Movie review

Jeepers Creepers 2
Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck,
Travis Schiffner

Director : Victor Salva

Jeepers Creepers 2"We just dropped a notch on the fucking food chain!" They really should have gone for that as the tag line for the film. Instead, it's merely a line from the script. Shame, because it tells you pretty much all you need to know about this film. In fact, unfortunately, the first Jeepers Creepers tells you everything you need to know about this film.

For reasons that neither the first film or this film even attempt to explain, a creature known as the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) has for thousands of years been terrorizing people by showing up every twenty third spring and feasting for twenty three days on human prey. The first installment ended on the twenty first day, and we pick up the story on the twenty second. When Taggart (Ray Wise) witnesses the Creeper brutally abducting his youngest son, he's thrown into a state of shock and becomes hell-bent on tracking the beast down and wreaking his revenge.
    When strange reports start coming in over his CB radio that a school bus is under attack on a nearby highway, he knows that this is his chance. Meanwhile, the occupants of the stationary school bus are being picked off one by one by the winged monster and dragged away into the night. Taggart finally arrives on the scene, and the showdown he has been preparing for begins.

The main problem with Jeepers Creepers 2 is the same problem that the original suffered from - the first half an hour or so is genuinely suspense-filled, well-paced, psychological horror, with just the merest glimpses of the films predator and two or three well executed make-you-jump moments. Then, before you know it, you're staring the Creeper in the face, and however terrifying he might look you just can't really bring yourself to be scared of him anymore because there's no mystery left whatsoever. Good horror is very much like good magic - you watch it and, although it drives you mad that you don't really get what is going on, you wouldn't have it any other way because that's what you love about it. As soon as you know what's behind it all, you instantly lose interest because the intrigue has vanished.
    In the case of Jeepers Creepers 2, what may have saved the film from that mistake could have been the audience not wanting to see the wonderfully sculpted characters - who we've come to adore like family in a very short time - get ripped to shreds by an eight foot bat. Again, no points. The characters in this film, predominantly a bus full of high school basketball players and their teachers and cheerleaders, are so ridiculously nauseating that after a while the only thing keeping you watching is the fact that you can't wait to see them all get horribly killed so you don't have to listen to any more of their inane comments or ridiculous arguments.
     One thing that the original Jeepers Creepers did have going for it was that the two main characters were not only interesting but also lent the film a definite sense of tongue-in-cheek, of which there is not a single trace here. One of those characters from the original - Darry, played by Justin Long - appears very briefly here (during dream sequences that one of the cheerleaders inexplicably experiences which explain to her what is going on) and he still manages to outperform the rest of the cast.

Before deciding to make Jeepers Creepers 2, Victor Salva had promised himself that he would never make a sequel. If only he had stuck to his guns. This is uninspired, unoriginal, lazy drivel. The scariest thing about this film though is that - as if we haven't already had our intelligence insulted enough - the ending sets up the distinct possibility of yet another installment in the Jeepers Creepers series. Now that's a real shocker . . .

:: Philip Goodfellow

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