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I wish it was special Feb 11

“What am I doing here? I don’t belong here.” A thought that crossed my mind last night while at the cinema watching Creep.

It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill horror film, with the gimmick that it’s set in the London Underground (a setting previously used in the superior 1970s flick Death Line). The frights in Creep were standard turn-the-corner-and-there’s-a-scary-man style, with some unpleasant operating theatre action to top up the gore score. There was an attempt at back story (without spelling it out patronisingly) but this ended up slowing the film down without satisfactorily explaining big chunks of the plot.

Despite a few good turns (notably Ken Campbell and Vas Blackwood), the cast were pretty mediocre, but worse were the characters. The Scottish junkie was a walking stereotype and the lead, Kate, was incredibly stupid to the point that she became impossible to empathise with. Each time she had opportunities to finish off the monster-villain-creature, she let them pass and reverted to running through tunnels while panting. It’s made clear that Kate has no change and this means she can’t use the public telephone. (At least this is how I read it – if it was supposed to be out of order, it didn’t come across.) But in her desperate situation she doesn’t reverse charges, pay by credit card or dial 999. And at no point did she set off the fire alarm on the platform, surely the easiest way to attract attention.

I tried to forgive the film what I saw as its first requirement for me to suspend my disbelief: I wasn’t convinced by Kate’s falling asleep on the station platform. I put this to one side, since it was an essential conceit for the rest of the story to work, but there were too many other occasions subsequently that infuriated me. There are plot holes you could drive a tube train through, not least how a bloodthirsty creature who appears to have been in the tunnels for years has survived and why such a killing spree hasn’t (presumably) occurred before in all that time.

Creep, like to many horror films, has a weak story but passes the time – in this case, too much time.

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