Jeepers Creepers (2001)

(On DVD, July 2016) I wasn’t expecting much from the low-budget Jeepers Creepers, which is probably why I ended up pleasantly satisfied. This is not, to be clear, a particularly good or respectable horror movie. Don’t go looking for deeper themes or allegories in the result, which is as straightforward a creature feature as can be. This is nothing more than the story of two teenagers encountering a monster in the backwoods and dealing with the ensuing mayhem. Still, Jeepers Creepers does have a bit of self-awareness and some of the suspenseful sequences are handled well. The terror move deliberately from the rural to the supernatural, and the atmosphere of the result is interesting enough, especially when the protagonists reach “civilization” and find out that it’s not much comfort. The “Jeepers Creepers” song is catchy, and the monster does have some originality to it. The dialogue has its moments, and Justin Long has an early memorable role as one of the teenage protagonists. It does get more and more conventional as it goes on, unfortunately, and the grim ending doesn’t do much to make it any better. Still, Jeepers Creepers knows what it tries to do, and isn’t too bad at it.

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