Indie-Pictures // 2007 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 21st, 2008
Most times the dead move on. Sometimes they want revenge.
I am writing this sentence as I watch The Creek. I'm about 34 minutes in. Oh, God, make it stop.
The movie opens with seven friends camping out. One guy named Billy walks over to the creek -- yes, the titular creek -- and is smacked on the back of the head with a rock and he falls on his stupid face and bleeds to death. Five years later, the remaining six friends reunite, all with stories of seeing Billy's ghost appearing to each of them. For some reason, this communal hallucination prompts them to go to a cabin in the middle of the woods.
From that point on, things get real excruciating. One by one, each character is stalked and killed, forcing the friends to start their Scooby Doo investigation and figure out if it's in fact Billy the Ghost who's responsible for the body count. Though there's a solid chance that the nefarious perpetrator might be someone of a more corporeal nature...
Or maybe they're all committing suicide to free themselves from this movie. Look, I know that some folks worked hard on this movie and traveled to a lot of places to promote it (judging by the "Official Selection" laurels on the disc case: at the very least Illinois, Milwaukee, Atlanta), but Holy Cow is this thing brutal. I'd gather 95 percent of the total screen time is dedicated to irritating characters standing still or sitting on a rock exchanging flat, listless dialogue with each other.
The hefty amounts of exposition are broken up by a handful of non-idiots-talking sequences: the kills, where most of the violence happens off-screen, an exciting scene where two guys can't get out of the way of a slow-moving crossover SUV on a narrow forest road and the big climax where the bad guy attacks people with wood.
Hey, maybe this interminable 80 minutes would have been bearable if the characters were a) interesting or b) had interesting things to do, but that's not the case. Billy's death has bizarrely been called a suicide, even though the most under-performing CSI agent would likely pick up on the impact bruise on the back of the kid's head. That being said, if I had been forced to spend time hanging around with these jackasses, I think I'd find a magical way to kill myself with a brick. Not only are they boring, they don't seem to care very much about their murdered friends, letting their bodies just rot in the woods and getting over their deaths with shocking efficiency.
Finally, we have the perpetrator of all these heinous slayings. I don't think it's a spoiler to reveal that the slasher isn't the ghost -- one of the characters deftly notes that no one saw Billy the Ghost move anything with his stupid ghost hands so there's no way he could have impaled someone with a branch -- but wait until you see his or her reasons for the killing spree -- fine, I'll tell you: unpopularity.
The digital video quality is decent, but the fake widescreen is a big no-no. Extras: a director's commentary, a worthless behind-the-scenes montage, a brief featurette on the visual effects, outtakes, cast interviews and trailers.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Cast Interviews
* Visual Effects