In the opening moments of Roman Polanksi’s Repulsion we watch as titles drift across the eyeball of the film’s protagonist, Carol (Catherine Deneuve). The camera proceeds to pull back as a despondent score plucks, thuds, and reverberates in our eardrums. Slowly a face covered with a thick plastering of who-knows-what calls out, “Have you fallen asleep?” At the film’s conclusion, a carefully orchestrated bookend image offers an uncomfortable answer, suggesting Carol may never have been “awake”.

The werewolf taps into those ever constant horror themes that can easily work in many given contexts: bodily control, the uncanny combination of human and inhuman forms, instinctual nature and astrological influences, fear of the “other” and abject within ourselves, infection and spread of disease, etc. Like any of the long-standing horror mythologies that have made their way into cinema the exemplary werewolf stories utilize this literal transformation of person into wolf for dual means.

“Creep” is a frustrating horror film. I emphasize the horror here because it reminds you of both how uniquely enlightening and cathartic horror can be and also how quickly a horror plot can unravel, becoming adolescent in it’s thinking, driven to get to the bloodletting. At times the filmmakers seem to have a firm grasp on their narrative themes, utilizing some clever foreshadowing and poetic irony. The film’s writer and director, Christopher Smith, knows how to engineer the mechanics of getting certain characters to the emotional places they need to go.