Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

Rating: B-

Dir: Victor Silva
Star: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Eric Nenninger, Garikayi Mutambirwa

Set shortly after the events of the original, it starts with a child being abducted from a corn-field, then switches to a school bus returning from a sports game. One of its wheels gets shredded, then another, and it soon becomes clear that this was no unfortunate accident, and they are now stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no hope of immediate rescue. Worse, the creature responsible for their predicament views them as an all-you-can-eat buffet, and drops by repeatedly for something to eat from the selection on offer of jocks, coaches and cheerleaders.

However, Taggart (Wise), the father of the abducted boy, becomes aware of their predicament, and is intent on taking out the monster which stole his son. If the original was a horror take on The Terminator, this one adopts another sci-fi theme, with Alien perhaps the most obvious inspiration: a group of people, trapped in a small space, from which something monstrous and apparently unkillable picks them off, one at a time. That said, in some ways, it may be even more effective than last time, though takes a big hit with its clunky exposition: one of the pupils, for no readily apparent reasons, has visions which explain what’s going on. [This was also something of a problem in the original, where a local psychic served the same purpose, though less clumsily] The kids are mostly a selection of high-school cliches, with Wise giving the best performance, played something like Captain Ahab from Moby Dick.

As before, however, the Creeper (Breck) is the best thing about the movie, developing something approaching personality, playing with its food. There is also a remarkably cool sequence where the Creeper is left with no option except to tear its own head off; I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like that, except possibly Species II. While it does lose a chunk of the claustrophobic intensity, once the story leaves the bus, it’s still a very solid B-movie, and at least the equal of the original.