The Creeping

I got a delivery late last night.

It was precisely 9:06 PM. There was a knock at the front door, and I presumed it to be a late trick-or-treater. I got up, armed with my nearly empty bowl of candy, a few Tootsie Rolls and Sweet Tarts shifting around at the bottom. I pulled open the door, a smile on my face, expecting small children with their $11.99 costumes, holding up plastic buckets full of sweets, hoping to squeeze the last bit of Halloween fun out of the night before they went home to gorge themselves on their loot.

I yelped and dropped the bowl of candy.

The lone figure standing at my doorstep was not a child, nor was he smiling. In fact, I couldn’t see his face. He was very tall, and wore black robes with an enormous hood that shrouded his face in darkness. I was about to slam the door when he suddenly raised his hand to signal my pause. I froze, wide-eyed and staring into the black abyss of his face. His bony, skeletal hand sent chills down my spine. He continued to hold up his right hand as his left reached into a slit in his robes and slowly pulled something out. It was a slim, rectangular box. He handed it to me. It was a VHS tape in a sleeve. The sleeve was old and worn, but the title art was still clearly visible.

It looked interesting, but I had no way to watch it as all my old VHS players had long stopped working. I was about to tell the hooded figure as much, but when I looked up, he was gone.

Although none of my players worked anymore, I was too curious about the film to just let it go. I dragged out the last VHS player I had in storage, the last one to break down, and popped in the tape. I had only kept this player because it hadn’t completely stopped working, but it was finicky. Sure enough, the tape played.

The video wiggled and wobbled to life, audio crackling and whining. The old player struggled to track in an attempt to get the tape stable.

Finally, the tape was playing clear. I sat down, eyes glued to the TV, and watched
The Creeping.

I bring to you all the first review of a video on The Retro Gamer, and although it’s not really retro (when have I ever let that stop me anyway?), it was made to look like a ’90s VHS, and just the idea of that has potential to be more awesome than an actual ’90s VHS.

Things like this, no matter how good or bad, are made with love and care from those who have a strong emotional connection to the era they grew up in, and thus if done correctly, can be more like their source of inspiration… than the source of inspiration.

The Creeping is a horror film, and yes, I’m a little late to be posting this for Halloween, but the film’s director, Eric St. Laurent, literally emailed it to me late last night, and I was unable to get an article up about it until today.

Untimeliness aside, the film is great. I love the retro look they gave it, using presumably After Effects to create color bleeding, static, defects in the tape, etc. It was well done, and not too excessive.

They did a good job of squarely grounding the movie in the early ’90s, with references to Deep Space Nine, Walkman, SNES, and other small details. The only thing that kind of disappointed me was the music. It was a good soundtrack, but I don’t think kids were listening to chiptune music in the early ’90s. Just a minor thing.

The story was decent for what it was. It reminded me of Jumanji, with the game coming to life. It dragged a little in places, but the acting was fairly good, and I can’t complain too much knowing where it came from. I’ve seen a lot of short films from a lot of amateur filmmakers, and I’ve made a few myself. I set my standards pretty low to start with because I know what to expect. That way, they can surprise me when they’re really good! The Creeping certainly did.

Overall, I appreciated the obvious work put into this little film to make it look retro. I follow New Retro Wave artists like Mega Drive, Com Truise and Power Glove, so I love seeing all forms of media that go for that look and sound of the ’80s/’90s. The Creeping pulled it off as well as the best of them. You can watch the video for yourself below.

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~ by The Retro Gamer on November 1, 2013.

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