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  Creep
Year: 2004
Director: Christopher Smith
Stars: Franka Potente, Vas Blackwood, Ken Campbell, Jeremy Sheffield, Paul Rattray, Kelly Scott, Sean Harris
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: "Don't Ride On Late Night Trains". Sound advice, whether or not you happen to have seen Aldo Lado's 80s sleazefest, and a wholly appropriate warning for Kate (Franka Potente) - a young German girl living and working in London.

The promise of a VIP pass to a George Clooney showbiz bash prompts Kate to make an early exit from a party where she's been kept busy fighting off the amorous attentions of co-worker Guy (Jeremy Sheffield). When the aforementioned lech turns up on an empty Charing Cross tube train, Kate is 'rescued' by the titular crature who appears to offer a rather drastic type of security for vulnerable females.

Don't you believe it? Soon, this by now terrified young woman is frantically trying to break out of a transport network that is locked and chained til a new dawn breaks, with a homeless couple (Paul Rattray and Kelly Scott) and their dog providing the only immediate aid.

Taken at face value, Creep packs in action and thrills a-plenty during its brisk 85 minute running time, though Potente's character requires generous suspension of disbelief during the more frantic set-pieces. The Creep - a deformed ex-member of the human race - immediately recalls the creature from Gary Sherman's Death Line (a major influence on this film), although the air of medical deviancy and use of surgical apparatus of evil can be traced to the more recent Session 9.

Despite its flaws - top-heavy on combat, light on script - Creep is a pleasing throwback to 70s British horror, and it's good to see such a film given appropriate cinema cetification: sure, we all hate to see a director's vision destroyed by nonsensical BBFC cuts, but let's get real with regard to '15' and '18' certificates. Creep deserved the latter, and I'm still amazed at several recent theatrical releases that were deemed suitable for younger audiences.

It's bloody, often downright nasty (witness the scene where Creep begs for mercy - a plea based on memory rather than contrition) and absolutely guaranteed to induce fear and loathing the next time you find yourself down in the tube station at midnight with a seemingly empty platform for company.

Good, unwholesome entertainment, and how refreshing to encounter a genre movie prepared to rope in national and regional issues of concern: drug abuse, the disenfranchised and the sorry state of our famous underground networks all come under the spotlight.

I do hope Ken Livingstone is watching.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

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Christopher Smith  (1970 - )

British writer and director with a penchant for the macabre. After making short films at film school, it was seven years before his first feature was released, the London Underground-set chiller Creep. He followed it with well-received comedy horror Severance and shipboard puzzle Triangle, then the medieval horror quest Black Death. As a change of pace, he next directed his own spin on Christmas, family fantasy Get Santa.

 
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