Monday, December 5, 2016

Jeepers Creepers (2001)

IMDb plot summary: A brother and sister driving home through isolated countryside for spring break encounter a flesh-eating creature which is on the last day of its ritualistic eating spree.
Directed by Victor Salva. Starring Gina Philips, Justin Long, Patricia Belcher, and Brandon Smith.

(Very mild spoilers ahead.)

I knew absolutely nothing about this movie before going into it, other than that it was a horror flick. It has a pretty strong start to it before seriously devolving. I appreciate how, despite it being a very typical horror movie in so many ways, it doesn't go for the cheap scares. Its scary scenes are slow and creeping and well-earned for the most part, and the first reveal that Something Is Wrong At the Old Church is very effective.

There are, however, two things that seriously drag the movie down in its second half. For one, the design of the creature. Once we actually see it, and not just faintly or for a moment, but once we start spending a LOT of time watching it in close-up, it's hard not to just dismiss it as a guy in makeup. The look is a bit intimidating but not particularly creepy, so much as... maybe a fantasy movie orc.

Secondly, while the characters make a snide comment early on the film about horror movie characters being stupid, these kids really are. They spend SO much time stopping and fighting and staring at things when they clearly just need to run, and I found myself growling, "Just GO ALREADY!" at the screen on several occasions. That wears very thin very quickly for me, and it's a shame, because the two have a very natural brother-sister chemistry in the first half.

So... a promising beginning that goes way downhill in the second half. It ends on one last tiny high note -- the last few seconds are wonderfully creepy.

2 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Jeepers Creepers < Following
Jeepers Creepers > The Ghost and the Darkness
Jeepers Creepers > What's Up, Tiger Lily?
Jeepers Creepers < Stand and Deliver
Jeepers Creepers < Frequency
Jeepers Creepers > The King and I
Jeepers Creepers > The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Jeepers Creepers > Less Than Zero
Jeepers Creepers > Luther
Jeepers Creepers < Good Night, and Good Luck.
Final spot: #1513 out of 2541.

No comments: