Jeepers Creepers (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/10/2001

One out of five stars
Running time: 90 mins

A genuinely creepy and frightening first act, which then promptly deteriorates into ridiculousness, meaning that you start out scared and end up just plain annoyed.

Jeepers Creepers starts brilliantly. Daryl (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Philips) are a bickering brother and sister who are driving home from college.

After an unnerving run-in with a truck, they later spot the hooded, long-coat-wearing truck driver disposing of what looks like a human-shaped object, wrapped in a bloody sheet.

Unwisely stopping to investigate, they discover a scene of genuine horror, which, naturally, brings the "truck driver" after them...

So far, so good. Sadly, however, as soon as you find out the true nature of the "truck driver", all the carefully built-up atmosphere just evaporates, leaving a nasty stench where once stood a good idea.

In fact, it’s impossible to say just how awful Jeepers Creepers is without giving away the identity of the "thing", so if you don’t want to know, LOOK AWAY NOW...

Still here? Well, don’t say you weren’t warned. Initially, it seems as if the truck-driver is a local psychopath – there’s an effective early scene in a roadside diner where none of the patrons appear to know what the kids are talking about.

This leads you to think that the psychopath somehow has the locals colluding in his crimes, perhaps out of fear for their own lives.

Unfortunately, this promisingly creepy premise is quickly thrown away, in favour of something that will scare precisely no one, or at least no one who’s ever seen an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, because the "trucker" turns out to be…a demon.

And a demon in crappy sub-Buffy demon make-up, to boot is a very non-scary demon indeed.

After that, the film goes rapidly downhill. The creature may be unstoppable (which allows for the odd reference to Terminator 2), but the fact remains that it’s still a bloke in a silly-looking demon mask, and he doesn’t even get any decent lines, unlike, say, Freddy Kreuger, to whom he’s obviously closely related.

In the end, the most original thing about Jeepers Creepers is that the central idea comes from two classic songs from the 1930s (‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘Here Comes The Boogeyman’).

Other than that, the two leads are engaging enough, but the film criminally fails to deliver on its excellent beginning and actually becomes downright boring before the end.

Either walk out after 30 minutes, or avoid altogether...

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Jeepers Creepers (18)
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 23:07

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