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Overall Rating
2.89

Awesome: 13.18%
Worth A Look: 21.82%
Average29.55%
Pretty Bad: 11.36%
Total Crap: 24.09%

10 reviews, 160 user ratings


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Jeepers Creepers
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by Matt Mulcahey

"Half terrifying, half terrible"
3 stars

As stylish and smartly written as Scream was, its huge success, along with the success of subsequent, much less effective teen slasher fare like Urban Legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer, have buried the horror genre underneath a mountain of overly slick, increasingly redundant, over-budgeted garbage.

With characters breaking down the illusion of reality with tongue-in-cheek dialogue, bad one-liners and self-referential nods that say “Hey, we’re in a horror movie and we know it,” truly frightening movies have become few and far between.

In the past few years rarely has a hair been raised and seldom have spine's been sent tingling. But for the first half of the low-budget horror offering Jeepers Creepers, writer/director Victor De Salva provides just that.

From the films first moment, a grainy, distorted by the hazy summer heat shot of a car traveling along an isolated two-lane country road, it’s apparent we haven’t wandered into yet another slasher movie full of pretty TV stars with perfect hair getting offed by uninteresting and predictable killers.

The car's passengers are a set of siblings (played by Gina Phillips and Justin Long) heading home for spring break. They banter momentarily in a suposedly witty way, just long enough to establish characters slightly more interesting than your average genre entry.

But the second they spot an old pick-up truck steaming towards their bumper De Salva turns up the tempo and pours on 30 minutes of horror nirvana as the phantom truck terrorizes the pair before speeding off into the distance.

But this isn’t some Duel or Maximum Overdrive rehash. We soon find out who’s driving the truck. It’s a tall, intimidating figure in a long, flowing trenchcoat who looks more like he stumbled in from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western than a horror film.

Long and Phillips see him tossing large, red stained bundles into an old sewer pipe next to an abandoned church. Of course they go back to investigate, allowing for one of the few moments of Scream imitatation when Phillips says “You know that part in horror movies where someone does something really stupid and everyone hates them for it? Well, this is it.”

Both of them then spend the rest of movie doing things you hate them for, and blowing numerous opportunities for easy escape.

What they find down that pipe, and the moments that lead up to it, are classic horror. The scares are still based mainly on “jumps” accompanied by sudden pulses in the soundtrack. But what makes Jeepers Creepers different is the sustained tension that accompanies these scares.

Through music, lighting and camera work, De Salva raises the terror to a fevered pitch as Long explores the killer’s storage space, full of hundreds of body sewn into the walls like some depraved picture out of Dante’s Inferno.

But after carefully building suspense, tension and terror, De Salva smashes his film to pieces by diving headfirst into the genre’s clichés whose avoidance made the movie’s first half so enjoyable.

Jeepers Creepers becomes nothing more than an extended, redundant chase sequence, as the “monster” will stop at nothing to kill one the protagonist.

You see, our monster shows up every 23 springs and has 23 days to “eat.” The creature then absorbs what it ingests (which apparently included Peter Boyle, because it has his hair.) We learn this from Jazelle (Patricia Belder), a psychic who shows up halfway through to spout off some mumbo-jumbo in an extremely lazy exposition device that only raises logic questions.

The most glaring of these being why no one notices that over 600 people have gone missing from the same stretch of highway. You think someone might have thought something was kind of shady and went looking. It isn’t like the killer hid his victims in some diabolically clever spot. He tossed them into a church cellar.

The monster itself also loses its frightfulness the more it is revealed. What makes movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Jaws so scary is that they prey upon realistic fears.

Some faceless psycho terrorizing you in the backwoods because you saw him chucking some bodies down a garbage shoot is a somewhat realistic fear. A green flying monster that only eats the people who have the right “scent” is not.

The film also takes a misstep in borrowing from the underrated and far superior Final Destination, using the song Jeepers Creepers to ominously pre-empt horrible events.

But all these detractors merely drag Jeepers Creepers down from the level of horror classic to merely an above-average genre entry, and a welcome return to low-budget, inventive horror that sets it sights on true scares.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5511&reviewer=255
originally posted: 09/07/01 15:47:42
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 ScreamFest L.A. Horror Festival. For more in the 2004 ScreamFest L.A. series, click here.

