Release Date: August 31, 2001 | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 5
Jeepers Creepers Review
Victor Salva, writer and director, did a great job of writing a tense, creepy, and scary monster movie. The Creeper is a genuinely terrifying creature. Smart, unstoppable and powerful. I think that is why I like The Creeper. He’s obviously intelligent and creative. I also like that he is an unknown. The Creeper’s origin is never explained and I love that. It makes him feel like he may have been around for centuries or even eons. The Creeper has a very gunslinger type attitude to his dress and his walk. Although, if they ever do an origin story (which I think that would be a mistake) for him I think a logical starting place would be the Wendigo myth.
The cast is excellent. Gina Philips and Justin Long are very believable as a brother and sister. Gina’s final speech is delivered amazingly and Jonathan Breck’s response to it is awesome. It takes a skilled actor to get a lot across without any lines or even close-ups but Breck does a great job as The Creeper. Just his body movements and the few facial expressions we see tell what The Creeper is thinking and feeling. That’s no small feat when you’re covered in tons of make-up and prosthetics.
The sets and shooting locations are fantastic. In fact, the surrounding countryside is so beautiful the director asked the cinematographer to tone down the beauty of it because he was afraid of it being too pretty and not being scary enough. However, I think the surrounding golden fields and fabulous sunset only accentuate the horror roving in broad daylight with the darkness just over the horizon. The long, open road gives a very palpable sense of isolation and lurking terror. The Creeper’s House of Pain is eerie and weirdly beautiful at the same time. And the truck? All I can say is “Bravo’. If you want my fuller thoughts on the BEatingU truck check out this post.
The story is fairly straight-forward. As such it doesn’t have any ‘twists’ per se but being more simple it certainly stands up to repeat viewings. It was a smart move to not make The Creeper talk. If he were chatty it would definitely take away from his terrifying presence. Any humour relating to The Creeper is left to sight puns, rather than outright humour. Any bit of levity is most properly left to the mortals.
If you have watched it and love it, let us know. If you didn’t like it, well, let us know that, too! I am also curious, for those who have seen the sequel as well, which Creeper you prefer. The drier one or the slimier looking Creeper in the sequel? I asked Lilyn and she opted for the sequel Creeper. I prefer the more dried out version. Either way, both are an amazing job of practical special effects which is a breath of fresh air. Particularly when it first came out and everyone was trying to cram as much CGI special effects as possible into their movies.
If you’ve seen it let me know if you agree with the review. If not…what are you waiting for?