Better than a film has the right to be.
I figured Mister Creep would be the last Tubi horror movie I watch for a while before I dive into the library of films I’ve started referring to as “Hollyhood.” Tubi has a lot of films whose content I think could best be described as “hood shit,” and it’s not because the cast of each film is entirely black but because the films play host to ghetto people doing ghetto stuff. Like every other scene in the trailers being dudes busting into a house with their glizzies flashing. And I need to be in the right mindset for that kind of film.
Mister Creep is a far better movie than a horror film called Mister Creep has any right to be, and certainly more than any film where a character refers to an “off the grid” chat room and shows pictures of 4chan. The film was directed by Isaac Rodriguez, a prolific fan of the found footage drama. The movie is sort of a modern day Blair Witch Project, following a group of college students as they investigate the gruesome murders of a serial killer known as Mister Creep. Not since the Peepee Poopoo Man or Boner Joe has the world had a more intimidating serial killer name.
Like I said, it’s a film better than anything called Mister Creep would seem to deserve. The film stars Brian Anderson as Mister Creep, a serial killer who killed a lot of people in a small town before being put to death by lethal injection. Or did he? A group of poor students at a crappy community college are working on their documentary for film class or something and they decide to make their movie about the killer. Because Beth (Amber Lee Solis) read about it on 4chan. I’m not lying.
She is joined by John (Ali Alkhafaji), Dave (Thomas Burke), and Val (Shaela Payne), who play the parts of stupid horror film college students. Their job is to make bad decisions, split up, and get picked off one by one by Mister Creep. The film is spliced between their camera footage with occasional interludes of Mister Creep being interviewed as some prison evaluation.
For most of the main actors in this film, Mister Creep is either their feature length debut or one of the first times they’ve had a major role with an actual name to their character. None of the main cast are what I’d call fantastic, but it works out. Much like how Charles Bronson wasn’t a great actor but was just an everyday man, the people in this film are exactly what they need to be.
In fact the only person who really plays it up is Judy McMillan as Mary, the obsessed and creepy and definitely not a crazy person who hams up her performance with big grins and exaggerated movements. I think it’s because the other actors play it so straight that McMillan sticks out even more, and she’s hilarious for it. Marvin Ritchie is here as Detective Jones who dies really fast in the opening minutes because this is a horror movie, he’s black, and only a group of white college kids would seek out a serial killer’s murder den in the forest.
Some of the plot bits are incredibly stupid, like how the characters really go out of their way to express to the audience that not only are there abandoned police stations in this country, but much like abandoned hospitals when police stations are abandoned they just leave everything in them, including boxes upon boxes of paperwork. Especially paperwork and video evidence of a serial killer that the FBI was trying really hard to cover up for some reason. The characters almost sound exhausted by their own twisted tales.
Characters stumble upon revelations really easy, like the massive police station room with the piles of boxes where a character opens up a cabinet and immediately finds the secret lockbox with the killer’s DVR tapes and letters. Or how they discuss a legend that the killer is still broadcasting from some unknown location, but “nobody has ever found it.” Until John pulls out a TV with an antenna and within 20 seconds finds the signal.
Isaac Rodriguez may be 36, but he has the internet knowledge of a boomer. 4chan would have not only found the location of the broadcasts by this point and have a hundred photos of people t-posing on the murder site, but they’d be posting lewd fanart of Mister Creep as a big tiddy goth girl with a huge shlong to boot as well as some ebic maymays depicting Mister Creep as the Chad serial killer and his victims as the soyjack dead people. If you’re going to embrace the internet stuff, you have to go all the way.
But for everything stupid about this movie there are a good number of very well shot scenes. Rodriguez knows how to play with suspense and long shots to invoke tension, even if not all of them pull it of great. Much like my thoughts on Bury The Bride, the last ten minutes or so of the film really stand out as being incredibly well shot and edited. The ending is what you’d expect from a film of the style, it is a found footage for a reason, but I’m not disappointed to have watched it.
The fact that the movie is only an hour long may have played into my satisfaction.