User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell trash made by a pervert who should die 1 stars
4/01/16 Aj wales Great at start. Last third boring and drags out what very little action it had. 3 stars
10/24/13 Anna Johnston 2 stars
1/22/11 chaotik tom Its an alien? O_O wtf? the only good thing was the truck. 3 stars
10/01/10 PAUL SHORTT WELL MADE BUT ULTIMATELY UNSATISFYING 2 stars
8/20/07 Mark Louis Baumgart A great new monster in a good old school horror/suspense movie w/cute leads who can act. 4 stars
4/26/07 David Risser Thrilling and suspensful but I wouldn't care to see it again. 3 stars
3/28/07 Stanley Thai Want a thrilling action film? Well, here you go. 4 stars
10/03/06 Jeremy Davies Quite underrated, some very scary scenes 4 stars
8/17/06 ES Asylum Home Entertainment put this out right? 1 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist A Sh*tty, too human-like monster,campy; obviously a lame attempt at a horror cult classic. 1 stars
8/02/06 dan scary,strange,a real horror 5 stars
7/26/06 Agent Sands It does what horror movies were designed to do. 4 stars
6/25/06 MP Bartley It has to be said again: terrific first half, sucky second half... 3 stars
12/14/05 deadfishrman not bad not bad at all 3 stars
12/14/05 Steven Lewis Its good. It's suspenseful and gory. 4 stars
11/25/05 Vince Nothing to write home about... 3 stars
10/27/05 chris overall a reasonable film if your stuck in on a rainy day watch it!! 4 stars
10/22/05 Tina I liked it, thought it was better than most out there now. 4 stars
10/21/05 cypress Worth the time for a true horror fan, some good parts, could have been better 3 stars
10/20/05 PAG Pretty good. First 30 minutes are excellent. 4 stars
8/12/05 ES Total, abyssmal garbage = a poster and the hope of a good movie don't make it so 1 stars
7/18/05 Brandy Harrington GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGay! 1 stars
7/03/05 Eddie Dumb movie bad story 2 stars
6/18/05 Manu Ginobli Shitty movie made by a no-talent pervert. 1 stars
4/30/05 alice I LO 4 stars
3/23/05 indrid cold Worth watching, which is more than you can say for most horror movies. 3 stars
3/14/05 J. Warner A for-the-most-part effective horror film with it's ending making it a little refreshing. 4 stars
1/13/05 SAKURAZUKAMORI The plot is old, the characters flat and uninteresting. The gore wasn't all that gorey. 1 stars
1/10/05 Brett This movie was so boring and just plain awful! 1 stars
11/18/04 chris waste of time 1 stars
11/16/04 Dunce Lots of set-up, no satifying payoff. Cool truck. Why do people like this so much? 2 stars
10/27/04 Dana Sage Entrertaining 4 stars
9/01/04 Andy Edge FUCKIN' SHIT 1 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G its was ok, sucks the director likes to fuck children in real life 3 stars
5/26/04 Craig Idiotic. All action the result of wussy boy freaking out and falling down a pipe. 1 stars
5/20/04 kektex I think this is the only time I have fallen asleep inside a cinema...what a steaming pile.. 1 stars
4/18/04 American Slasher Goddess Atmospheric and supenseful, but the ending is anti-climatic. 4 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart its a gory film but nithing special definetly not the scariest this year!!!! 4 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Banal and inane cheezy movie by a pedophile (true) that ends up in a bad punchline. 1 stars
2/01/04 britney gross i hate this movie its the worst horror film i ever saw 1 stars
1/14/04 Littlepurch Not bad, first half was good, but in the end you just feel it was a bit pointless. 3 stars
1/06/04 George NICE I LIKE IT 5 stars
12/26/03 Sara Very good movie. 5 stars
12/20/03 ageeting the beginning was stupid and the end was the worst. the whole thing was shit 1 stars
12/13/03 darkofnight Horrendously directed and scripted. Performances aren't bad though. 1 stars
11/25/03 Thiago A good movie, but the first half is much better than the last one. 4 stars
11/04/03 American Slasher Goddess Enticing and scary, but the ending is anti-climatic. 4 stars
10/08/03 Two-G The Movie was good until you found out the it was a like-bird thing, Ending Sucks. Eh it ok 3 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus It was a good story up until i found out it was about A BIG MONSTER WITH WINGS!!!! 2 stars
9/17/03 Ashley Corpening I generously rated it average before I knew it was sequel bait. 2 stars
9/15/03 Jim Enjoyably spooky flick goes off the rails when the monster and the psychic showed up 3 stars
9/02/03 I Would Ridden with cliches, but still scary in its first half. 3 stars
8/21/03 moses 2 damm well better make up for the shit ending 4 stars
8/16/03 motherfucka pretty scary movie,but still got boring in the middle of the movie 3 stars
