Jeepers Creepers is currently available on Amazon Prime.
“After making a horrific discovery in the basement of an old abandoned church, Trish (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) watch their routine road trip home turn into a heart stopping race for their lives.”
“Okay, you know the part in scary movies where somebody does something really stupid and everybody hates them for it, this is it.
Jeepers Creepers is a very good slasher film. Knives are not really involved but tonally it plays out more like a slasher film than a monster movie.
Rather than introduce us to a group of stereotypical cardboard campers/teens/students (the jock, the nerd, the clown, the promiscuous girl, the druggie, the virgin), Salva introduces us to siblings who feel real. They love each other but they still bicker. This relationship is at the heart of the movie. It would have gone for naught had the two leads not been so likable.
Justin (Galaxy Quest, Live Free or Die Hard) Long plays brother Darry Jenner. His vulnerable, comedic performance is a major selling point of the film. Gina (Ally McBeal, Boston Public). Philips plays sister Trish Jenner, a smart sarcastic woman who challenges her brother at every turn. In spite of being over thirty at the time, she is able to play a college student quite well.
In spite of the only three important characters being the siblings and the monster, Salva got a couple good performances out of his supporting cast. Patricia Belcher is a dear as Jezelle Gay Hartman, a woman who may be psychic. She can now be seen as Caroline Julian on Bones. Veteran actress Eileen Brennan has a lot of fun as the crazy cat lady that lives in every neighborhood.
There are two monsters in this film. The first is the Creeper played Jonathan Breck (who also plays the bald cop). Breck does a great job of animating the Creeper suit (especially since the contacts made him blind) and the makeup job on him is excellent. The Creeper is very creepy. The other monster is the enormous battered truck that initially stalks our heroes. The initial road rage encounter is frightening because it is so real. I think a good percentage of us have seen a driver go off the rails in real life.
Jeepers Creepers is excellent all the way through until the all-too-obvious ending. Salva starts the tension off right with a harrowing road encounter with a mysterious truck, followed by a disturbing scene where the siblings wonder if the driver was really dumping bodies and just escalates horrifically from there. There are a few moments where one of the siblings does something stupid but it seems human instead of scripted as do their brighter moments.
People Watch: Writer/director Victor Salva has a cameo as one of the bodies in ‘The House of Pain’.
Sequel-itis: Jeepers Creepers spawned a sequel, the imaginatively named Jeepers Creepers II (2003) which ditched everything but the monster and told a tale of a bus full of young students under siege. Jeepers Creepers II is a straight but entertaining monster movie and is not scary and creepy like the original. imdb lists Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral as being released next year.