Jeepers Creepers

Rating 3

Written and directed by Victor Salva

Starring Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Eileen Brennan and Brandon Smith

Brother and sister Trish and Darry Jenner (Gina Philips and Justin Long) are driving home for the spring break. They take a scenic route along the back roads rather than the main highway. The long journey is initially uneventful and they playfully bicker with one another. That changes when they are terrorised by an old truck and then later see the driver dumping what looks like a body down a large storm drain. From that moment onwards they are locked in a fight for their lives.

‘Jeepers Creepers’ is ‘The Hitcher’ with some added teen horror touches – and without Rutger Hauer! For the first thirty minutes or so it is excellent and although it doesn’t maintain this standard throughout, all in all it is very effective and well done.

Philips and Long are very good as the bickering siblings. However, as the film progresses there is a tendency for one to elect to do something blatantly unwise while the other screams not to be so stupid. Having narrowly escaped from one deadly situation or another they will shout at one another, each apportioning blame, and then repeat the process all over again.

Long before the film reached its conclusion I wanted to slap some sense into the pair of them. This did tend to drag the film down and before the end it was becoming somewhat tiresome.

‘Jeepers Creepers’ was produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studies. Released in 2001, it had a production budget of $10 million dollars and grossed $59 million worldwide. The reviews were mixed, but not entirely disparaging.

A sequel followed two years later.

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