Gina Philips as Trish Jenner
Justin Long as Darry Jenner
Jonathan Breck as The Creeper
Patricia Belcher as Jezelle Gay Hartman
I will admit that I had reservations about watching Jeepers Creepers. I had been disappointed with the cookie cutter horror films that the late 90’s had produced. The last thing the horror community needed was another I Know What You Did Last Summer or Screamseries. But being a glutton for punishment (or a glutton for someone else’s punishment) and loving horror films soooo much I decided to giveJeepers Creepers a chance – and I was pleasantly surprised.
Jeepers Creepers starts with Trish Jenner (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) driving home from college. They are doing what siblings normally do. They are picking at each other, calling each other names and generally getting on each others nerves and enjoying it.
Having not seen another vehicle on the lone two lane highway that they have been traveling down, they are terrified when an ugly truck bears down on them and attempts to run them off the road. Upon getting there heads back together, Trish and Darry continue on and pass the same truck parked by an old run down building, which later turns out to be a church, and sees the driver (Jonathan Breck) dumping what looks like bodies wrapped in sheets down what looks to be a sewer pipe.
Problem is that the driver sees them also and proceeds to chase them down again. This time he succeeds in running the two siblings off the road.
Reinforcing my fear in what the colleges are teaching our young, Darry decides to go back and verify what was being thrown down the pipe. He further shows his intelligence by asking Trish to hold his feet while he tries to get a better look down the pipe by climbing in.
One thing leads to another and Trish lets go sending Darry down the pipe and landing in what is actually the basement of the old run down church building. What Darry sees down there affects him greatly and he and Trish will spend the rest of there time trying to make sense of what is going on around them – with very little help from a psychic (Patricia Belcher), and trying to escape the monster that is chasing them.
Jeepers Creepers’ writer and director Victor Salva does a good job at following some of the guidelines for a horror film:
• With good explanation, any monster can become believable.
• Keep the suspense steady throughout.
• The fewer the main characters, the less time you have to spend on character development and the more time you can spend on story development.
• Give the partakers of said horror film an ending that can stand on its’ own while still making it possible for the beloved sequel.
Though not great, Jeepers Creepers is definitely not cookie cutter either, and is good enough to add to anyone’s movie library of horror. I would also recommend Jeepers Creepers to anyone trying to introduce someone to the horror genre as it has a little bit of everything needed without going too far in any one thing.