Jeepers Creepers 3: Uneven sequel leans on mayhem mythology


Yesterday, Jeepers Creepers 3 had its one-day premiere and 1428 Elm caught the madness. Ready to find out if the fright film’s worth Beating U?

The following review of Jeepers Creepers contain little to no spoilers. You’ll be safe to read before seeing the new sequel…but we can’t keep you safe from The Creeper. Enjoy what’s been eating us.

The Plot:

While taking Darry to his new “House of Pain”, The Creeper’s truck begins being investigated in the aftermath of the police station devastation. In the middle of his 23-day feeding cycle, gargoyle-like beast is seemingly stronger than ever. But when it must fight off two cops, one vengeful mother and a love struck couple, his month of feeding may be getting cut short. And if he’s not careful, there will be nothing left of the creature to regenerate. Welcome to Jeepers Creepers 3.

The Review:

— Courtesy of American Zoetrope

“What happened here happened before!” — Sheriff Tashtego

Set between Victor Salva’s 2001 classic and it’s lessor ’03 sequel, Jeepers Creepers 3 is a film with flaws and fortunes. Over a decade in the making, the third “Creeper” film left me satisfied, while scratching my head at some of the script choices. Ready to dig into the sequel like a pile of bodies?

Opening with iconography from the series (JC 2’s only contribution to mythology), Salva let’s us know from the beginning he’s sorry for the trash sequel (at least I see it that way). Setting up this story, the film — being one of its strengths — starts like a fright train and doesn’t let up…but that’s not saying everything fast is fun.

The Bad:

If pressed, the film’s biggest weakness is as obvious as a infected bug bite on a nose tip. While Jeepers Creepers 3 features solid acting (some suck badly, but Stan ShawJonathan BreckMeg Foster, Brandon Smith and Stranger Thing’s Chester Rushing all crush it ), the second sequel suffers from protagonist confusion.

Written by director Salva, this picture has no protagonist, bouncing around focus like a beach ball at a rock concert. Never establishing it’s footing on any one character, the feature isn’t concerned with anchoring the experience onto a single player. Every time you think one character is gaining  focus, it moves onto more Creeper building. And if it wasn’t a blast every time The Creeper is on screen, the film would be causing the audience to truly suffer.

The Good:

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While Salva is too confused about who’s leading his story, the writer/director stays busy showing us how much he loves his creepy creation. Intelligently not stuffing the film with villain exposition, Salva does show us his creature in hefty amounts.

Blasting the beast’s mythology like supersonic sound waves, we get so much Creeper stuff. While connecting the trilogy –although I won’t ruin how and where this happens — we get to see The Creeper’s axe, bone-ninja stars and truck on full display. In fact, we learn far more about his truck (something I miss when watching JC 2) than in his brilliant original. All of it helps further establish The Creeper as a modern horror icon and I’m damn happy it’s back to eating bodies on the big screen.

Next: Jeepers Creepers: 5 reasons the original is an underrated gem

The Verdict:

Victor Salva’s Jeepers Creepers 3 is a decent, highly enjoyable sequel — albeit a little lost in its narrative purists. While making up for JC 2 lack of mythology, JC 3 goes the other way and digs too deep into it at the cost of a central protagonist. And while that’s usually death for any film, it’s too damn fun being back in “Creeper” land not to recommend it. See it, or you’ll be biting yourself later.

The Grade: C

Love Jeepers Creepers? Seen the second sequel? Let the creepy creatures know what you think in the comment section below.