Jeepers Creepers

For a movie with a retarded name, Jeepers Creepers lives up to it. It actually starts off fairly well before degenerating into a typical horror movie, passing under the bar, and ending horribly. And typical horror movie means very little of what is scary, and lots of what is gory. Taking its cues from The Blair Witch Project and Session 9, Jeepers Creepers begins by setting the mood. Two siblings are taking a cross-country road trip home from college. Everything borders on terminally boring. Darry (Justin Long, Crossroads, Galaxy Quest) and Trish (Gina Phillips, Nailed, Living Out Loud) have a good sibling relationship: outward antagonism masking a deeper love for each other. Of course, they display this love by insulting each other.

The scenery is rural and nothing is on the radio. Darry and Trish both have bored looks on their faces. Out of nowhere, a large truck barrels down the highway, honking madly. It is Victor Salva's (Rites of Passage, Nature of the Beast) way of shattering the complacency. The truck rattles the nerves of Darry and Trish, even more when the pass it later by a house. It looks like the driver is dumping a body down a pipe. Like all good teenagers in horror movies, Darry insists on stopping and figuring out what the driver dumped. Here is where Jeepers Creepers begins its descent into mediocrity. The driver (Jonathan Breck, Spiders) stalks them. Darry and Trish find dead bodies in the house, and apparently the driver knows more than he is revealing. As they try to escape, Jezelle (Patricia Belcher, Heartbreakers, Molly), a local psychic, contacts them to try to help.

The second half of the movie consists of the monster's efforts to catch the two kids. Salva does do well in keeping the monster in shadows, refusing to reveal his face until late into the movie. But when he does reveal the monster, it looks a little too ridiculous. Salva built all this suspense only to ruin it. The way the title refers back to the song is even worse. This is nothing more than a chase movie, and not a good one at that. One would think that it would not be too hard to drive away from this guy, yet he still manages to overtake them. There is also the matter of day versus night. Very few horror movies take place in daylight, so the beginning of Jeepers Creepers is all the more unusual. Once dusk falls, there is nothing special about this movie that is not already in hundreds of other movies.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 30 minutes, Rated R for terror violence/gore, language, and brief nudity.

Back to Movies