Patrick Brice‘s sequel to the unnerving and blackly comic Creep will be hitting digital platforms on October 24th. Creep 2 once again follows the exploits of stage 5 clinger and all around socially inept psychotic played by Mark Duplass. This time around he takes on the pseudonym of Aaron (his victim’s name from the previous film) who is searching for a videographer to capture his story as an unknown serial killer on film. The lucky gal is Sara (Desiree Akhavan) who winds up in one awkward scenario after the other with the wildly eccentric murderer.
Duplass plays the “Creep” as that really uncomfortable dude who completely misses the social cues we all use to navigate the world. We’ve all known someone like this who stares a few seconds too long, makes wildly off-color remarks at the absolute wrong time, or seems to bare their soul without an ounce of shame or tact. It doesn’t seem too far fetched to believe Duplass bases the performance off of someone he’s known in the past. This helps make the killer from the Creep films stand out amongst the sea of typical “horror movie villains”. Most serial killers are depicted as suave, sophisticated sociopaths (Hannibal Lecter, Patrick Bateman) or over the top maniacal madmen. Off-kilter killers who remind us of the terribly awkward guy from work are more of a rare commodity in the horror world. Here’s a rundown of some of the most socially awkward psychos in horror history. I went with a list of 9 (in no particular order) to keep it as an “odd”number. Get it?! Yeah, lame.
May Canady – May (2002)
Lucky McKee’s May is one of my all time favorites. It’s also a seasonally appropriate tale that culminates with a bloody bout of trick or treating by the film’s main character, May. In the lead role, Angela Bettis turns in one of the greatest performances ever in horror cinema. She’s a loner who talks to herself…well, her doll, and she easily becomes obsessed with different “parts” of the people she meets. Whether it’s someone’s cool tattoo, their long neck, or handsome hands, May views the world and the people who inhabit it as “So many pretty parts and no pretty wholes.” Bettis manages to make May one psycho on the list who is ultimately as endearing as she is peculiar.
Billy Chapman – Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Who doesn’t love a strapping young fellow who can pull off a smock and still look dashing while doing so? The fact that he begins quivering in his boots and has a total meltdown at the site of a department store Santa Claus might be some cause for alarm, however. Billy Chapman has had a pretty rough life. He witnessed his parents get brutally slain by a scumbag dressed as the jolly fat man, grew up under the supervision of a nasty nun, and now after the guy at work who normally dons the red suit and white beard calls in due to an ice skating accident, Billy is thrust into the spotlight. Needless to say, being afraid of Santa and actually dressing up as Santa don’t go hand in hand. Silent Night, Deadly Night is a holiday slasher that spends more time focused on the fragile-minded slasher himself than it does the victims.
Kenneth – Love Object
We all want love. Surely at one time or another, we’ve even imagined what it might be like to build the perfect mate. In Love Object that’s exactly what Kenneth does. Only, his soulmate is made of rubber and only shows signs of life within Kenneth’s own twisted mind. Slowly, Kenneth begins dressing his sex doll up like the pretty girl at work, Lisa. Kenneth is an obvious creeper, nonetheless, the real Lisa actually manages to fall for the sweaty, shy bundle of neurosis. What follows is your typical love triangle between a pretty girl, a sociopath, and the over possessive murderous sex doll who loves him.
Dorine – Office Killer
This should be news to no one, but Carol Kane is amazing. The quirky character actor has so seldom been given the chance to truly shine in a leading role. Office Killer thankfully gives her just such a vehicle. In the film she plays Dorine, an overly meek and mousy worker who is devastated when she is forced to start working from home due to downsizing. A true picture of loneliness, Dorine doesn’t know how to cope being secluded at home without further interaction with her co-workers even if they weren’t that nice to her to begin with. Easy fix, she just starts piling their corpses up in her basement.
Glen – Seed of Chucky
A poor orphan who has no idea who his parents are and is forced to work with a sleazeball ventriloquist who keeps him locked up in a cage. It’s no wonder that Glen (or Glenda depending on the day) has no social graces. Throw in a sexual identity crisis, two feuding homicidal parents, the inability to hold his bladder under pressure, and Seed of Chucky presents us with one devilishly unassuming killer in the making. Perhaps Mancini can give us an update on Glen with the next Child’s Play installment.
Annie Wilkes – Misery
Misery, based on a novel by Stephen King, is likely the most successful adaptation of the writer’s work. Kathy Bates (an Academy Award winning performance) play Annie Wilkes, the biggest fan of author Paul Sheldon. His novels about the romantic adventures of Misery Chastain mean the world to Annie. When fate brings Paul to Annie’s door, she couldn’t be more excited for the chance to read Paul’s newest manuscript. At first, she is angered by the change in tone. After all, this is Paul’s attempt at serious literature. The profanity upsets her deeply…probably more than it would a normal person. Still, she’s helping nurse Paul back to health. She’s just an overeager fan, right? Just don’t dare to try and kill off her favorite character.
Carrie White – Carrie
What makes Carrie such an endearing horror character is the fact that we’ve all felt like an outsider at times. No matter what your social status or upbringing, you’ve likely been on the tail end of someone’s cruel prank. If not, congrats on your blessed life. What makes things worse for Carrie White is her overbearing religious zealot of a mother. Carrie’s homelife has taught her to fear almost everything which makes her attempts to integrate herself with the cool kids all the more heartbreaking. No worries, though, it’s nothing a little bit of unhinged telekinesis can’t fix.
Angela – Sleepaway Camp
Angela is a…well, spoiler warning if you’ve never seen this classic 80’s camp slasher Sleepaway Camp. Angela is a boy. While likely not living as a trans woman by choice, her forced gender identity seems to fall upon the shoulders of eccentric Aunt Martha. It’s still unclear the specific blood relation Angela shares with her aunt and Cousin Ricky, but crystal clear is the fact that Angela is an easy target for the bullies at Camp Arawak. Shy, constantly hiding behind her cousin, and apparently afraid to speak a word, Angela has more than one secret she’s keeping from the kids at camp. Little do they know she’s also a psychotic murderer.
Marty – Slaughter High
Poor Marty. He picks the wrong April Fools Day to show up to school. Not only does he get pranked into thinking the hottest 30 year old in class (Caroline Monroe) wants to bang him, he ends up butt naked with his head dunked into a toilet. Of course, that would be bad enough, but Marty is the definition of “book smart but not street smart”. After the initial prank, the bullies can’t leave well enough alone. They end up supplying Marty with a faulty joint which leads to him nearly burning to death in a lab accident. Now, you might be thinking, “Why would he trust them and smoke the joint?” Marty just wants to fit in, I suppose. It’s no surprise that he ends up reaping overly complicated revenge on his tormentors many years later.
So, what have we learned today? Don’t pick on the weird kid, and if a girl seems overly fixated by just one part of your body – she’s liable to cut it off you. Enjoy Creep 2 now on VOD. And remember, not every killer is a smooth operator.