Director – Fred Andrews
Cast – Mehcad Brooks, Serinda Swan, Sid Haig, Daniel Bernhardt, Amanda Fuller, Dillon Casey, Lauren Schneider
Release Year – 2011
Reviewed by John of the Dead
When I first saw an advertisement for Creature while waiting for Apollo 18 to start I thought to myself “I have to see that film.” due to it coming off in the same vein as one of my favorite horror films ever, Hatchet. I was very surprised to see that this film was given a fairly wide theatrical release (1,500 screens), and immediately jumped on the opportunity to watch this on the silver screen, which was the biggest mistake I’d made in…oh, about a week – when I saw the disappointing Apollo 18. While I did not go into Creature with high expectations per say, I did expect to enjoy the film, and that was far from the case with this one.
Six friends on a weekend camping trip take a detour to satisfy their curiosity involving an old Louisiana legend and find much more than they bargained for.
I was really hoping for a chance to see a cheezy and zany horror film on the big screen, and perhaps I should have known better than to expect Creature to deliver such goods to me. From first-time writer/director Fred Andrews, we are given a plot we have seen numerous times, but one that I find joy in so long as it is executed properly. We all know the idea of a group of unsuspecting friends looking to have a good time suddenly stumbling upon a bloodthirsty backwoods killer and suffering terrible trauma as they try to survive the ordeal, and Andrews’ story throws in a fresh idea in giving us a protagonist part human and part alligator. The idea is cheezy as hell, which is why I expected some whacky action to take part in this piece, and despite a fair amount of action thrown in this film the writing and execution were very poor.
There are numerous writing faults in this piece, with a lot having to do with character play but most having to do with the story. While the overall storyline is cool, the screenplay is horrible due to many brainless ideas thrown in that did nothing to improve the story and only ruin it. The reasoning behind the backwoods locals doing what they do for the antagonist, known as Grimley, was stupid and uninteresting, which was also the case for many smaller scenes in the film that are not even worth mentioning (big spoilers). With films like this you expect some pretty awesome kills, but we were given few even remotely worthwhile, although plenty of kills were written into the film to at least keep me somewhat engaged in what was going on. Andrews’ screenplay does not come without at least one great positive, which was the usage of our eventual main protagonist, Niles. His character was fantastic from beginning to end, and was far from the usual African-American character that we see in horror films. He was serious, likeable, and kicked plenty of ass by the time the end credits rolled, however he is the only good thing written into this film.
Andrews’ direction/execution is what really made this film a sour effort, and possibly ruined his name as far as the genre is concerned. The film starts off well and we are given awesome atmosphere and sets that engaged the viewer, and along with positive acting performances from Sig Haig(The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses), his cajun buddies, and Mehcad Brooks as the awesome Niles it would seem that Andrews’ direction is not that bad overall, but that is where the positives stop. Andrews ruined everything he accomplished by giving us pathetic execution of the kill sequences, little gore, and horrendous camerawork made even worse by slow-motion effects. The look of the creature was OK, and his mannerisms were somewhat creepy at times, but in the end this creature was used to little potential and never delivered the horror that should have erupted from a film in this sub-genre.
Overall, Creature is a failed effort that should have never been given a theatrical release when so many better films of equal budget and filmmaking experience suffer DTV outcomes. The story is a decent one that gives us some different ideas, but these ideas are poorly executed and the horror is never remotely worthwhile, which along with poor direction overall makes for a film you should definitely avoid.