Film Reviews

JEEPERS CREEPERS

By • Aug 31st, 2001 •

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After five minutes I wanted to get up and leave. After ten more minutes I started looking around for a good way to slip out. Since my press colleagues wher sitting around me, I decided to stay put. After all, I sat through PEARL HARBOR.

Two of filmdom’s biggest idiots get involved in a really creepy, scary horror story.

Regardless of the now famous horror movie dictums, characters who aren’t that smart do heighten audience involvement. Generally, we know more than they do and scream – sometimes out loud – at them: Get out of the house now! Don’t open that door! Don’t have sex. Don’t say: “I’ll be right back.” Don’t you know the rules of surviving a horror movie? They’re going to get into some kind of nasty trouble – we hear the music signaling danger.

In JEEPERS CREEPERS, the two stupidest teenage siblings on the planet Earth are driving along a deserted back road in an old car. Darryl (Justin Long) and big sister Trish (Gina Philips) are nearly run off the road by a ROAD WARRIOR armored vehicle with the license plate BEATINGU. Instead of “hauling ass,” they continue along la de da. Soon they pass BEATINGU’s boarded-up house and see a big, draped, hooded figure, a.k.a. The Creeper (Jonathan Breck), dumping a bloodied, wrapped body down a tunnel. They decide to go back and investigate.

Should people this mentally impaired be allowed to live and someday procreate? Well, there is plenty of room for all of us, right? These two have absolutely no good reason to go back and lounge around outside this guy’s house. Darryl has no business going down the tunnel. Trish doesn’t stay inside the car with the motor running. I know the stupidity factor has to be present if this kind of movie works, but here it is so dumb I lost all interest in either of them surviving. But survive they do and BEATINGU goes after them.

Who is BEATINGU and what does he want?

Since monsters are not ruled by exposition (they never need us to understand their motivations), there’s always the regrettable character that must explain things. So a psychic turns up to tell Darryl and Trish what they are facing. Her dreams tell her things and it’s not good. There doesn’t seem to be any way out of this mess since The Creeper cannot be killed. JEEPER CREEPERS is no PSYCHO but it does deliver the goods. Director Victor Salva sets up a very menacing environment, I “liked” THE CREEPER, and the cleverness of his license plate. As far as the movie’s resolution – it worked for me.

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