Jeepers Creepers (2001)★★★★★
In addition to my penchant for creepy old abandoned buildings (one of which appears in this film, in fact), I also have a penchant for old-timey songs used to incredibly creepy effect. The eponymous song in this film is a stellar example of just that (the version of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” used in Insidious is another stellar example that I should review here eventually).
So this may sound silly (so business as usual), but Jeepers Creepers is spot on. This movie creeps me out. The Creeper is super creepy, the Creeper’s sewer is super creepy, and the Creeper’s truck is super creepy. There’s a lot about this movie that’s just super creepy. So of course I love it. And of course I’ll probably dream about the Creeper for the next few nights.
One thing I really like about this movie is that the relationship between Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Philips) feels so real. I assume that’s due in large part to their relationship resembling the one I have with my younger brother, but whatever the reason, it makes the story truly compelling and the characters extremely relatable. It helps that the acting is believable and the dialogue realistic, too (I swear some of their banter could have been conversations my brother and I have had, verbatim).
There’s not too much gore in this one (though you have to expect some in a movie with “Officer with hole in chest” listed in the credits), and the special effects aren’t overdone. The pacing is perfect in this movie – it starts with a nicely understated title screen, drops you right into the action, and doesn’t pause to let you catch your breath until the very end. And if that haunting closing scene doesn’t stay with you for a while, I don’t know what will.
While this movie does have a sequel (which I’ll be watching tomorrow!), it’s a complete story on its own and you don’t have to watch both films to enjoy the story. Impressively (and perhaps somewhat rarely?), Victor Salva wrote and directed both movies, and IMDb says there’s a third installment coming next year! Count me in when that’s out – I am definitely a fan of this franchise.