31 Horror Movies I Own #2: Jeepers Creepers
I know people complain about Jeepers Creepers being too slow, but the way Director Victor Salva paced this thing is pure perfection. Every beat is loaded with suspense, and even if you think you know what’s going to happen next, you totally don’t.
Following brother Darry (Justin Long, pre-Mac guy fame) and sister Trish on a road-trip home from college, the story takes us from a huge scary truck with the license plate “BEATNGU” ramming them off the road, to the pair seeing the driver toss something that looks like a body into his basement, to all manner of situations in which you end up screaming at the screen; “DO NOT GO IN THERE! ARE YOU CRAZY??”
By the time they get to the really good stuff—like the fact that the creature rises every 23 years and feeds for 23 days, has ridiculous bat wings, and doesn’t say ANYTHING, just …stares, hungrily—you’re so freaked out that the slightest movement on screen makes you jump.
One of my favorite things about it that there’s no way to stop “The Creeper”. He’s indestructible (I will never forgive them for messing that up in the sequel)! So right off the bat, you’re aware that the two leads are absolutely DOOMED.
This film’s basically got everything on my perfect horror movie checklist: suspense, a kick-ass monster, an amazing amount of gore (the sheer magnitude of The Creeper’s lair is worthy of a standing ovation), likable leads, tons of great atmosphere, and an absolutely devastating, “no one is going to be okay” ending.
It’s one of my go-to films when I want something a little scary, because it holds up to each viewing beautifully…I just wish the 2nd would have been even half as good, and I’m terrified (not in a good way) of the 3rd.
The Creeper should have stayed in one movie. At this point, he’s going to reach Pinhead/Jason/Freddy status and be lame, not scary. And that’s a damn shame.