Justin Long is quickly becoming a horror movie icon. I have already watched and written about a good deal of the horror movies that he is in. I had also previously seen Clownhouse by director Victor Salva, a half decent horror movie that was overshadowed by this creeps pervishness. Jeepers Creepers feels like it might be something good. But I think it just has that feeling. I hadn't actually seen the movie since it was released in theaters. Nor had I even thought about it. At the time it just didn't seem that impressive. I hope that after watching it again, my tastes may have changed.
Darry and his sister Trish, are travelling across Florida when they are bullied and harassed by a jerk in a dirty old van. They end up becoming witnesses to something pretty sinister involving that certain jerk. The jerk actually ends up being a crazy creature with an insatiable taste for fear. Can Darry and Trish survive? Who is the crazy lady telling them that they are in danger!
I found the movie to be pretty fun, but almost pointless. Seriously, the ending just came out of nowhere and left the entire plot hanging. It's like the movie was driving and driving to a point but cut it off. Weird. The movie itself was a very beautiful thing. The shots were fantastic. Lighting and scenery just happened to all line up. The villain is bad-ass. A really cool and original creature. The setting is creepy and the characters are palpable. However, something just doesn't hit. Some trigger is forgotten. It's unfortunate because this is a critical cog. Without it so much of this movie just seems so thrown together. And that is exactly what this movie feels like. Something that is just thrown together.
Jeepers Creepers is tame by my standards. At least to a point. I am pretty sure that they can air more than 90% of this movie on television during the day time. Which isn't something that's uncommon for horror movies made during this period. Interestingly enough, it's actually pretty bloodless. Kind of like
Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
It implies all of the gore. It's a great addition to any horror movie collection or marathon. Great for groups and fun to just put on at night.
Tom Luse & Barry Opper
Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck and Eileen Brennan
Myriad Pictures, American Zoetrope and Capitol Films
August 31, 2001
Did ya know:
The original truck from the film is owned by a private collector in Maryland, who keeps it in storage awaiting the filming of JC3. The scene where Trish and Darry witness the Creeper dumping a body down a well by an abandoned church was inspired by the case of Dennis DePue, a former Michigan Property Assessor who murdered his wife and was seen by witnesses near an old school house with a bloody sheet. Two witnesses also recall DePue speeding past them in a van and eventually tailing them and riding their bumper for several miles. The case was also profiled on a 1990 episode of Unsolved Mysteries (1987).