There are those films that I can watch over and over and over again and am always in awe over what I’m watching. I’m not just talking about re-watch value, I’m talking once I start it I have to fuckin’ finish it, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. JAWS is certainly the most watched film of mine. APOCALYPSE NOW, RESERVOIR DOGS, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, HALLOWEEN, and a handful of others.
JEEPERS CREEPERS is one of them. JEEPERS CREEPERS is one of those rare gems that is just a fun, entertaining film. One that does not have a dull moment. When there is no action on screen the performances of Justin Long and Gina Philips just mesmerize you, sucking you further into a story of dread and mystery.
Brother and sister Darry and Trish are driving cross county to visit their parents back home during a school break. They come across this creepy van that torments them on the road. After the highway torment subsides they witness the driver of the truck tossing what appears to be sheet-wrapped bodies down a pipe at an old abandon church. They decide to investigate, and this puts them directly in the madman’s path. What they don’t know is the madman is not really a man at all but a creature that comes out at certain times to eat… people.
Written and directed by Victor Salva, JEEPERS CREEPERS is a From Dusk Til Dawn type story, in the sense that you think it’s about a crazy killer driving around the county hunting college kids. Then halfway through the film it dose a sharp left and takes you down a whole other road that is unexpected, terrifying, and wonderful.
Again, the cast here is the main reason this film works so well. Justin Long’s Darry, is mentally tormented and you can see it in every word, every expression, and every action. Just when you think he is going to go over the top and start over-acting, he brings it back down and straddles that line perfectly. Another amazing concept of the film is the creature. It has a few different looks, which keeps things fresh and open to surprises, which you don’t see often. The Creeper has an amazing design and looks menacing and just plan fucking cool. Hats off to Brian Penikas for the creation of the creature.
Salva certainly keeps the story flowing with no low’s, there’s always something going on. Every piece of dialogue progresses the story and keeps things flowing well. The pacing is some of the best I’ve seen in a horror film and it’s just one scene of emotional mind fuck after another. The ending is also one of those shocking “what the fuck did I just watch” endings that you’re not used to seeing in a mainstream film, and will catch you off guard, even a horror film.
This is certainly a film that you have to check out. One of THE best creature films made and has plenty of surprises for the jaded genre fan!
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