Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Rating: B-

Dir: Victor Silva
Star: Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Patricia Belcher

An enjoyable piece of schlock horror, that benefits from one of the creepiest monster in recent horror. It’s never made clear what it is. Alien? Demon? Monster? Well, whatever it is, every 23 years, for 23 days, it gets to feed. And it has now set its sights on brother and sister Trish (Phillips) and Darry (Long), as they drive home through a remote rural area, heading home for the weekend from college. Their sibling bickering is interrupted when an old van runs them off the road: they later see the driver dropping what appears to be bodies into a drain.

Darry convinces his sister they should investigate further, and he finds an underground cavern lined with dozens of semi-preserved bodies. They try and flee the scene, but find that the owner of the corpse cache (Breck) is now hot in pursuit, following their scent, and nothing – not even a sizeable force of heavily-armed police – can stand between The Creeper and his prey. Trish and Darry are about to discover the true meaning of his number-plate, BEATINGU. It makes more sense with a space after the first letter.

I appreciated the simplicity of this one. Something nasty is after you. It has very bad intentions. It can not be stopped. As a result, this plays somewhat like a horror version of The Terminator, and as such, is effective enough. Curiously, the longer the movie continues, the greater the degree to which Trish comes over as the more masculine of the pair – especially after Darry sees exactly what it is they’re up against, he becomes little more than a whimpering wreck. While I can’t blame him [and wouldn’t claim I’d do any better], it’s an interesting twist, and their brother-sister relationship has a different dynamic from the usual ones found in the genre. It has the feeling of a tale told round a campfire late at night, while things rustle in the dark; that, and some memorably imagery make this a solid effort.