The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

28 Days Later

Jeepers Creepers 2

Freddy vs. Jason


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The "Creeper" grows
angry upon finding out
that he didn't get the part
as the next Green Goblin
in a future Spider-Man

Jeepers Creepers 2
Review written by: Alex Sandell

A couple of years ago a little movie that I didn't really expect much out of surprised the hell out of me.  That film was Jeepers Creepers.  As an unflagging horror fan for over 20 years, I have watched nearly every horror/suspense movie ever made. Needless to say, it takes a lot for a film to truly get under my skin.  Not only did the original Jeepers Creepers manage to slither its way under my hardened flesh, it was able to stay there throughout the riveting first half of the movie, sending chills up and down my spine.  In my review of the first Jeepers Creepers, I described the film "slowly build[ing] in intensity ... [bringing] you to the point where your throat ... [constricts]"; the only thing frightening to come out of the second film is the sprained wrist you'll receive from constantly looking at your watch, wishing it would all be over.  I haven't seen a movie with this little plot or character development since Holly and Her Hot-Cha-Cha Hooters Volume 3

The opening scene of the film is promising.  Some kid is out on his dad's farm putting up scarecrows.  One of the scarecrows turns out to be the Creeper.  The boy runs from the Creeper through the cornfield, but to no avail.  He's gone from young farmhand to morning brunch.  This ticks off the child's father and older brother, and the two set out with a makeshift missile shooting weapon (I believe it's called the Puncher 500, or some such nonsense) to hunt down the Creeper.  

And then we meet the teenagers.  A large group of cheerleaders and jocks taking a bus ride home from a basketball game.  Each character is interchangeable and entirely disposable.  We're supposed to sympathize with these dolts?  We're supposed to be afraid for them?  The Creeper sniffs out the busload of cardboard characters and begins throwing ninja star sort of things at the buses' tires to strand the run-of-the-mill rejects out in the boondocks (I'm not sure why he didn't save time by throwing a ninja star at the bus driver's head).  One ninja star has a tooth attached to it.  Another has a bellybutton in the center.  Are you scared yet?  The audience sure wasn't.  When the Creeper came down from the skies like a dive-bomber to pluck people from the ground, the audience laughed.  As an unintentional comedy, this film would do Ed Wood proud. 

For reasons unbeknownst to the audience, one of the cheerleader chicks has visions of being in a cornfield and talking to the guy who had his eyes consumed at the end of part 1.  This was quite possibly the most pointless scene committed to film since Holly put both of her hot-cha-chas into a bra and applied for a job as an accountant.  At least one hopes that the cheerleader will receive some previously unknown information regarding the Creeper.  Instead, she finds out that the monster can eat for 23 days every 23 years.  Woah ... didn't see that one coming.  And of course the audience is never told how she had the vision in the first place, and what the eyeless guy from part one was doing strutting around inside of it.

Since part one, a lot of people have been waiting for an explanation as to why this demon Creeper thingie can only eat for a limited amount of time every couple of decades.  Again, no answer is given.  This film answers nothing, outside of how low a filmmaker will sink if he's offered a hefty enough paycheck. 

Victor Salva, the man behind the original Jeepers Creepers, is back, but he has obviously returned for nothing but the money.  No thought went into his script.  He just decided that putting a bunch of jocks inside a bus would be a neat enough concept to bring in a big opening weekend gross.  Jeepers Creepers 2 isn't even a decent retread of Salva's past accomplishment.  At best, itís a poor facsimile of the worst Friday the 13th type films ever made. 

With all of the creepiness from the original Creepers gone, and a busload of expendable teens that could only be exciting if they were being slaughtered, the least Salva could have provided us with would be a decent gore fest.  The first Jeepers Creepers didn't shy away from the gross-out scenes, and that one had a story strong enough that it didn't even need them.  But, outside of a cheesy looking decapitation (again, the audience broke out in hysterical laughter), there is virtually no gore in Jeepers Creepers 2.  It's almost as though Victor Salva was performing an experiment while making this film, trying to find out just how boring a generic teen horror flick could be by excluding every single one of the typical trappings of a teen horror flick from his sequel.  There's no nudity, no sex, and definitely no scares.   

One would think that in two years time someone could have come up with a better sequel than this.  Salva allowed the first film in the series to build, growing increasingly tense throughout.  This time, he jumps in and acts as though the words "anticipation" and "suspense" were eliminated from his vocabulary.  Instead of spine-tingling terror, we see insubstantial teenagers screaming a lot inside of a bus.  We don't get to know a single one of them.  The Creeper makes the occasional appearance, and then flies away.  And that's not even enough to warrant the price of a rental, much less a theater ticket.

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Coming soon -- Reviews of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Cold Creek Manor, American Splendor and Matchstick Men!



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Text ©(Copyright) 2003 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved].