Jeepers Creepers (2001) – movie review

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Eileen Brennan, Jonathan Breck
Director: Victor Salva

When this movie went into production Francis Ford Coppola, one of the producers, must have said “I think it’s about time for a new horror movie franchise”, because this film has all the ingredients to set up a sequel and a sequel, and a sequel.

Trish (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) are driving home from college for the holidays, taking the scenic route through the countryside. Passing the time arguing during the long drive they are suddenly jolted out if their own bickering by a truck driving like a maniac. Like a scene from DUEL, an early, excellent Steven Spielberg TV movie, the truck driver is relentless, terrorising them with his threatening driving. The moment passes and the truck disappears into the distance, but a little later on in their journey Gina and Darry see the truck driver unloading something, that looks like rolled up bloodstained sheets, into a large open pipe by the side of a boarded up, old building.

Darry wants to go back and check it out, convinced that if they were bodies being dumped, they could still be alive and need help. Gina reluctantly agrees, but only after pointing out if this were a scary movie then this would be the point that someone does something stupid.

If I were to tell you any more of the storyline it would undoubtedly spoil the fun but I will give you a couple more pointers as to what to expect.

For one thing, unlike so many other movies of this genre, our two main characters do convince others to help them, which leads to a police shoot-em-up at a local but very well managed police station, and a scene with a heavily made up Eileen Brennan as an eccentric cat lover, who is not afraid to use a shogun.

Also, think beyond your usual escaped mental patient and enter the realms of BUFFY type foes, special effects and prosthetic make-up.

Enough said, but I will advise you to get used to sitting on the edge of your seat because even though you know exactly when the jump moments are, they are so well done that they will still make you sweat.

JEEPERS CREEPERS has good directing, editing and acting, and Gina Philips will certainly leave an impression.

Only stay away if you’re very squeamish because otherwise you’ll miss a very good horror movie and what has to be the first instalment of a series.

5 out of 6 stars