U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 36 mins

If You Want A Unique Horror Recommendation, Watch The 'Creep' Movies

Mark Duplass stars in "Creep 2."

In the years since “The Blair Witch Project” popularized found-footage theatrics, filmmakers have stretched the genre to its limits. After half a dozen “Paranormal Activity” installments, the mini-phenomenon that is “Cloverfield” and a score of interchangeable stories about devilish encounters and digital transgressions, there’s not much in this format that hasn’t been aped ad nauseam.

At least one recent addition rises above the clichés: “Creep,” the brisk indie conceived byMark Duplassand director Patrick Brice (“The Overnight”). Currently available on Netflix, the movie premiered in 2015, inaugurating a trilogy whose second installment, “Creep 2,” premiered Tuesday on VOD platforms. (It, too, will soon hit Netflix.) “Creep” and its sequel twist the documentary-style voyeurism that characterizes found footage. No one merely happens upon unlikely horrors, nor does anyone set out to chronicle expected encounters with the supernatural. The characters double as the movies’ auteurs; they personify the audience’s anxiety.

It’s a welcome guise, as the conceit implicates the act of filmmaking. An ominous man (Duplass) hires videographers via vague Craigslist advertisements. The movies unfold from the vantage of a single amateur documentarian, sent to a remote cabin ostensibly to capture a day in the life of his or her employer, a boundary-deficient charmer who calls himself Josef. In the first “Creep,” Brice plays the summoned filmmaker, Aaron, there to record a video diary for Josef’s unborn son; in the second “Creep,” Desiree Akhavan (“Appropriate Behavior”) takes over, portraying Sara, the host of a little-seen web series that profiles lonely men. 

Throughout Aaron’s nightmarish experience, during which Josef coaxes him to crash overnight at his rustic chalet, we are privy to Josef’s psyche only as it exists through Aaron’s camera lens. Our apprehension builds alongside his. Is Josef a chronic liar? An unstable murderer? A harmless charlatan? Something else altogether? By the time Sara enters this weirdo’s orbit, we know the answers to those questions. Keeping things interesting, Josef ― this time using a different moniker and disclosing his supposed childhood biography ― informs Sara of his motive upon her arrival. The tension instead boils around whether she will believe him. As the ordeal grows odder, she gives herself a pep talk in the bathroom: She’s there to revive her floundering web series, and here’s the perfect subject. Why flee now, simply because he could be a dangerous lunatic?

With a low-budget ease, the “Creep” series works because it’s pristinely calibrated and fastidiously acted. The videographers are more heard than seen, so the terror stems from disembodied voices rounding dim corners and navigating head-scratching scenarios. As viewers, we probe whether we would respond in kind. (Josef’s vulnerability and charisma convince Aaron to trust him despite Aaron’s car keys having gone missing. Sara agrees to hike with him at night even though he’s threatened to make her witness to his suicide.)

“Creep 2” doesn’t thrive the way its predecessor did. The audience’s familiarity with Josef’s demented sense of humor reduces the sting. Yet it’s still worthwhile, stretching beyond the confines of a typical horror narrative. Duplass’ uncanny mania carries these movies so handily that the chief found-footage quandary ― why anyone would keep filming amid danger; a camera seems like an impediment to self-defense ― almost vanished. These are experienced videographers, after all. If this dude’s a cad and they make it out alive, better have some footage to show for it.

As the internet swarms to assemble its annual lists of horror recommendations, I nominate the “Creep” flicks as an under-appreciated double feature. Did Brice and Duplass need to make this sequel, or its forthcoming follow-up? Probably not. But, together, they make for excellent home viewing, the lights dimmed and your voyeuristic claws gripping the cushions. 

Related...

'Princess Cyd' Tells A Queer Coming-Of-Age Story Across One Enlightening Summer

Yes, Todd Haynes Does Know How Much You Love 'Carol'

25 Years Later, Madonna's 'Sex' Book Is Still Pop's Most Radical Moment

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

  • Finance
    CNBC

    Morgan Stanley: The stock sell-off is going to get worse

    The stock market is in the middle of a rolling bear market, says Morgan Stanley's Mike Wilson. "It's being caused by a drain in liquidity and peaking growth," Wilson says. The stock market sell-off is only going to get worse, predicts Morgan Stanley's chief U.S. equity strategist, Mike Wilson.

  • Why Marijuana Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Crushed It Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Marijuana Stocks Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, and Tilray Crushed It Today

    The three Canadian marijuana stocks that currently trade on major U.S. stock exchanges enjoyed big gains on Monday. Shares of Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) were up 14% as of 3:48 p.m. EDT, while Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY) jumped 18.9% and 12.1%, respectively. Two of the three marijuana growers reported new developments earlier in the day.

  • These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about
    News
    MarketWatch

    These are the bad things about early retirement that no one talks about

    For all the glamour of living an early retirement lifestyle, there are plenty of negatives I’ve come to discover since I permanently left my job in 2012. As a result, you’re repeatedly forced to will yourself into action.

