Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)
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Review Date: August 07, 2003
Director: Victor Salva
Writer: Victor Salva
Producers: Tom Luse
Ray Wise as Jack
Jonathan Breck as The Creeper
Travis Schiffner as Izzy
The Creeper is back and this time, he's looking to chow down on some highschoolers traveling by bus. It isn't long before said vehicle is stuck by the side of a deserted road and its passengers start to panic and disappear courtesy of one hungry monster with wings. Let's piss in the field, everyone!
A fun monster movie. This follow-up to the original and creepier JEEPERS CREEPERS takes the basic idea of a monster on the loose and literally...runs/flies with it. If you enjoy plain ol' "attack and kill" flicks with little more on the mind than slapping a handful of characters into a dire situation with a man/bat/beast on their tail, you will likely enjoy this flick as fluffily as I did. After a well-established, taut opening scenario, the film slows down a bit, but gets going once the creeper appears in full disgustingly gooey attire, nails folks down with the latest gadgets from his arsenal (creature ninja stars?) and start chomping down on kids. I liked how the creature got a lot more exposure this time around, entertaining us with more of his eccentricities (wink, wink) and providing the film with a lot more visual panache-like all the shots of him flapping his way across the star-filled sky. I also like how the film got more and more drastic as the idea of killing the beast became more of an improbability (what the hell do you do when you know that you can't kill something?) Director Salva further confirmed his solid tension-building skills with a perfect use of silence/sounds, great background moments as well as plenty of gorgeous scenery (the stuff in the cornfields was sweet). The film's final 20 minutes were definitely its most action-packed and entertaining as the whole gang goes hogwild on the indestructible goblin from hell! I also appreciated the father-son connection here, with Ray Wise playing a credible broken-up dad, who wants nothing but revenge on the abomination. One scene in which he can't stop stabbing the monster is actually a little moving.

As for the kids, well, what can you really say about them? Under the circumstances, they're all pretty generic and stereotypical, but do a decent job overall. I'm not sure why a perfectly set-up "teen horror film" as such didn't have any hot chicks in tight shirts in it, but then again...I guess that's the helmer's call. Director Salva, who is infamous for serving time for the molestation of a 12-year old boy in real life, doesn't seem to be hiding from his past with plenty of shots of shirtless boys all around. Not sure if any of that stuff was actually required here, but I guess the man's got his own shit going on. Stick to the monster story, dude...leave that other stuff for your shrink. Despite that, and the one annoying chick/psychic who was obviously just there to "explain" the mystery of the creeper to everyone (can't filmmakers come up with anything more original than goddamn psychics for this type of stuff??), I liked this flick a little more than the first film overall, if only because it was more consistent (I loved the original's first half, but thought its second half suffered) This film's biggest problems are its very basic environment, its forced "racial" and "gay" confrontations and its disappointing final scene. One of the original's most memorable shots was its final, creepy shot and knowing that, I think the filmmakers should have tried to go for something even greater here, but alas...they didn't. Having said that, if you're looking for a fun, fast-paced, monster-kill-em-all movie with a few scares, tension, pretty visuals and a couple of damn cool kills, this flick should do the trick. I don't see it getting nominated for the Horror Hall of Fame anytime soon, but as far as diverting, popcorn, scary late-night dingers go...it delivers.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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