When Christopher Smith wrote and directed his debut film entitled Creep in 2004, audiences waiting for a new voice in horror cinema were only getting a taste of what was to come. With a career that has now expanded to include four well regarded films within seven years, Christopher Smith has been observed by some as this generation’s John Carpenter. His films have included such diverse characteristics and plots as horror comedy, a powerful period piece, an original take on the slasher, and a mind bending mystery. Dark Discussions intent was to do a two part retrospective on this amazing director and screenwriter yet while putting the episodes together and discovering the detail that was discussed; it was decided to instead focus specifically on each of the splendid films of this wonderful talent.
Philip and Eric discuss Mr. Smith’s debut film and what turns out to be the beginning of a fantastic run of movies. The bizarre nature of his films within the United States of America being released directly to the home market rather than the big screen is a mystery unresolved. With critical praise and a cult following seen by few, Christopher Smith and his movies are hidden gems which have made an impact in a genre deeply needing a proclamation. Their magic is specifically due to the final product presented rather than any self promotion by their creator.
The first part of this director-focused arc is on Creep, a dark and intense horror thriller about a young woman named Kate played by actress Franka Potente who gets trapped within the London Underground after hours. Expecting a quick trip to a club party on the other side of the city, Kate’s night turns into a nightmare when a mysterious entity appears to be stalking the tunnels beneath the streets of London. While trying to find a way back up to the city blocks, her journey leads to a terror that may literally be mental illness and the clinical institutions that were more chambers of suffering rather than the hospitals they were meant to be. A film that appears nothing more than a tight little horror flick turns out to be a tale more about homelessness, drug abuse, mental illness, the uncaring nature of society, and the injustices done upon those that are disenfranchised.