Jeepers Creepers (2001)

jeepers creepers poster 2001 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good creature

Creature wasted with bad story and psychic, toxic Victor Salva legacy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jeepers Creepers

Studio:  Myriad Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 31, 2001

MPAA Rating:  R

jeepers creepers creep eats tongue

Gimme some tongue!

Trish Jenner (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) are headed home for spring break on a lonely Florida highway.  When they witness a potential crime, Darry discovers a horror much worse hidden under an old abandon church.  Now, a creature named the Creeper is after Trish and Darry nothing seems to be able to stop it.  Darry and Trish have something the Creeper wants, and what the Creeper wants, the Creeper gets.

Directed by Victor Salva, Jeepers Creepers was a horror monster movie.  Released in 2001, the movie received average reviews and became a box office success.

jeepers creepers creep truck

Remember that guy that almost killed us who we saw throwing something down a pipe and then almost killed us again? We should totally check out his place!

With the release of the movie, the Creeper became an instant fan monster.  I like monster movies so Jeepers Creepers is in my vein of film, but Jeepers Creepers a so-so movie with a horrible name.  Originally titled Here Comes the Boogeyman (also a horrible title), the movie takes its name from the 1938 song by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.  With the song referenced in the title, the makers decided to shoehorn it into the plot…which seems as stitched together as the Creeper.

The basic concept is great and horrific.  A creature is lurking the highways and taking people without anyone noticing.  As much as people would like to think every murder, kidnapping, and disappearance is chronicled, I suspect that many go unreported.  Unfortunately, the basic concept goes south once the psychic (Patricia Belcher) is introduced, and Trish and Darry go on the run…encountering idiot civilians, inept cops, and a crazy cat lady (Eileen Brennan).  The cool Creeper gets sidelined by a plot that goes from feeling like the opening of something classy and classic like Night of the Living Dead to becoming a goofy horror film.

jeepers creepers justin long creeper

I get what I want!

The movie really propelled Justin Long who at the time was appearing on Ed.  It smartly cast Gina Philips as his sister to prevent the risk of sexual tension and despite making lots of references to what should be done in horror movies (run, make sure the killer is dead, contact police, etc.), the characters are quite dumb.  Jonathan Breck does really give life to the Creeper who originally was planned to speak (and Breck also appeared in the police station as an officer).  Patricia Belcher is over-the-top and pretty much brings the story to a screeching halt.

The movie does look quite good despite the weaknesses of the plot.  As mentioned, the Creeper is great and scenes where he reveals his true form like in the police station is impressive.  The movie also makes good use of set-ups but is surprisingly lacking in real jumps.

jeepers creepers ending eyes

Where DID you get those peepers?

Jeepers Creepers is a horror movie that has some fun moments but really should be better.  The Creeper is a rich character with a really generic origin here.  It either needed to be fleshed out better or  kept a complete mystery (none of this twenty-three year, twenty-three day cicada cycle stuff).  The film does have a bit of a toxic legacy in that Victor Salva and his past of a conviction for child molestation has soured the Creeper’s popularity.  The Creeper got a second chance to fly in Jeepers Creepers 2 in 2003.

Related Links:

Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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