Creep – Christopher Smith

Creep (2004) – Rated R

“After accidentally dozing off, Kate (Franka Potente) awakens to discover that she’s missed the last train from London — and that she may be trapped in the subterranean station for the night. But little does she know that she’s got company. Set in the bowels of London’s Underground and sewer system, this creepy tale of public transportation will make you think twice about snoozing on your next commute to work.”

“I don’t think any knight in shining armor is going to come and rescue you Kate”

With the subway being such a ubiquitous part of big city life, it is no wonder that there are a brace of films set there. Perhaps the deserted subway chase scene in An American Werewolf in London inspired Christopher Smith to set his first feature film as a director and writer here. While not as polished as his later efforts, Black Death and Triangle, Creep shows a lot of Smith’s potential.

Smith does make a daring choice of having his protagonist be a rather unlikeable young lady. Kate doesn’t care about anyone but herself and treats other people very shabbily. Franka Potente plays the lead here after her engaging star turn in Run, Lola, Run and she is quite good but apparently didn’t fit in with Hollywood. She went back to Germany after the two Bourne films she did.

Sean Harris (Micheletto in The Borgias) plays the pivotal role of Craig and is not seen clearly until the halfway point of the film. He is heavily covered in makeup but does a good creep-y job just the same. Next up for Harris is the role of Fifeld in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus.

In spite of numerous cliches, Smith is able to make this seem fresh. Of course no subway film would be the same without the ohmigosh-the-train-almost-hit-me scene or the don’t-step-on-that-rail-or-you’ll-be-electrocuted scene so those are thrown in here (and just as quickly thrown out). The final scene is thankfully not the usual for horror films and is quite funny in a low-key way.

People Watch: Look for Vas Blackwood (Rory in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) as a maintenance worker named George.