Fright Fest 2016 Review #11 – Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)

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Field of screams

Subgenre:  Monster / Slasher

Summary:  After years of hibernation, an evil spirit returns to feed on human flesh.

Review:  I saw the first Jeepers Creepers years ago, and though its specifics elude me, I remember it fondly as an intimate, lean-and-mean slasher movie that was scarier than most of its contemporaries.  Sadly, its sequel doesn’t fare quite as well.

Jeepers Creepers 2 opens with farmer Jack Taggart witnessing the abduction of his youngest son by the Creeper, a winged demon who descends on the countryside once every twenty-three years to prey on helpless humans.  Cut to the next day, where a bus carrying a high school basketball team is driving through the same area, returning from a big game.  Something pops one of their tires, and they find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere, with the strange feeling they’re being watched…

You can probably guess where things go from there.  The plot of Jeepers Creepers 2 is little more than an excuse to show the Creeper dispatching of these kids in increasingly gory ways, although it does have one interesting thread in the form of Taggart’s quest for revenge.  As the Ahab-like farmer, Ray Wise is easily the best part of the movie, lending it some much-needed acting skill.  The students are little more than cannon fodder, despite some half-hearted attempts at characterization early on.

In the end, there’s just not that much to this movie.  The Creeper remains a cool, unique slasher villain, his presence straddling the line between physical and supernatural.  But neither he nor Ray Wise can keep the proceedings from dragging.

The Verdict:  Thanks to some cool effects and a committed performance by Ray Wise, Jeepers Creepers 2 avoids complete disaster.  I give it five Floridian fiends out of ten.

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