Mark Duplass is a thousand times more sinister when wearing a wolf mask…

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When one thinks of Mark Duplass you may think of him in improvisational comedy show The League or his HBO show Togetherness or maybe the understated but critically acclaimed films he has directed with his brother such as Jeff, Who Lives At Home or Cyrus. What you definitely don’t think of is one of the most intense and downright creepy (clues in the name) horror films of recent years.

Creep is not a massively original concept but it gets so many things right that it hardly matters. Director, co-writer and co-star Patrick Brice answers an ad to film a cancer patients last moments in a scary cabin in the woods. Duplass is the mysterious cancer patient. Whilst Creep may seem on first glance to have an air of inevitability about it, I actually had no fucking clue what was going to happen from moment to moment and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, which is a testament to Brice’s brilliantly atmospheric direction.

One constant bugbear with the found footage genre is the nagging question of why the characters are constantly filming at all. A big tick for Creep is that the constant presence of a camera is given a rational explanation within the first five minutes which allows the rest of the story time to breathe and develop naturally.

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As an actor Mark Duplass has shown little sign that he is capable of such a sinister and nuanced performance but he is so comfortable and natural throughout that I will struggle to look upon him in the same light from now on. Creep is everything I look for in a horror film, well acted, intense, genuinely scary, and most importantly it will linger with you long after the credits have rolled. Not once did I roll my eyes or find myself disconnected from the action.

With Creep, Duplass and Brice have ventured far from their respective comfort zones but they have done so successfully. Mark Duplass is at the peak of his powers creatively at the moment following the success of Togetherness and also a starring berth in the critically acclaimed The One I Love and it is exciting to see where he will go next. The fact that Creep is planned as the first of a trilogy is incredibly intriguing and a little frightening…