8/12/03 Double G good but 2nd looks better 3 stars
8/08/03 Flounder This is one of the best horror movies of the last 5 years 5 stars
6/27/03 Pissed Chris Fantastic beginning, uninspiring middle, and a juvenile ending... 4 stars
6/14/03 Jerry I want more!! Where's jeepers creepers 2? 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice Good acting and thats rare in Horrors... 4 stars
6/04/03 Jason Thomas I also can't believe the way Slava was praised and encouraged. And all the MOUTH BREATHING! 1 stars
5/27/03 Jim Enjoyably spooky flick goes off the rails when the monster and the psychic showed up 3 stars
5/26/03 Alicia The is the best...The ending was unexpected, but hey it works for me...I loved this movie 5 stars
4/26/03 Amber The characters actually gave a semi-reasonable reason for going towards known danger. 4 stars
4/25/03 Cynthia Glausi Crap 1 stars
4/24/03 Ralph R. Clemente horrible 1 stars
4/07/03 Nurman Noor Extraordinary ending 4 stars
4/05/03 Dre64 Great - looking film, everything else about it is totally stupid 1 stars
1/13/03 Timothy Dineen started off looking like a great horror film, but got lost along the way 1 stars
1/07/03 me was i suppose to be scared? 1 stars
11/12/02 Fonq35 This movie is to entertainment what Saddam is to love, peace and brotherhood... THIS SUCKS! 1 stars
10/12/02 Eric Like Joy Ride, this is scary, suspenseful horror entertainment. 5 stars
9/09/02 Ben Wasden Smart, stylish, and scary, with an intro that will knock your socks off. 5 stars
7/06/02 Valerie Cameron Right on, Akira_773, was creepily suspenseful until the ending that really bites. 2 stars
6/18/02 Akira_773 Never had an ending ruin a movie so badly for me 2 stars
6/04/02 David A. Entertaining, comic book style horror movie. It won't give you nightmares, but it's fun! 5 stars
5/29/02 Film Guy Fuck. whats gonig on here did these people even read the script 1 stars
5/19/02 Mrs. McGregor this movie, rocked!!!! but the first half was way more suspensful 4 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was so FREAKY, but I love it anyway. 5 stars
5/12/02 Sarah I love the movie! Mostly becuase of the hottie...Justin Long. The ending was unpredictable! 5 stars
4/30/02 eric kang its not great but the best horror film ive seen in awile 4 stars
4/14/02 Sap Enis Even though I saw it coming (too many spoilers here), the ending shocked me. He can't die! 5 stars
4/08/02 stoolie-bird scary if you havent seen a horror movie older than "pitch black" 2 stars
4/07/02 Jake I didn't like it. I felt the first 15 min were neat but nothing else. 2 stars
4/01/02 Cat The movie was sort of creepy.. but those people were such idiots 3 stars
3/31/02 Eric Good movie. 4 stars
3/27/02 Danielle very good 5 stars
3/26/02 David A. Stylish horror movie with a new kind of monster. It's a 60s, twilight-zoney feel! 5 stars
3/22/02 Stephanie i love this movie! 5 stars
3/15/02 Christian Confusing, bizarre, yet totally original. One you'l discuss after leaving the cinema. 4 stars
3/15/02 NWO4LIFE Starts out good, then slips, then regains itself in the last act. 4 stars
3/07/02 Rod Williams Blatantly stole from TCM, DUEL, PITCH BLACK, TERMINATOR, et al. Fresh, wet dog shit. 2 stars
3/02/02 Drew Rente excellent 5 stars
2/28/02 Chowie Good movie, but 1 thing-why the HELL WOULD YOU GO BACK AND LOOK IN THAT BLOODY PIPE?!?!?!?! 4 stars
2/09/02 Veronica Tatterworth Tense thriller ar first, but falls apart bigtime by end.. 2 stars
2/01/02 E-Funk This is how horror movies used to be made--when the characters we're clueless--awesome. 5 stars
2/01/02 special K the most annoying lead characters I've ever seen - save your money 1 stars
1/29/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! crap at the start, better in the middle, different at the end! cant wait for the 2nd one!!! 5 stars
1/28/02 Hayden More Funny then scary, Horrible movie 1 stars
1/26/02 Belinda Not scary!! shit!! 2 stars
1/21/02 Don Normann The best "half-a-horror-movie" I've ever seen! At least the visuals kick ass! 4 stars
1/18/02 Jeepers Creepers it is the worst movie ever! 1 stars
1/17/02 Kooler Totally loses credibility halfway through. 2 stars
1/17/02 Melissa Lambert A very good Horror movie!! 5 stars
1/16/02 David A. Exciting--Lots of Fun 4 stars
1/10/02 Spyguy2 Unique monster, HOT chick, wicked situations, nice dramatic tension, disturbing ending 4 stars
1/09/02 auroradae story was ok, but no development of killer, ending was so WEAK!!! 2 stars
12/13/01 ben wasden Unlike Urban Legends & Valentine, it wants to scare you not make you laugh unintentionally. 5 stars
11/27/01 sdfr Victor who??? It's a monster movie, and I had a blast. 4 stars
