Review: Creature

Directed by Fred Andrews

Out now from Revolver Entertainment on DVD, Download and On-Demand.

Post Cabin in the Woods romp that hasn’t learnt from its predecessors.

Goddard and Whedon’s post-modern statement on the genre, Cabin in the Woods, was meant to be a warning to other indie horror movie makers to up their game. Either this film was made before that came out – which is probably the case – or the filmmakers have taken absolutely no notice of that warning… Because what we have here is something akin to Cabin… only without the knowing references or even half the fun. It might be a case of bad timing, but you can’t help viewing Creature in the light of that previous film’s release.

Within seconds of this opening, we’re presented with a woman stripping off to have a nice swim in a Louisiana backwoods lake. Cue Jaws-style attack, which sets the gory tone and leads to the introduction of our pack of clichéd twenty-somethings. They’re out for kicks in their people carrier, and stop off at a roadside convenience store which just happens to be run by a crazy called Chopper (Sid Haig of House of 1000 Corpses notoriety). There they hear about the legend of the Creature – which involves, you guessed it, a cabin in the woods.

Apparently, back in the day, inbred Grimley Boutine’s beau was taken and murdered by a mutated alligator – which Grimley promptly hunted down and slaughtered. Unfortunately, he was so overcome with grief he began eating the remains of the bodies in the lair, becoming the fabled half-man, half-alligator Creature… as you do. It isn’t long before the group come across Grimley’s cabin and, camping out in the woods, begin to get picked off one by one (though not, of course, until we get the requisite amount of both hetero and lesbian sex). It all builds towards a ritualistic ending involving the locals, but can our heroes really stop the monster who feeds off human flesh?

When a film’s main star draws – other than Haig – include Eggs from True Blood (Mehcad Brooks) and that bloke who used to be in the TV version of Mortal Kombat – remember that? – (Daniel Bernhardt), you know you’re probably in trouble. What doesn’t help are the ‘man in a rubber suit’ effects, which make Swamp Thing look cutting edge, and a script that’s so cheesy you could melt it on toast. If nothing else, it shows in a post Cabin… era where not to go with your horror, as all this was taken the piss out of ages ago; even before Whedon and Goddard came along, in fact. There are the germs of something that might have been a halfway decent franchise here, but like the Creature itself, they remain hidden in the depths of the woods – and if you go looking for them, you best beware!

Hokey horror that proves why Cabin… was so popular 3/10

Paul Kane

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