((Don’t) Fear the) Creature Review

Creature Review
By Bret Dorman

Everyone is talking about Creature, but not in a good way. The movie is now infamously the holder for lowest grossing movie on an opening weekend for a ‘wide release’ movie. I don’t know the specifics numbers/money/theaters, but it wasn’t pretty.

A lot of people are chalking it up to little advertising. I actually did see ads for this. Not a preview in the proper sense, but when you go to the movies early and they show you that crap beforehand, this movie had a sort of preview/advertisement. Upon seeing it I was confused as to why a Straight to DVD movie would do that? Then I found out it was going into theatrical release. Huh…

The Story: A group of friends travelling from some place to another take a ‘shortcut’ through a swampy back woods town that has a scary alligator man as its local legend… or is it true?! Also, Sid Haig is awesome.

Horror movies come in three shapes and sizes. The good ones, the ‘so bad they are good’ ones, and the bad ones. It’s hard nowadays to make a horror movie so bad it is good without specifically setting out to do that. Creature does not set out to do that. Instead it tries to make a legit horror movie, fails in a lot of places, and just becomes something most people will make fun of but not enjoy.

Creature starts out competent enough. Kids on a road trip. Check. Crazy hillbilly gas station. Check. Local Monster Legend. Check. Of course as the monster comes out of the swamp and into the story more, the movie looses sight of common sense and logic. That could be said of most horror movies though.

To make fun of the acting would be pointless. It’s fine for what it is. In fact, I think Michad Brooks and Serinda Swan do just fine given the genre. Lauren Schneider is pretty sexy (in an off putting way) and the ‘comic relief’/hillbilly redneck duo David Jensen and Wayne Pere play their roles nicely without it ever being too mean.

What doesn’t make sense is this movie doesn’t seem to really know its genre and fanbase. People who watch this movie are willing to accept a lot of silliness if you give them one simple thing, gore. This movie has few actual moments of gore. The creature design is not too intimidating once you get a look at its face but they keep it in the frame nicely. AS the story progresses more twists and turns are thrown in that do nothing but complicate things and make an average story convoluted. I like what they were trying to do but they went about it the wrong way.

It’s not that this movie is bad, it’s just that it is out of place. It’s a bad movie that came out 30 years too late. In the 80’s it wouldn’t have been good either, but now people would have watched it and it would have that certain die hard horror fan appeal that other bad horror movies have. But you can’t do that in 2011. You can’t try to make a good horror movie and fail and have that last. Either you try to make a bad movie on purpose, you make a self aware horror/comedy that borders spoof, or you make a legit horror. But being just plain bad doesn’t do it anymore. Its a monster movie with a decent legend but silly looking ‘creature’. Its a rated R movie with tame use of drugs and alcohol. It’s a slasher flick with little gore. Rated R Monster Slasher flicks should be fun, not tedious.

Spoilers!

Ok, so this group of adult-teens goes to the woods, camps out at this local legend’s cabin, then starts getting taken out one by one… Twist is two of the adult-teens are brother/sister and they are in on the whole thing! Neat-o! But then why go through all that trouble just to kidnap the girl and make her the main sacrifice? And then the creature just kills her? Why? Then at the end the other girl has the mutant alligator man child baby. But why would they let her have the baby because she isn’t family. I thought it had to be family?

I’m all for lesbian sex scenes and I’m confused as to why that guy was mad he almost could have had a three way. Isn’t that something most men look forward to and many a sitcom have made jokes or even entire episode story lines out of?

Also, the creature attacks its own ‘followers’ by killing the two drunk guys, but then doesn’t attack the people later when they do the ceremony. So it only attacks its own followers when they aren’t wearing robes? Or outside of some not-mentioned protective circle? And where did all those followers come from? And why not show the man-alligator coming into the ceremony? It’s just like one minute he is walking the next minute he is there.

Then that guy starts fighting the man-alligator and everyone freaks out and runs away. The guy fights the man-alligator and wins through a sinkhole which was established earlier. Ok. Nice. He saves his girlfriend and they go on to live happily ever after. But wait! Before that! The man-alligator comes out for one last scare. So typical… But not only does he come out for a scare, he actually drags the girl into the sinkhole and then the guy goes in after her and they later emerge and the creature is assumed dead because he has no jaw. Okay… so why give us a somewhat decent fight (but by no means cool or badass) and then have the monster come back and have another fight take place completely out of view? What’s the point?

In Conclusion, its not like Creature is incompetent. Its just that for the first 30 minutes nothing happens. The next 30 minutes the movie makes too much happen in a convoluted way. The last 30 minutes is stupid cliche after bad decision after lame effect. Very rarely does the movie provide it’s own entertainment, instead relying on the audience to do most of the work.

Final Grade: D

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