Jeepers Creepers
Where'd you get those peepers? Trish and Darry (Philips and Long) get a creepy phone call...
dir-scr Victor Salva
with Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher, Eileen Brennan, Jon Beshara, Brandon Smith, Peggy Sheffield, Jeffrey William Evan, Patrick Cherry, Avis-Marie Barnes, Steven Raulerson
release US 31.Aug.01; UK 19.Oct.01
UA
01/US 1h30

2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
what's eating you? This nasty little thriller at least delivers a few good jolts despite its thin storyline. Trish and Darry (Philips and Long) are a brother and sister driving cross-country home from university for the summer. On a back road somewhere, they have a scary encounter with a creepy old truck and then see someone dropping what looks like human bodies wrapped in sheets down a ventilation pipe. So like idiots in a horror film, they go have a look ... and soon they're tangling with an increasingly satanic bad guy, along with a few hapless and/or loony locals.

Basically a one trick thriller, it feels like Salva expanded it from a five-minute student film with a padded storyline and some pricey special effects and makeup. In some ways this narrow approach (we see no one besides Trish and Darry until about halfway through) adds to the suspense and keeps us interested. These aren't the standard shock-flick teens--they're bickering-yet-loving siblings distracted on their way home. But there's not much more going on. And besides some good scary bits and a few very creepy atmospheric shots, the film never really delivers on its early promise. In fact, the more we see the less scary it is ... and the big payoff is a huge letdown. Also, Brennan is wasted as a wild-haired country bumpkin, and Belcher's preachy clairvoyant is just a bit too contrived and convenient. But never mind, Salva maintains the tension nicely and keeps us hooked with a few moments of off-handed, cruel humour. Pity he didn't have anywhere very interesting to take us.
violence, language, suspense cert 15tbc 11.Jun.01

Also: JEEPERS CREEPERS II (2003)

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"I liked the movie and the last part stuck with me for a while. They should have kept him in his trenchcoat and top hat." --Joseph, Columbus Ohio 2.Sep.01
2001 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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