on 24 October 2002
After reading some of the reviews here I know it's been said before, but I've just finished watching this movie and I'm going to reiterate...
The first half hour of this film is brilliant; I think I forgot to breathe at one point!
If you've ever seem The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the beginning of this movie gave off very similar vibes in terms of the tension built up and being able to genuinely terrify the audience.
But then, something happens to this film, I'm guessing they changed directors. ;o)
I won't say anything about the rest of the film, but I advise you to watch the first 30-40 minutes and then use your imagination to make up an ending...
I enjoyed the first part enough to give it four stars... and maybe the rest of it isn't THAT bad, in fact it's actually quite amusing! I recommend you watch it anyway; just be warned that the sense of terror which stopped you from moving an inch during the first half hour will rapidly turn into you leaving the film running while you go and make a cup of coffee.
Jeepers Creepers has a lot going for it, and some of its obvious flaws are quite knowing, you feel, without ever being slick. It is obvious that the brother and sister make wrong moves at almost every turn, and that these are not very convincing, but this is part of the effect, offsetting the careful characterisation which comes through the pretty good dialogues. The basic premise is two teenagers trying to avoid some maniac on the loose, driving around in a very stylish old Cadillac with a faulty gearstick that makes a speedy getaway not an option. If the gore factor is not too much to the fore, this is no bad thing - it is quite frightening enough. Tension is what you feel above all, and a certain bizarre tone that takes in various undercurrents that are interesting to watch out for - if you were scared witless, they would go by the board. The director Victor Salva has a distinctive way of shooting and gets a lot of different notes into his scenes, including a certain tenderness and feeling of intimacy for his characters, even if they have a brattish side as well. It is very well poised. This is much to be preferred, I think, to the all-out disgust of other horror films where the sheer sadism overrides imagination and genuine surprises. Jeepers Creepers certainly packs those in, often at key points when you least expect them. Gina Philips and Justin Long are very good in the leads, and it is good to see Eileen Brennan pop up after her moving performance in The Last Picture Show decades before.
on 12 July 2011
The movie opens with Darry and Trish who are brother and sister driving home for spring break, they're travelling on a desolate highway that stretches the length of the state. As they're driving along having the petty arguments that brother and sister have, a van suddenly speeds up behind them nearly running them off the road. They later drive past an old church and see the owner of the van dumping what appears to be bodies down a pipe, after another on road incident the pair of them go back to the church to investigate what they had seen. They discover perhaps hundreds of dead bodies and make their way to a diner to call the police, once they have spoken to the police and get back on the road, the owner of the van is once again in hot pursuit. It isn't long before they discover that what is following them is much more than human, the Creeper is a flesh eating monster who needs to eat human body parts to replace his own.
The opening twenty minutes or so are genuinely creepy and is reminiscent of the Steven Spielberg movie, Duel. It remains a creepy thriller until about half way through, it then becomes a traditional monster movie. The acting is good, Justin Long and Gina Phillips as Darry and Trish are almost always on screen. Justin Long has gone on to be quite famous, especially in comedy roles, but this was one of his first roles and to this day it's probably his best performance. Gina Phillips was amazingly 31 years old when she did this film, she doesn't look a day older than 23. She's set to star in Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral. Jonathan Breck, despite being under heavy prosthetics, still manages to give a good performance as the Creeper.
Victor Salva wrote and directed, despite what sickening things he's done in his personal life, there's no denying that he's wrote and directed this film with flair. His reduced $10,000,000 budget meant he had to cut a lot of his original ideas out, the film still works well and deserved the near $60,000,000 it made at the box office. The creature design is good and the Creeper is an original monster unlike many I've seen before, he does look best when he's at a distance or in the shadows.
It's a film of two halves, the first half being the better, but both work well. Certainly not a masterpiece, it's a fun, original and sometimes creepy movie that I hugely enjoyed. Highly recommended if you like Duel or Road Kill (Joy Ride), or just monster movies in general. It was followed two years later with Jeepers Creepers 2, if you enjoy this, then that was almost as good and a very worthy sequel.
on 1 April 2010
For some reason this is one of my favourite scary movies. It's not particularly clever or even that scary, but it's entertaining and fun anyway. The first part of the film, when the two teenagers are run off the road by the "guy" in the truck is really quite scary, and I defy you to not be creeped out as they watch the driver drop an "interesting" looking package down a shaft. Once the monster is revealed, the film finds it hard to live up to its promise, but it's still pretty good stuff. A good solid choice for a sleepover film.
on 6 September 2003
I think people have been to hard on this movie. Okay the first half is better than the 2nd, but this still is the best horror movie since freddy and his Dream killings.
This movie isn't really heavy on gore, and it's not 100% action packed... it relies more on suspence, and a good story. That said it still has a good scene with a head and a big axe ( you figuree it out ). The creeper is a monster thats comes to earth every 23rd summer, for 23 days. He's been doing this for centuries and has got quite a big stash of bodies because of this.
I found the ending abit of a let down, but i suppose it leaves plenty open for the sequel which is out in the cinemas now..
on 20 October 2002
I agree with the other reviewers- this film is great at the start. It's full of suspense and will definitely have you jumping out your skin the first time you see it.
But once you find out a bit more about the killer it just becomes silly. It could have been such a good movie if they'd just made the killer human(sorry if I've spoiled it for anyone).
And after such a good beginning, the ending is nothing short of disappointing. Although I have to admit, I did find the end shot quite intruiging.
Overall- disappointing, but certainly worth watching for the first half.
