POPCORN FRIGHTS: The Creeping (2022)

Due to a traumatic childhood experience — look, I feel like I say this every time in the way of giving advice to horror movie characters and I feel like a broken record, but please please please never ever forever go back home again and set things straight — Anna (Riann Steele) hasn’t been back home in years. She makes the next cardinal modern horror mistake: she takes care of her dementia-suffering grandmother Lucy (Jane Lowe) — The Taking of Deborah Logan has been such a big influence in the near-decade since it was released — but soon realizes that a dark family secret remains and that only her murky childhood memories may hold the key to surviving.

The first full-length movie from director Jamie Hooper after a series of shorts, this movie was written by first-time screenwriter Helen Miles. Even from the start of the story, the old English cottage is quite a foreboding place, as we see a young Anna go from being read a ghost story by her father to being chased under the covers by something she can’t see but has it to be real.

Unlike so many modern ghost stories that descend into herky jerky motions and dark whispered dialogue alternating with strobing light to show us hauntings, The Creeping settles for what has always worked, appearing closer to a traditional and classic ghost story than what we’ve had to take in modern films. It’s quite welcome.

The Creeping is playing at Popcorn Frights and will be available to watch virtually as part of the festival.

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