Creature is a film that, having seen the trailer, I was shocked to learn that it was being released theatrical. As limited of a release that it is though, one could argue the fact. Nevertheless, some people will have the opportunity to see this creature feature on the big screen, most will not. The story follows a group of friends as they head into backwoods swamps of Louisiana. A quick stop at a general store alerts the group to the existence of a local legend, a beast that was at one point a man, who went apeshit and ate a bunch of corpses after a gator killed his sister, with whom he was expecting an inbred child. Apparently the consumption of the flesh made the man change, until he’s finally transformed into some sort of human/gator hybrid that preys on the community, in search of a womb to impregnate.
This premise may strike you as goofy, and it certainly is. The good thing is, this little flick doesn’t take it’s self too seriously. Creature wears it’s B-movie status like a badge of honor, and doesn’t impose too many convoluted plot points. There is a story, surprisingly, and there are relationships between the characters. Yes, the origin of the creature is explored, but it’s done more out of fun, rather than a serious attempt at exposition. The filmmakers set out to accomplish a fun creature feature, with elements of a slasher film, with moments of gratuitous T&A thrown in to arouse. As far as I’m concerned, they were successful in doing so.
There are really no big name actors to speak of, Sid Haig being the only real cult start to appear. Though, you will see some recognizable faces. The acting is pretty solid for a film like this, with no particularly bad performances standing out. This isn’t really the type of movie in which this is an important factor, but I just felt it was worth mentioning that the acting isn’t as terrible as you may think after watching the trailer. It’s certainly passable, and doesn’t detract from the overall entertainment factor.
The special effects aren’t spectacular. There are a few moments of practical gore, but it’s nothing to write home about. The camera doesn’t loom on the shot long enough for it to matter, and it portrays the intended message. The blood and gore aren’t terrible, it’s just not award winning either. A lot of the violence occurs off-screen, leaving us to witness aftermath, rather than the actual act in progress. I suspect this has a lot to do with the budget of the film, but it didn’t bother me in any way. The creature effects are actually decent. Opting for latex and rubber rather than a full CGI creature creates a more genuine experience.
The look of the film is great. In fact, it’s what sets it apart from similar movies. This could have very easily wound up a SyFy Channel original, but the production values are far more solid than anything you’ll see from that label. Splinter being the obvious exception, but to be fair, they just purchased the rights to show the film, rather than actually producing it. If you’re expecting an experience similar to something like Behemoth, or any of the other various Maneater/SyFy films, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much more competent of a B movie Creature actually is.
Some are undoubtedly going to hate on this film for it’s cheesiness, and clearly this film wasn’t intended for them. I do sincerely hope that it finds an audience though. As far as low budget creature features go, this is one solid entry. Fans of Hatchet should be entertained, and if they’re not, I honestly have no clue why. Is there some reason that one film about a guy in a rubber suit running around in the swamp terrorizing young sexy coeds is less silly than another? I say not, but what say you? Creature opens in limited theaters on September 9th 2011. I’m sure a DVD/VOD release will soon follow.