As I mentioned in my recent review of Jeepers Creepers 3 (below), it’s absolutely essential to have seen the first 2 Jeepers Creepers movies in order to understand the action taking place. But considering it’s been over 14 years since the last Jeepers Creepers movie, many fans may have simply forgotten important details. If you saw Jeepers Creepers 3 last night and found yourself struggling to put all the pieces together, this article is for you.
[For a summary of writer/director Victor Salva’s criminal past and why many horror fans are choosing to boycott Jeepers Creepers 3, follow the link embedded in this article. We are also including a link to a statement from Nathan Forrest Winters, Salva’s abuse survivor. We support everyone who chooses to boycott this film but will continue to bring interested readers unbiased reporting.]
Official Synopsis: Taking place on the last day of the Creeper’s twenty-three-day feeding frenzy, as the skeptical Sargent Tubbs teams up with a task force hellbent on destroying the Creeper for good. The Creeper fights back in gory glory as its enemies grow closer than ever before to learning the secret of its dark origins.
The film features Meg Foster, Gina Philips, and Jonathan Breck.
Warning: Below There Be Spoilers!
Despite being the third chapter in the franchise, Jeepers Creepers 3 takes place in the 4 days in between Jeepers Creepers (2001) and Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003). JC3 does, however, contain one flashback scene and one flash-forward. Jeepers Creepers 2 also ends with a flash-forward. Here’s how the action would unfold if every Jeepers Creepers film was arranged chronologically.
1978: Intro/Flashback from Jeepers Creepers 3.
2001: Jeepers Creepers (Days 1-2)
2001: Jeepers Creepers 3 (Days 2-5)
2001: Jeepers Creepers 2 (Days 5-6)
Unknown Future: Trish (Gina Phillips) Outro from Jeepers Creepers 3
2024: Jeepers Creepers 2 final scene.
Meg Foster plays a grieving mother named Gaylen Brandon; she’s haunted by the ghost of her dead son who was one of The Creeper’s victims in 1978. His name is Kenny Brandon (played by Jordan Salloum) and if his name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. When Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Phillips) are driving down a Florida highway before being attacked by The Creeper (Jonathan Breck) they discuss the urban legend of Darla and Kenny, an interracial couple who disappeared on Prom Night back in 1978. Authorities found Kenny’s car wrecked on the side of the road but both bodies were missing—except for Darla’s decapitated head. Darry would actually see Kenny and Darla’s corpses when he investigated The Creepers lair beneath the church.
The “Creeper Hunters” led by Sheriff Tashtego (Stan Shaw) have all lost relatives to Creeper attacks, but none of them appeared in previous films.
Jeepers Creepers 3 ends with The Creeper being bested by the film’s heroes; he screams in defeat as dead crows fall from the sky all around them. The key seems to be knowing the truth about the creature’s origins, for it’s when he reads a sign left by Gaylen Brandon (Foster) that reads “We know what you are” that the fiend gives up his chase. We know The Creeper isn’t killed by this revelation, as he goes on to terrorize the kids on the bus (Jeepers Creepers 2), but it scares him enough to leave his current targets alone. This suggests that knowledge of The Creeper’s roots is essential to destroying the creature once and for all.
The penultimate scene shows Buddy Hooks (played by Chester Rushing) getting on a bus, bound for a high school championship baseball game; this is just hours before the events of Jeepers Creepers 2, although Buddy is not a character specifically introduced/portrayed in that film. The final scene of Trish (Gina Phillips) narrating her story in front of a computer screen is an unknown point in the future; this is after the events of Jeepers Creepers 2 but before the creature’s reemergence in 2024.
The Creeper’s Origins
Those who take hold of The Creeper’s severed hand fall into a trance state where they learn The Creeper’s origins. While the details aren’t shared with the audience, Sheriff Tashtego (Shaw) explains that the creature is bigger and older than previously believed; “It’s ancient,” he states, obviously shaken by his knowledge. Whether the full details of The Creeper’s origins will be explored in future film installments remains to be seen, although Jeepers Creepers 3 definitely sets up sequels.
If you have any other questions about Jeepers Creepers 3, let me know in the Comments section and I’ll be happy to answer them (to the best of my abilities).