Review by Jude Felton
Expectation levels have to be changed accordingly depending on the movie being watched. I certainly would not go into watching something like Tucker and Dale vs Evil in the same frame of mind as I would if I was watching something like The Woman. Both are in the same ballpark genre yet they are two entirely different styles of movie in both tone and content. With that in mind I went into watching Creature not expecting a chin-stroking exercise in cerebral horror but an old school style monster/slasher style flick that served no purpose other than to be entertaining.
The story of Creature follows six kids who, whilst en route to New Orleans, stop off for a bathroom break at a gas station slash convenience store in the ass-end of nowhere. In this typically backwoods style setting they learn of the legend of Lockjaw, a half man half alligator, who supposedly lurks in the nearby swamps. When the opportunity arises to visit the house where the legend was born the kids jump at the chance. If you have seen any horror film involving kids out in the sticks you will have a fairly decent idea as to where this movie is heading.
I’ll say it right now that I dug Creature a lot. It didn’t break any new ground and it did have its flaws but it was a fun movie. There’s in-your-face naked flesh right from the first scene, bloody non-CGI gore and a giant lunatic running around in a rubber suit. If there’s room for two Hatchet movies, in which the rubber suit was not a good one, then there’s room for Creature. Saying that Creature does borrow liberally from the aforementioned Hatchet flicks in more ways than one, although I have the feeling director Fred M Andrews was well aware of that and just ran with it.
There is slightly more to the story than just a group of kids becoming monster fodder, which did surprise me, although that you will have to find out for yourselves. The young good-looking cast do a decent enough job in what was required of them, nothing really special in this department but then again I wasn’t watching this looking for the next Academy award winner. You also get Sid Haig popping up for a little Hillbilly action, you gotta have Hillbilly’s and preferably at least one drunk one as well, and he performs his role with his usual aplomb.
The problems I did have with the movie are that there is a little too much chit-chat amongst the cast and not enough monster action, probably because the makers are hoping to make this into a franchise(?), and although naked women are always good to see I would have preferred the focus to have been on the horror side of the movie.
As for the actual movie itself I would definitely have to say that it was a well-made affair. I mean you aren’t getting a Christopher Nolan quality movie, yet you aren’t getting a cheap looking affair either. Yes you have a man in a rubber suit but it is shot in such a way that it rarely looks glaringly obvious. Hell, it is a far better get-up than Victor Crowley’s.
Overall if you are looking for a genre shattering addition to the world of serious horror you ain’t gonna find it here. If, on the other hand, you enjoy a mindless romp with blood, boobs and a good supply of victims you could do a lot worse than check this out. It all depends on how serious you want to take it, as this isn’t a movie for film snobs.
Creature is now playing at theaters nationwide (including two near me!)