Christopher G. Moore is a film-maker who truly understands the concept of quality of over quantity. He only releases a short film once a year, sometimes taking a year off in between to really culminate an idea. When he unleashes a new project, though, it always hits the mark and becomes a film festival favorite. Backward Creep continues the trend in his career while also promising something more (moore?). Backward Creep tells the story of three cosplaying best friends who are on their way to an anime convention when they accidentally run someone over with their car. When they check on the supposed victim, they quickly realize that an evil entity is about to make their commute much worse. Written, directed, edited and produced by Christopher G. Moore, Backward Creep stars a small but talented cast comprised of Brian Lee, Dany Lofgren, Vanessa Gisselle and Crystal Cleveland as the Ushiro Girl.
Backward Creep recently won the Narrative Drive Award at the Women in Horror Film Festival, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it was also produced by a woman in horror, Ms. Amanda Stone. Backward Creep also finds cinematography by Ismail Abdelkhalek, special effects by Matt Patterson and costumes by Elizabeth Caddy. Style-wise, Backward Creep is a five-minute, modern horror story that’s crude and campy but doesn’t go overboard with those choices. It does wonders with the use of red, blue and purple lighting; and paints a psychedelic atmosphere against a suspenseful and supernatural background. It’s definitely influenced by J-horror and Japanese horror films of the past, while remaining original to Moore’s Ushiro Girl idea. I’m ready for a new Japanese villain, especially a female villain, to make waves after the horrible Grudge remake remake. I think the Ushiro Girl could be that villain if handled correctly.
A Cinema Fuel Production, Backward Creep is quick but concise, and I don’t want to dive into the plot details for fear of spoiling most of the action. I will say that the special effects from Matt Patterson played an integral part in this short film’s success, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other gory moments will be showcased when Backward Creep is adapted to a feature length project. There’s one, big “what the fuck moment” that you’ll need to watch for, and a sense of claustrophobia and uncertainty that will grip you by the eyeballs. There’s a lot of eyeball action here, actually. As a reviewer, my only complaint is a moment inside the car, when the trio is looking at the car camera and the Ushiro Girl appears in the window behind them. It went by too fast and I needed to rewind and hit play to catch the gag in full.
A promising villain and the product of two distinct methods of story-telling, Backward Creep is already one of my favorite short films of 2020. It’s a popcorn movie that’s polished and showy, and it’s got the mood and special effects to back it up. Final Score: 9 out of 10.