[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B008MU8ZOI][/pullquote] On a routine trip home from college, bickering brother and sister Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Phillips) make the regrettable mistake of taking the scenic route through the country. Darry catches sight of a mysterious figure, disposing of a bloody bag down a drainpipe as they pass what appears to be an abandoned church. In true horror flick style, the kids backtrack to check it out (Do these people not watch movies?) when instead they should be hitting the fast track outta there. The siblings find themselves relentlessly pursued by a seemingly indestructible foe, whilst discovering a new and altogether chilling meaning to the song “Jeepers Creepers.”
The opening act of Jeepers Creepers holds so much potential as we gain a realistic and humorous snapshot of the pair’s love-hate relationship. There is genuine suspense, and chilling implications are made as they are pursued by a nameless, faceless predator. The monster, played by Breck is undoubtedly intended to be the next Freddy or Pinhead, and he definitely injects the film with an air of intrigue and sinister eeriness. The script, which was excellent in the first half hour, maintains some of its wit and awareness through the rest of the film (the scene where they hit the creeper in their car is darkly hilarious) but loses the tone it first established as cheap shocks take priority.
Jeepers Creepers’ direction is edgy and at times quite anxious, and it is reminiscent of older horror movies, for instance the opening scene, which is full of intrigue and suspense could have been taken straight out of the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unfortunately the film takes a turn for the horrific (but not in a good way!) when the “creeper” sets his sights on one of the siblings. At this point the plot descends into clichÃ©d B-Movie horror fodder complete with a psychic who appears from nowhere, dispensing useless advice and cryptic crap to the terrified kids.
Jeepers Creepers is a pastiche of classic horror movies (The Birds, Poltergeist, Aliens) and despite an unexpected and disturbing ending, the bulk of the movie lacks the explanations, logic and originality possessed by the films it mimics.