As Halloween is just around the corner, I thought I’d check out a couple of classic horror films that I’ve never seen before, mainly speaking – Jeepers Creepers and Halloween. I’m not entirely sure why I’ve never seen this movie before. Maybe the name didn’t interest me, but I decided now was as good of time as any to finally give it a shot. So what did I think? I have mixed emotions about it. Let’s get into it.
Jeepers Creepers is about a brother and sister driving home after spring break, and apparently, their trip home has long stretches of road in a remote part of the country, which is never good news for horror films. Anyway, out in the boonies, a truck drives them off the road, and when they see the truck is apparently holding dead bodies, they feel obligated to offer their assistance (idiots). As they discover more about this villain, the more their world changes.
I have mixed feelings about this horror flick. On one hand, I think it actually has a really good premise, decent characters, plus a unique and especially memorable villain…on paper. Honestly, without giving too much away about the villain, I’ll say that the idea of him, his history, and his home are all things that are terrifying. Even the way he initially looks – a torn trench coat and hat dimly lit by distant street lamps. It’s not until they show him flat out does it fall apart. I mean, he looks like a villain on an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Something that isn’t impressive for a 2001 horror film. I think their essential fault lies in trying too hard.
I think their essential fault lies in trying too hard. As I said above, the concept looks better on paper, because it presents novel ideas that are actually classic in nature…the execution sucks, though. It tries too hard, it’s convoluted, the psychic serves an integral part – but somehow makes things laughable at the same time. There’s just too much going on. It’s like someone losing an argument and just starts rambling on, trying to find a footing elsewhere…but it never gains traction again once it loses the audience. An easy way it could have saved itself was taking things nice and slow. Don’t show the villain at all, keep him in dim lighting and keep that costume – only present an idea of what he is…let the audience’s mind wander. Let the scare factor creep into the minds of the audience.
No, Jeepers Creepers wasn’t a scary movie, it started off okay because the atmosphere was dark and daunting – making you wonder about what’s going on, letting you draw up your own conclusions, you try to deduce the mystery of this villain…and then it’s like another writer took the reigns and destroyed everything from there on out. Yet, somewhere deep down, a promising premise lurks, begging to be told a different way…a better way. I’ve yet to see the sequel, but maybe it offers more of what I crave…we’ll see.