Fri, Jun 03, 2005 - Page 16 News List

`Creep' makes for a gory ride

A ghost train takes a businessman on a nasty tour of London's Underground

AGENCIES

Franka Potente finds herself lost in the midst of horror.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY FOX.

Over the years, there have been quite a few movies, thrillers mostly, concerning strange denizens lurking beneath cities in the underground system -- among them Luc Besson's Subway, Michael Apted's Extreme Measures and the recent Hungarian picture Kontroll.

One of the most celebrated, something of a cult movie in the early 1970s, is Death Line, in which inspector Donald Pleasence investigates a series of strange disappearances around Russell Square Tube Station, London, and discovers that cannibals have been breeding in an abandoned tunnel since 1892, when their ancestors were trapped while building an underground station beneath the British Museum.

Christopher Smith's directorial debut Creep is deeply influenced by Death Line.

The unending horror show that is the London underground tube system is still an under-used resource for splatter pictures, which is why this strange Anglo-German co-production grabs attention -- for a while at any rate.

It is a very, very yucky slasher film starring German actress Franka Potente (from Run Lola Run). It implies that there is a direct connection between the London tube's justly notorious Northern Line and the stinkiest sewer tunnels, and also a secret but semi-disused subterranean hospital lab for experimenting on children.

Those of us who have to travel on the Northern Line have suspected as much for years.

Potente plays a wild child funlover who's heading to a VIP party in London where she hopes -- oh the dreams of youth! -- to shag George Clooney. But instead she gets stuck, in the immortal words of the Jam, down in the tube station at midnight. She finds that all the gates are closed, the platform is utterly deserted and the place is swarming with rats, which are allowed to romp around the passenger concourses at night.

Film Notes:

Creep

Directed by: Christopher Smith

Starring: Franka Potente, Jeremy Sheffield, Sean Harris

Running time: 95 minutes

Taiwan Release: Today


Traumatized, she climbs aboard a creepy ghost train that carries her to all sorts of gore and mayhem. It all gets very nasty and explicit.

Creep has some intriguing location work and interesting ideas, but nausea and boredom soon overtake the chills.

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