A Film Review By Jason L. King
Rating: R for horror violence and language
Starring: Ray Wise, Johnathan Breck, Travis Schiffner
Directed By:Victor Salva
People love to be scared. People Love to Laugh. A wise man was on The Conan O’Brien Show a few months back. His name was Christopher Walken. With a smile and through his own laughter he tried to explain to Conan and the Audience that being scared and laughter can go together. As he explained there is something “fun and just plain funny about being scared by something in a movie.” There must be a central truth to those words or else the Hollywood Horror Machine wouldn’t be cranking out campy horror flicks one after another since the eighties.
Following in the footsteps of Horror flicks from earlier this year, like Wrong Turn, House of 1000 Corpses, and the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which will be coming soon) Jeepers Creepers 2 appeared on the big screen as the summer blockbuster “sequel Summer” came to a close. The outbreak of these films are trying to show us that there doesn’t have to be a big named killer like “Michael Myers,” “Jason” or “Freddy Kruger” to scare the living daylights out of people. Yet in the same phrase (especially in this film) are trying to convince audiences that new villains such as “The Creeper” are the new faces of Horror.
Our Story opens with a father and his two sons working on the family farm when the mysterious creeper comes and snatches up their youngest boy. Not realizing what this Creature is, the father vows to destroy it. Around the same time a busload of State Champion Basketball Stars and cheerleaders ends up broken down along the road. Being stranded in the middle of nowhere is bad enough but the fact that a killer creature is trying to eat them doesn’t help matters. As “The Creeper” stalks and sulks around the busload of kids, they need to figure out a way to stay alive or become “The Creeper’s” Next Snack….
Our story is simple, our plot is simpler but that doesn’t mean this is a terrible film. In all honesty, I was mildly entertained. By no means are we going to see “The Creeper” up for Oscars this fall, nor will we see any members of the bus load of children up for awards for “Best Original Scream in a Campy Horror Flick” come Oscar time either. The film is there to entertain you with a few cheap pops and intentional and unintentional laughs as well. The director does a nice job of keeping a campy horror feel and the script helps him do so without sticking in really really bad Dialogue for the characters. It’s not Shakespeare either, but in the end, They don’t have lines like “It’s Ok! He just wanted his machete back!” (Sorry Jason X fans). Although the cheap pops are predictable they still hold your attention which is all this film is really trying to achieve.
The real question is though, How effective is “The Creeper’s” Character? The supposedly unkillable bat from hell is both a joke and scare at the same time. He looks like nothing more than a man in a Wal-Mart Halloween mask with a little bit of slime. His huge bat wings look like a flesh colored shower curtain that is strapped to his back. When we actually see the creeper close up he is almost cute. He isn’t hideous looking. He doesn’t make you scream like a killer in a hockey mask but instead just smiles at you with his big yellow eyes and stained teeth. In fact, I am more afraid of Smegol (Gollum’s “good” side in Lord of the Rings) than I actually was of the creeper. If the creeper is the new face or terror, frankly I am little worried.
However don’t think the creeper is a complete waste of screen time. His quick movements, his flesh eating charisma and the way he silently stalks his victims before snatching them up before they even realize he is coming, proves top be kind of a neat little trick. Despite his looks, his sounds (even though they sound like a “Predator”) make him a little more creepy as well as his ability to Throw Sharp pointy objects with pinpoint accuracy.
Despite the mild entertainment value I got from this movie, I still learned a very valuable lesson. That lesson being, they don’t make trucks like they used to. Watching the film I saw a truck literally be destroyed and yet still drive 5 minutes later. The mere fact that this truck has to be possessed by demons in order to drive off after a wreck like that is scarier than the creeper himself.
I think it was our ending that annoyed me the most. It was almost as though they got bored, and just tried to end it as quickly as possible. The Injured Creeper stalking one of they boys is quite possibly one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and laughed almost uncontrollably even though the “creepy music” was trying to tell me not to. And to top the entire movie off they tacked on an ending that was so cheesy it made me just laugh. Up until the very ending, I would have to say though I wasn’t annoyed by the film.
The technicalities and the suspension of disbelief aside, I’m pretty indifferent about Jeepers Creepers 2. I don’t ever foresee The Creeper up in the list of big name psychos like Freddy and Jason, but he’s not a bad character either. In the end this stab at the campy horror flick is mediocrity at best, and maybe worth a rental on a bored Saturday night. Just don’t think though that it is worth the ticket price, unless you crave a really pointless fluff film that leaves you wanting more than what you got in the end. To sum things up the amount of money you would waste on tickets, popcorn and candy as you get ready to see Jeepers Creepers 2 would probably be more scary than the movie itself….