  • Brits Are All Making the Same Joke About the New Royal Baby
    News
    Time

    Brits Are All Making the Same Joke About the New Royal Baby

    Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is expecting her first child with Prince Harry. The news, announced Monday morning by Kensington Palace, has already been greeted by hundreds of messages of congratulations for the royal couple on social media. The U.K. is set to leave the European Union on March 29, exactly two years after Prime Minister Theresa May started the formal process for doing so by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

  • Sears bankruptcy could make these 5 big companies multi-million-dollar losers
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Sears bankruptcy could make these 5 big companies multi-million-dollar losers

    Being an unsecured creditor of Sears (SHLD) right now is not a good place to be. The 125-year old former retail icon filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early on Monday, crippled from years of losses and mounting debt. Sears plans to close about

  • Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed during interrogation: report
    World
    Fox Business Videos

    Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed during interrogation: report

    Fox Business foreign policy analyst Walid Phares on the report that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was accidentally killed.

  • Why New Age Beverage Corp. Stock Popped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why New Age Beverage Corp. Stock Popped Today

    Shares of New Age Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: NBEV) were climbing again today, riding a surge on marijuana stocks as growers like Tilray, Cronos Group, and Canopy Growth all jumped by double digits. Along with the bullish sentiment in the industry, a number of other factors seemed to be driving New Age shares higher, including the recent hiring of a new CFO, the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada on Wednesday, and the market's reaction to its launch last week of a new line of beverages infused with cannabidiol (CBD). On Friday, New Age named Gregory Gould as its new CFO, a notable move as Gould brings experience from the pharmaceutical industry, which should help the beverage company as it moves into CBD products.

  • Elizabeth Warren Calls on Trump to Pay $1 Million After Releasing DNA Test
    Politics
    Fortune

    Elizabeth Warren Calls on Trump to Pay $1 Million After Releasing DNA Test

    Elizabeth Warren is ready for her pay day. The senator from Massachusetts took to Twitter Monday morning, calling on President Donald Trump to cough up the $1 million he promised if she proved she had Native American heritage.

  • 3 Reasons 62-Year-Olds Should Take Social Security Now
    Business
    Motley Fool

    3 Reasons 62-Year-Olds Should Take Social Security Now

    As people approach retirement, it's natural to want to claim Social Security as soon as possible. Even though waiting beyond the earliest claiming age of 62 for retirement benefits can give you larger monthly checks, you still have to make it through

  • Better Marijuana Stock: Aurora Cannabis vs. Auxly Cannabis Group
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Better Marijuana Stock: Aurora Cannabis vs. Auxly Cannabis Group

    One is market cap: Aurora's market cap is nearly 18 times bigger than Auxly's. Then there's stock performance. Here's how Aurora Cannabis and Auxly Cannabis Group stack up against each other in the areas that do matter.

  • Is This High-Flying Marijuana Stock the Next Tilray?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Is This High-Flying Marijuana Stock the Next Tilray?

    Since then, Tilray's share price has skyrocketed to well over six times its opening-day level. At one point, Tilray was up a whopping 856% -- in just two months of trading. Now there's another marijuana stock that is beginning to turn heads.

  • As Cannabis D-Day Approaches, Winners and Losers Set to Emerge
    Business
    Bloomberg

    As Cannabis D-Day Approaches, Winners and Losers Set to Emerge

    After Canada legalizes recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, it will only take a quarter or two for clear winners and losers to emerge, according to investors and analysts who follow the sector. “These have all been concept stocks and they’re going to actually have to be real companies in another few months, which I think a lot of guys are terrified about,” said Greg Taylor, who manages the Purpose Marijuana Opportunities Fund. Taylor prefers CannTrust Holdings Inc., Hexo Corp. and Organigram Holdings Inc., which he says trade at a “more realistic valuation” than some of their bigger peers.

  • After years of wasting time in meetings, 3 former Googlers decided to do things differently at their new startup
    Business
    Business Insider

    After years of wasting time in meetings, 3 former Googlers decided to do things differently at their new startup

    The executives of the startup Beeswax, all former Google execs, say they've learned how to keep meetings streamlined and efficient. The three founders of the ad-tech startup Beeswax seem to get that. "We're all thoughtful about not having a proliferation of meetings, because one thing we all felt in our previous careers is that there can be lots of redundant meetings," Shamim Samadi, Beeswax's chief product officer, told Business Insider.

  • Now Elon Musk Wants to Build a Giant Fighting Robot
    Business
    Fortune

    Now Elon Musk Wants to Build a Giant Fighting Robot

    As the Securities and Exchange Commission has pointed out, it’s always hard to tell if Elon Musk is serious when he gets onto Twitter. So when the CEO of Tesla says he wants to see a giant flying/fighting manned robot become reality, it gives one pause

  • Goldman Sachs and Raymond James cut Netflix price target ahead of earnings
    Business
    Yahoo Finance Video

    Goldman Sachs and Raymond James cut Netflix price target ahead of earnings

    Netflix getting its price target slashed by both Goldman Sachs and Raymond James ahead of its highly expected earnings report tomorrow. Both firms are concerned that rising interest rates could pinch the company’s valuation.

