The Creek : Release Year - 2007
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Overall Rating : 5.5/10

Directed By : Erik Soulliard

Kathryn Merry
Brian Jesiolowski
Nancy Soulliard
Dave Foster

Supplied By : Annubis Productions

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : September. 10, 2008

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PLOT
On the fifth anniversary of the death of their friend Billy, six friends are forced back together by his ghost. Billy's death was officially considered an accident but old suspicions and conflicts return. When people start dying they all must ask themselves if it's his ghost, one of them, or because they returned to The Creek?
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THE REVIEW
In THE CREEK, we meet a group of friends whom lost their friend Billy due to his accidental death which happened near a nearby creek. Now being the 5 year anniversary, each of the friends have been visited by the ghost of Billy in some way or another. Since the incident, the group of friends have all in a way, gone their separate ways, but it is the apparition of their dead friend that would bring them all back together again. Despite all of them having seen Billy, they do not not know what to make of these apparitions, but eventually they decide to return to the scene of the accident to finally put his spirit to rest, hoping that it may bring closure to this particular event in all of their lives. Shortly arriving at the creek old memories begin to surface, and tension starts to mount among the long separated friends, all of whom begin to blame each other for Billy's death, because after all...it was deemed accidental by officials. But the bickering between one another would soon become secondary, as someone, or something begins to kill them off one by one in brutal fashion. Who, or what is it that is doing this? The friends are more than convinced it's their old friend Billy who has come back for a little bit of revenge.

One thing that you might first notice about THE CREEK is that it's main idea has been used for just about every other generic slasher flick, whether it be a film like last year's Horrorfest's CRAZY EIGHTS(in which a group of friends come together after the death of a friend - much like this one), or another such as I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER(a film that brings a group together after a secret they all share comes to a head), no matter what, it always seems that friends are always reuniting for something - and ironically most all of them have a campfire scene at some point(as does THE CREEK) But unlike a lot of independent slashers of this type, I was surprised when THE CREEK presented a fairly solid ghost story. Usually when you watch a film of any kind that has this kind of budget you are met with a lot of films whose plots suffer because the filmmakers simply must make do with what they have, and in turn, sometimes you also have filmmakers that, quite frankly aren't competent enough to pull off a great film at their slightly slim budget. But just in the same, sometimes you get the opposite and with THE CREEK, you get just that. Because the Director Erik Soulliard, doesn't let his budget hinder his vision, but instead, he shoots around it, utilizing what benefits, what he has to work with best.

For this project, Soulliard, who now living in New York, traveled back to his hometown of Lebanon Pennsylvania to shoot his feature debut, bringing together a small cast and crew. Shooting at the end of the week and weekends for six weeks, with the cast and crew still maintaining their day jobs during the rest of the week. Soulliard and crew were met with many obstacles along the way - the biggest being non-stop rain, rain that would ultimately end up flooding the cabin used in the film shortly after filming started But nonetheless, everyone stayed dedicated to this project and sometime a year later Soulliard ended post production on THE CREEK. For a project of this size, I know first hand how difficult they can be, as I have a few friends whom are indie filmmakers, and I have had the opportunity to help them out on occasion. It's definitely not easy, as the cast and crew do not just show up out of nowhere, there are no casting agents or location scouts, with projects of this size, it's usually the filmmakers themselves who must secure every element needed, it's hard work, and doing all this and then finally delivering a worthwhile product to an audience doesn't exactly always happen. But as for THE CREEK I can say, as a sort of ghost/slasher/mystery, the story it delivers is quite solid and almost immediately draws your attention as it's story is one that a viewer could see going in any direction as far as it's conclusion is concerned.

When speaking on the overall acting, the cast does fare fairly well here, but you do get what you come to expect from a low budget indie feature. Most of the cast is inexperienced and "green", so some of their reactions do feel unbelievable and unconvincing. I'd say that most of these scenes in which the cast seem a bit wooden, are the ones where the Actors or Actresses must reacted to a death or in fear. When they see Billy's ghost in the film, i'll admit, they are not always believable. But this tends to be a common thing in indie Horror, because some who do not have the experience, might find it difficult to put themselves in a real-time situation, such as being scared and whatnot. But to their credit the cast do a much better job than most film's of this stature(believe me, I have seen some atrocious acting, far worse than what's on display here.) I have to give a mention to Erik Soulliard who also gives a fairly good performance as a star in the film, as well as Tim Jesiolowski who shows us that sometimes facial expressions can mean a lot sometimes.

THE CREEK is a low budget production, but it gives off the impression that a lot of hard work and dedication went into the making of the film, as although limited in budget, it's production values remain pretty high, and that's a good thing.
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GORE METER
3.5/10 The kills in THE CREEK are definitely not it's strongest attribute as after awhile, they start to seem repetitive somewhat. Due to the budget, for the most part the kills or not always graphically depicted, but i'd much rather have it that way, than have gore scenes shot in a silly way, just because they must. So in my opinion, Soulliard made some wise choices when handling the gore content.
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MUSICAL SCORE
5/10 The score features some heavy rock riffs as well as a few songs, all of which are mixed with a fairly atmospheric and suspenseful score, all in all, it seemed to work really well.
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OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
For a low budgeter, Director Erik Soulliard's debut THE CREEK, does a great job of building tension, and mystery, especially in the film's final act. It does have a few ups and downs throughout the film, but as it progresses, the film's overall story tends to even things out. I had a fun time uncovering the mystery of what actually happened to Billy, and I think, that if you are a fan of low budget indie Horror, you might as well!

This DVD will be released on October 28, 2008
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STILLS


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