THE CREEPING is a new ghost horror movie that has an extra layer of horror that has nothing to do with ghosts. Both the ghost story – and the things that came before – work incredibly well. With a limited budget, this movie gets everything right for me, when it comes to horror. The eerie vibe just packs a true punch for me.
So, if you’re into horror movies of the ghost variety, you do not want to miss out on this one. Also, there’s a mystery that works surprisingly well – yes, even if you’ve guessed elements of it before everything is revealed.
From the opening scene where a father tells his daughter a scary bedtime story, I knew this was my kind of movie. As it’s a ghost story, it’s a horror movie with a supernatural element. One that will “chill even the warmest of familial hearts” as it’s stated in the press material. Very accurately so, I might add.
When Anna returns to her family home – after many years away – strange things begin happening. She’s moved in to help her grandmother, but events quickly turn nightmarish. Night after night, Anna can’t be sure if she’s dreaming or awake. Maybe a little bit of both?!
Also, the story plays out in the 1980s, which is quite clear from the (rather perfect) wardrobe choices. I always think it’s a good idea to avoid the age of the Internet and smartphones when doing a horror movie, so this also makes for a strong setting. Having a wonderful core cast to tell the story also helps, and The Creeping certainly has that!
A strong cast and solid lead are important for any movie – regardless of genre. However, for a horror movie with a ghost story that is meant to be very dark and set in realism, it’s even more important. Fortunately, Riann Steele is amazing in the lead role as Anna Reynolds. In fact, even Taliyah Blair, who plays the young Anna, works remarkably well.
As Anna, Riann Steele (Debris, Ant-Man and the Wasp) has to be both brave and vulnerable. She’s moved in with her maternal Grandmother to take care of her as she struggles with dementia. However, living with someone who can’t recognize you day in and day out is exhausting.
Also, whenever they do talk, Anna’s grandmother will suddenly stop and go “I’m not supposed to talk about this”. This in itself is a perfectly creepy little element. Also, Jane Lowe (Cold Blood) is amazing as Anna’s grandmother, Lucy. If you’ve ever known anyone with dementia or Alzheimer, you’ll recognize the way her eyes glaze over when she loses her place in time.
Helping Anna with her grandmother is another woman from the small town, they live in. Her name is Karen and she’s portrayed by Sophie Thompson. You’ll surely recognize Sophie Thompson even if you’re not sure from where. She’s been in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Gosford Park (2001), Eat Pray Love (2010), and more recently in the Netflix series Feel Good (2020-2021).
Jamie Hooper is the director of this supernatural horror movie. It’s based on a script by Jamie Hooper which is based on a story by both him and Helen Miles. Also, Helen Miles works in the sound department of this movie – as she has on movies such as Rebecca and His House.
While the script is strong – with both supernatural elements and a brutal mystery – it’s all brought together by the choices in directing. From what I can tell, this is the feature film debut of Jamie Hooper and it certainly results in me having great expectations of his future projects.
In the past, Jamie Hooper has written and directed lots of short films and also worked extensively as a cinematographer and editor on these short films. In fact, he also serves as editor on this feature film debut of his, which can be scary. But he does an excellent job!
For me, The Creeping is one of the best ghost horror movies I’ve watched in a long while. Do not miss out on this one if you enjoy a solid ghost story in a very efficient horror movie.
The Creeping is out on digital from March 3, 2023.