11/26/01 Tam I jumped out of my seat a few times, but they showed too much of the monster. 4 stars
11/08/01 benjamin harper it was wicked 5 stars
10/29/01 Matthew Jacobs beginning:nicely shot, sound effectively employed to shock. end=uninvolving and unscary 2 stars
10/24/01 Gary what a pile of shite with a capital S, Francis should be prombtly shot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
10/17/01 Kelly Scariest Ending ever! 3 stars
10/17/01 Matthew Bartley Starts brilliantly,nearly loses it, redeems itself at the end.Just grazes 'Fucking Awesome' 4 stars
10/15/01 Schmidty72 Hands down...one of the worst movies ever made. 1 stars
10/11/01 Obi Wan Very good start, but what the hell happened to the ending?? Maybe the DVD is better! 3 stars
10/10/01 Melissa in NYC I was anxious to leave the theatre. My retarded boyfriend loved it. Horrible shite! 1 stars
10/07/01 STEVE DUNN THIS MOVIE SUCKED . IT WAS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!! 1 stars
9/24/01 carlos r guzman good setup, hot mama(gina phillips),then goes to shit 1 stars
9/20/01 malcolm totally forgettable. worse than Tomb Raider 1 stars
9/18/01 Darren Shea Starts out good, but turns crappy before the halfway mark 2 stars
9/09/01 Chris Osborne This the first truly scary monster movie I have seen in a long, long time. 4 stars
9/09/01 Cat horrible. nothing made sense or fit together. a bunch of random scenes- never resolved. 1 stars
9/09/01 RavenM. For all its flaws, STILL the best horror movie I've seen in a long time. 4 stars
9/09/01 urbanaut Good start, then falls to pieces 1 stars
9/09/01 mashka Good start, but it did lose something after the first hour or so. Still better than most. 4 stars
9/09/01 joe I've seen better shit in public toilets 1 stars
9/09/01 Stu Wow! I can't believe it...finally, an actual horror movie! Even has an unhappy ending!! 5 stars
9/09/01 DRS Cant wait for night two 4 stars
9/06/01 June Ok, I'll suspend disbelief for a horror movie, but a monster with vanity plates? Come on! 1 stars
9/05/01 Tribe fan Reminded me of old twilight zone stories. Good flick! 4 stars
9/05/01 KillerBoB Best horror flick in a long time. 5 stars
9/05/01 Melissa in NYC Audience commentary is what made me NOT walk out. Everyone involved should be shot! 1 stars
9/05/01 ron20003 What a B-Grade Film should be. Fun!! 5 stars
9/04/01 Mike Weatherby Good Start, terrible ending 2 stars
9/04/01 E-Funk The best horror film in recent years. Reminiscent of 80's horror and the better for it. 5 stars
9/04/01 tdOMR Like are they planning for a sequel already, total abrupt ending 1 stars
9/04/01 Greyjack Good points and bad even out to make an overall unremarkable film. 3 stars
9/03/01 travis robertson a great monster thriller a change from slasher movies 5 stars
9/03/01 JNA the first hour was pretty good, the rest was awful 2 stars
9/03/01 b it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen 1 stars
9/03/01 BliX Great movie, well the first half anyway. Could have been great, 3 stars
9/03/01 Fish Eye Absolute piece of shit - don't waste your $ 1 stars
9/03/01 LM Ending sucks ass, it made the whole movie appear SHITTY !!! 4 stars
9/03/01 Tarman Fluck What You Heard This Movie is a real Horror Movie 5 stars
9/03/01 sally lopez it fucking sucked and a waste of time and money. and fuck yall. 1 stars
9/03/01 Keith I liked it. This horror film is very oldschool and fun to watch. 5 stars
9/02/01 Glenn It was good..it was a fast moving movie no dull moment 4 stars
9/02/01 TuttiDog So much BS, so much golden nuggets, this movie needs an over haul. 4 stars
9/02/01 Brandon copies from 15 or more other movies (old lady - get off my property) is just one 1 stars
9/02/01 longfellow heights this fucking sucked 1 stars
9/02/01 mike fillmore good horror flick exept for the ending 4 stars
9/02/01 DarkRomancer one great performance, some great scares, + one DUMB performance and some DUMB 'scares' 3 stars
9/02/01 Connor Dueck This movie scared me shitless for the first little while, then it became completely stupid 3 stars
9/01/01 Roy Smith MST3K anyone? 1 stars
9/01/01 JB Pretty good movie. In the spirit of Duel, Halloween, and The Terminator. 4 stars
9/01/01 Choder X The only scary thing about it was that we paid $8.25 1 stars
9/01/01 luke to counteract the narrow mindedness of jackass 5 stars
9/01/01 jackass Victor Salva is a child molester. Don't support his films. He raped a 12-year-old boy 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  31-Aug-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  17-Jan-2002


Directed by
  Victor Salva

Written by
  Victor Salva

Cast
  Justin Long
  Gina Philips
  Patricia Belcher
  Jon Beshara
  Jonathan Breck
  Eileen Brennan



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