  • CEO talks about how Bank of America drove up profits for its best quarter yet
    Business
    American City Business Journals

    CEO talks about how Bank of America drove up profits for its best quarter yet

    Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) hit another home run in its third-quarter earnings, which it reported to the public Monday morning. BofA posted $7.2 billion in net income, or 66 cents in diluted earnings per share, in the third quarter, a 32% increase from $5.4 billion in the third quarter of 2017. It's the bank's 15th consecutive quarter with positive operating leverage, as BofA grew its revenue by 4% year over year while also reducing expenses by 2%.  Executives attribute BofA's success to higher asset quality, strong operating leverage and benefits of last year's tax reform.

  • Saudi Arabia Breaks 45-Year Taboo With Veiled Threat to Use Oil as a Weapon
    World
    Bloomberg

    Saudi Arabia Breaks 45-Year Taboo With Veiled Threat to Use Oil as a Weapon

    While few think that Saudi Arabia is prepared to follow through, even the suggestion of using oil as a weapon undermines Riyadh’s long-standing effort to project itself as a force for economic stability. The anxieties were exacerbated by an opinion piece penned by Turki Al Dakhil, who heads the state-owned Arabiya news network and is close to the Royal Court, in which he openly talked about using oil as a weapon.

  • Finance
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Skeptic Surprised by How Much He Enjoyed the Model 3

    In a broader note about positive electric-car momentum, Jonas said he observed workers at Tesla’s lone auto plant in Fremont, California, who were “extremely busy cranking out Model 3s” for delivery in the U.S. He also drove the dual-motor performance version of the vehicle, which he sees as having better value-for-performance than the Model S sedan. “Frankly, our enjoyment of the high-spec version of the Model 3 took us by surprise,” Jonas said, adding that it’s “hard to say how much this matters.

  • Marijuana stocks to watch: Canopy Growth is the cannabis business’s $4 billion gorilla
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Marijuana stocks to watch: Canopy Growth is the cannabis business’s $4 billion gorilla

    The following article is part of a package of stories that MarketWatch is publishing to mark the start of full legalization of cannabis for adult use in Canada on Wednesday. Smith Falls, Ontario–based Canopy Growth Corp. made headlines and drove cannabis stocks to new heights over the summer when it announced that Corona brewer Constellation Brands Inc. was going to invest an additional $4 billion in the company. Billed by both companies as a strategic partnership, the additional $4 billion investment adds to the 9.9% stake that Constellation bought in October of last year and sets the company up to either be bought outright by Constellation — via warrants that could increase its stake to more than 50% — or continue to work with the beverage company to create a range of consumer-focused cannabis products that may one day appear in markets in dozens of countries.

  • Finance
    TheStreet.com

    Monday Madness: Is Nvidia a Hit or Miss?

    TheStreet's Julie Iannuzzi covered Jim Cramer's investing boot camp. Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) has long been a favorite of TheStreet's founder and Action Alerts Plus Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer, but he told a packed audience Saturday at his Boot Camp for Investors in New York why his charitable trust recently sold out of the stock.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    Johnson & Johnson Q3 Earnings Preview

    Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announces its next round of earnings Tuesday. Here is Benzinga's everything-that-matters guide for the Q3 earnings announcement. Earnings and Revenue Based on management's projections, Johnson & Johnson analysts model for

  • Many U.S. mall owners say good riddance to Sears
    Finance
    Reuters

    Many U.S. mall owners say good riddance to Sears

    The real estate investment trusts that own the malls and shopping centers where many Sears stores are anchor tenants have waited years for the retailer's demise to renovate the sites and boost rent, although redevelopment costs may strain some plans. Most large U.S. malls are controlled by REITs. In recent years, the REITs have cut their exposure to Sears Holdings Corp, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday.

  • Business
    TheStreet.com

    Canopy Growth Is Poised to Explode to the Upside

    Shares of Canopy have soared 68% over the past three months. In this daily bar chart of CGC, below, we can see that prices are up five-fold over the past 12 months. CGC was trading at $10 back last October and now is trading around $50 with spikes above $55 last month.

  • Warren Buffett predicted the fall of Eddie Lampert and Sears over 10 years ago (SHLD, BRK.A, BRK.B)
    Finance
    Business Insider

    Warren Buffett predicted the fall of Eddie Lampert and Sears over 10 years ago (SHLD, BRK.A, BRK.B)

    Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday, the culmination of a downward spiral. CEO Eddie Lampert, once called the "next Warren Buffett," will also step down. Incidentally, Buffett predicted the retailer's and Lampert's downfall in 2005.

  • Business
    InvestorPlace

    Should You Buy Micron Stock on the Dip?

    Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), which provides semiconductor systems, has had a difficult time since June. While high volatility in the broader technology market is likely to continue for several more weeks, there are two mildly bearish plays in MU stock that I want to share with you, as each play could lead to impressive profits.