Jeepers Creepers 2 review by The Grim Ringler

I have to admit that I really liked the original Jeepers Creepers, and liked it quite a bit. I know that the director had a lot of controversy and our Matt hates the man to bits but, eh, that is that and this is this and a man is not a movie. I liked the Jeepers Creepers for a few different reasons, but for two in particular – it was a straight up monster movie. It didn’t have aspirations of being a psychological thriller or some other silly cop-out. It was a monster movie, and it made sure you knew it. And I have always really liked that there is no defined place or time for the movie. It could happen anywhere, and anytime, and that’s brilliant because it makes the movie timeless and makes the movie a bit of a legend or fireside tale. Yes, there are problems with the movie, as there are with most scary movies really, but I liked the film’s heart, and that it was an all-out horror film in a time when most directors want to make thrillers with horrific elements. So I went into JC2 a little excited and a little worried. I had read a lot of bad reviews for the movie and while I had my hopes up still, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. I am happy to say that I really dug this sequel, warts and all.

Jeepers Creepers opens but days after the first film takes place, which happens to fall on the very last day that the Creeper is able to feed before falling into hibernation for another twenty-three years. This film focuses on a busload of basketball players that have just won a state championship and are on their way home when their bus gets first one flat, then a second, leading them stranded in the middle of nowhere with no sort of communication to the outside world (cell phones and bus radio seem down). As soon as they are stopped though something begins taking first the adults on the bus, and after it has taken them the Creeper makes its presence known and stalks around the bus, literally sniffing out who would be the tastiest of the people on the bus. And as it does this, it singles out several people on the bus as supposed victims, smiling at them in turn as the students try to get out from under its gaze. As the terror mounts though, and as one by one the Creeper manages to pick off members of the team the divisions in the team become amplified and suddenly it is not just this monster they must fight but also each other. During all this they manage to contact someone via the CB and believe that help is on the way, if only they can survive until they arrive. It isn’t the police they have contacted though but a father and his son who have lost a member of their own family to the Creeper (the first scene in the film is this sequence) and are now hunting the creature in the hopes of ending its reign of terror. What they don’t know though is that the creature cannot be killed, that it is a thing both ageless and fearless and it can only be survived, not destroyed, like a force of nature. And as the time for the Creeper begins to run out and its attacks become fiercer and the teens on the bus are suddenly only a handful, there is one last chance for survival and it lay with a man obsessed with revenge and his Ahab-like quest for the blood of the creature.

I really, really like what director Salva has done here, creating one set universe that, like the first film, is timeless and seems almost out of time in its vague location and era. I love that there are several connections to the first film but that it doesn’t smack you in the face with it (though one dead character returns, but it’s handled in a way that worked for me). I liked that this was about survival and that there was really no way to stop this thing, that all you could do was outlast it. I loved Ray Wise as the obsessed father who becomes, as I said, like Ahab hunting the White Whale, and his fight with the Creeper is amazing and really creates a great finale for the film. I love that there is so much sexual ambiguity here because too many horror films are made that feel like they are made by a bunch of teenage guys just dying to get big-breasted girls topless, which, hey, I am no opponent of, but it gets old. I liked that this was a bunch of guys unsure of their own sexuality as well as each other’s. I liked the ferocity of the Creeper. They have taken a very good monster and made him fiercer and more horrific. I liked that there is an ending to this film but that, if they really had a good story they could continue, but that they really don’t have to.

But this is not a perfect film. There is a lot of mediocre acting as well as some pretty cheesy writing. I like that as the tensions rise the flaws in each person comes out but some are rather heavy-handed. As is the homoeroticism, which I like in concept but yipes did he push that aspect to the limit. The film, while not long, did seem long. And while I liked the movie overall, it did have more than a couple moments that just seemed downright cheesy.

I really did like Jeepers Creepers 2 though. It is, like the first, a straight up monster movie and the monster, while still a mystery, is fleshed out a bit more and becomes even more frightful when you can see how it really is all but impossible to kill it. I like that no character was safe and that characters got picked off as easily as they were. More than anything though I liked that there is a lot of craft and passion that went into this film and I appreciated that. This is far from perfect and I can see why a lot of people are going to dislike this one (though, if you liked the first I don’t see why you should dislike this one). Director Victor Salva has taken the strongest elements from the first film and has expanded on those and to great effect, even if some elements of the film don’t seem to come together. This is a very enjoyable and very gruesome monster movie and I for one got a heck of kick out of it.


7 out of 10 Jackasses
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