Jeepers Creepers is one of the most effective, fresh, creepy horror films to come along in the past few years, and I enjoyed it immensely. You may find some of the elements from this film elsewhere, but Jeepers Creepers really does have its own unique story to tell. The plot breaks down a little bit in the final half hour, but everything up to that point is simply superb.
I love the opening scenes; this really doesn't even seem like a movie for the first half hour. You have a very typical brother and sister cruising down a deserted road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day. I entered this film with dark aspirations in mind, so the bright, peaceful setting of the opening really grabbed my attention. It may be a lonely stretch of road, but the setting is one of safety and serenity – until, that is, a character in a super-charged old van tries to wreck the car holding our protagonists. For Patricia and Darius Jenner (Gina Philips and Justin Long, respectively), this frightening bit of road rage proves to be only the start of a horrible night. On down the road, the pair catch sight of the evil van parked beside an old, crumbling building; looking closer, they see the driver of the truck tossing a couple of items that certainly look like bodies wrapped in blood-soaked sheets down a big pipe. The bad guy sees the kids pass by and immediately starts out in pursuit, doing all he can to wreck them. Darius eventually has the brilliant idea of going back to the pipe to see if anyone is still alive down there, and his much smarter sister cannot talk him out of this notion. Here marks the upping of the creepiness factor. There are many significant things to be found in the chamber below; finding a way out, though proves to be a challenge as Darius soon discovers. Eventually a shell-shocked Darius and Trish make it to a roadside restaurant and call the police. Things get weirder, though, when an anonymous stranger calls Darius and Trish and explains the things she has been seeing in her visions, warning them that the "thing" will not stop coming after them. This proves to be quite the understatement. The Creeper, whoever or whatever he is, is relentless in his pursuit of the scared youngsters, leading to one exciting confrontation after another in a variety of venues. Things progress quite nicely to an ending that is both good and bad; good in the sense that it does not pull a fairy tale ending out of the hat, but bad in that the final five minutes prove anticlimactic, forced, and generally unsatisfying.
Personally, I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with the costume and special effects of the Creeper; from a distance, or coiled in shadows, he's pretty intimidating, but his visual effect on the viewer decreases as we see more of him. Writer/director Victor Salva envisioned this film as his own "monster movie," but I think that a more human boogeyman would have served this story more effectively. Justin Long has some kind of David Schwimmer thing going on at times, but he is otherwise quite convincing in the role of Darius; he is the one who sees firsthand the handiwork of the Creeper, and the effects of what he has seen are reflected dramatically on his face and spirit. Gina Philips is fantastic; she may well be the sexiest female on the planet, as well. More than just a pretty face, the depth of her commitment and talent are demonstrated quite convincingly in the six featurettes on the making of the movie. These featurettes, by the way, are quite good. The deleted and extended scenes housed on the DVD, though, aren't that impressive; for the life of me, I could hardly find the difference between the alternate and final versions of a few scenes in the movie.
Jeepers Creepers is just a terrific, vastly underrated horror film. Relying more on suspense than blood and gore (although there is a certain amount of gore to be found here), this would make an especially good introduction to the genre for those yet to dip their feet into the deep, dark side of the entertainment pool.
on 17 November 2013
Darry and Trish are on their way home from their freshman year at college. But the trip turns dangerous as they see a man in a trench coat and a hat that dumping something down a pipe.
They recognise him as the man who tried to run them off the road earlier and investigate to see what he dumped. What they discover terrifies Darry.
They try to get help from a crazy woman and a psychic before they realise what's been chasing them is an ancient demon known as the Creeper who eats people to regenerate his body parts....
The film starts out fabulously, like Spielbergs Duel, an unknown entity trying to kill two siblings for being too nosey, and the fact that no one helps them only adds to the tension. And this works to such an extent.
But right when the old cat woman shoots and makes the Creeper blow up, it falters, turning something that could have been a taut, realistic thriller, into another generic horror movie. The cast are great, the two leads have great chemistry as siblings, really getting on each others nerves, and this at least makes you believe they care for each other.
The redeeming factor is that it doesn't go for the powder puff Hollywood ending, if you wanted a lightweight horror, its as nearly as grim as Se7en, not as good or as shocking, but the film finishes on such a low note, which is very rare for a generic horror.
There are tense moments, the final third is filmed well, but after the fact you realise the Creeper is a demon, it all goes to pot a little.
on 2 May 2003
I have just viewed Jeepers Creepers, & it has to be said it really is a let down.
It starts out well, with a (half) convincing plot, and it is sure to make you jump out of your seat. Anyone who scares easily should have a pillow handy to watch from behind! However then we get to the middle of the film, this is the point where we discover who the criminal is, which if u have read the amazon review is a demon. Unfortunately the realism of the film disintegrates from there on....The big scary demon, looking like an extra from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is seemingly unstoppable, cue the manic screaming and running around like a headless chicken shouting "what shall we do?"
Also there are only so many times a close up shot of the gear stick, as one of our main protaganists struggles to put the car in gear, can be shown without boring the pants off of the veiwer.
Hollywood always make teenagers look stupid, and yet they always manage to have a big philosophical overhaul halfway through a film. Trust me you will be screaming at the screen midway through this film, "stop looking in dark places or staring at the demon and just move!!!"
The resoloution is not an audience pleaser either, as we approach old buffy extra playing 'my first biology set' in a sewer for about the 100th time, we realise his victim is dead, thinking somebody is going to do something i stayed glued to the screen as it cut to black, only to see the credits appearing.
on 18 January 2013
A great movie about a living scarecrow flesh eating monster man, and as a leader to Jeepers Creepers 2 which is even more chilling and has a great ending...... or is is the end???? you decide! Buy them both.