Wanted: ghoulish creature to stalk and kill teens of varying naivete

By Daniel Kubik

No matter what you fault Jeepers Creepers 2 with, it has one undeniable asset–it isn’t Jeepers Creepers, The original, released in 2001, has surprisingly little in common with its baby brother. Where the sequel opts for nothing but pure slasher action, Jeepers Creepers delivered precisely 90 minutes of suspense-driven garbage that runs out of gas after about half an hour. And yet, it keeps on going. And going. And going.

Fortunately, writer/director Victor Salva has cooked up something entirely different here, though it’s certainly nothing original. The Creeper stalks a bus full of high-school students and a farmer seeks revenge for his slain son, throw in an overnight clairvoyant and a half-baked plot and you’ve got yourself a movie. The characters are rife with cliché, killed off in predictable order and incredibly dimwitted, and they deliver all the stock stupidity we’ve all seen so many times before. If you’re looking for originality, you won’t find it here.

What the movie does have is a healthy dose of action, a lot of tense moments and a lot of camera time for the Creeper towards the tail end of the movie. Incidentally, the ravenous demon is not nearly as mysterious or enigmatic as he was in the original. The Creeper gets lots of camera time, from his wings right down to his face. At one point, we get the opportunity to see him selecting his victims one by one–fangs, blowhole and all. While there have certainly been more gruesome aberrations in the world of cinema, the Creeper is intimidating and credible in his own right, and several scenes benefit from his transition to the foreground.

All that might come up short, though, for those looking for the red stuff. Though there is a laughable sequence where someone flails about after losing their head, there’s nothing but a few smears: no splatter, and certainly nothing… internal.

Jeepers Creepers 2 is what it is, and it fills that role sufficiently. Hey, if you’re not seeing anything else, put in your pennies at the box office. They told me that piracy is hitting those impoverished producers really hard.

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