mixed bag. Some of the film is pretty poor. Some of it is pretty great, but most of it is pretty average. That is not to say that average is bad, but that it is a standard slasher film. You’ve already seen Creep in one variation or another. This time, however, the main differences are the rare setting of the London Underground and an unlikeable final girl. Currently, Creep 2004 is available to rent or buy digitally via Apple TV and Amazon Prime. The film is also available for dirt cheap physically on DVD.

Watch Creep 2004 Trailer

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