Movie Review: Jeepers Creepers (2001)

Synopsis: A pair of siblings driving home from college and are stalked by an unknown driver who has hundreds of bodies hidden in the basement of an abandoned church.

Who's in it? The movie stars Gina Philips, Justin Long, Jonathan Breck, Brandon Smith and Patricia Belcher.

Review: This is a movie I've seen several times (including last night) and, even though it doesn't have quite the same impact it did the first time I saw it (and hadn't seen the surprise twists yet), is still a film I enjoy every time I watch it.

I think the thing I like best about this horror movie is the way it keeps the "Creeper's" identity and motivation a mystery until toward the end of the film. When their stalker is first introduced, driving his seemingly-ancient truck, it's unclear who or what he is. At first, he seems perfectly human. But, as the movie progresses, there are clues that indicate he might be much more than that.

I also like how he starts stalking them without warning or reason. In most films like this (the film Joy Ride comes to mind), the killer's intended  victims typically do something that provokes their stalker first or, at very least, do something stupid, like take a very suspicious short cut. In this movie, the siblings (Philips and Long) are just driving along the highway, the truck shows up behind them and tries to run them off the road.

Of course, to be fair, the siblings, or at least the brother, didn't always make the smartest choices. For example, I'm still confused why they felt the need to go back to the abandoned church and confirm they saw the Creeper (Breck) dumping a body rather than just calling the police, reporting what they saw and letting the authorities handle it from there. But, those bad decisions came after the Creeper took an interest in them, so what I was saying before still stands.

Even as we learn more about the Creeper's identity, the movie still manages to keep some of the mystery alive by not fulling revealing his intentions. We know he took an interest in at least one of the siblings. But, the movie doesn't reveal which one until the very end or what he wants from them.

Final Opinion: The movie doesn't have the same impact after you've seen it more than once. But, if you haven't watched it, it's worth taking the time to do so.

My Grade: A


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