Saturday, 16 February 2013

Instant Reaction: Creature (2011)

I have just finished watching the 2011 (though didn't surface this side of the pond until 2012) monster flick; Creature. Set in a Louisiana Bayou, the film follows a group of young adults who fall victim to a monster called Lockjaw. The film received bad reviews and has one of the lowest per-theatre averages of all time. As far as I'm concerned, this was being far too generous to it.

This film sucked.

The big draw of it was that it was a physical creature instead of CG, so it had a man in a rubber suit, and in fairness, this is probably the best element of the film, as the creatures design is decent, and for the most part, it is pulled off convincingly. This is about the extent of the good things the film brings the world. And even at that, there are plenty of moments when it looks like a man in a rubber suit stumbling around.

The biggest problem with the film, and one that is something I think is inherently fundamental, is the story. Sure, the creature is good, but the hell is the point when all you are going to do is waste any good will on a plot we have sat through dozens, if not hundreds of times before? The plot really does boil down to kids being chased in a bayou by a monster. In 2011. Come on. I don't know who sat there and decided that it was ok to make such a hashed out film, but I wish someone would have slapped them and told them to stop being so lazy.

I went in full well knowing the film had received bad reviews, and I had heard plenty about the ending that the filmmakers decided just not to include (whether they shot it poorly, they had to tack on a new ending, or if this was intentional, none of these reasons let it off the hook). I was not prepared for just how boring the film was. I watched Wes Craven's Swamp Thing for the first time recently, and I hated it, but that film is decades old and was a cheapy in the days before the fantastic technology we have now. Creature on the other hand feels like a TV movie, what with its awkwardly loose framing and step-printing slow motion, and wastes the talent of some fantastic actors. When your film is called Creature, and you plaster all your promo material with the titular character, you cannot spend half the movie trying to build up anticipation. You haven't hid it from us like Alien. You haven't earned the stripes like The Thing. Instead, I spent a long time waiting for something entirely underwhelming and wholly unsatisfying.

Poor Sid. At least he got to see boobies.

Fangoria gave this film their official seal of approval in the first and only issue of the magazine I have read. What is the point of reading such trash when it tries to pass this kind of nonsense on to the trusting horror community? I get that it is a throwback, but get the hell off it. If I want to see Swamp Thing, I will watch Swamp Thing. There is no excuse for not even trying to give us a new story. It is the exact same problem I have with the fan favourite Hatchet; it points to things we know and love and thinks that is enough. No, it isn't. Any idiot can say the name of a popular film, or repost a funny meme, or sing the latest pop song and get it stuck in your head, but that does NOT make it good enough. It doesn't twist or challenge the audience. It doesn't break convention. It doesn't even feel like a well executed rip-off. Instead, we get a lazy film with a lazy script that bores the audience and then decides to skip the conclusion. 

Oh, ye, my two cents on the ending. I wasn't all that bothered by it, because I knew the climax was nonexistent, and by that point, I was so bored I was happy the film decided to skip even trying to be good and just have the common decency to end. 

Thankfully, unlike Hatchet, people really didn't like this film, so it seems unlikely I will be witness to posts and sequels and the likes.

Small blessings, eh?

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