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Jeepers Creepers (2001)

What’s eating you?

Directed by:

Victor Salva

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 90 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States, Germany

If ‘Jeepers Creepers’ as a whole came even close to living up to the promise of its opening half-hour, it would be one of the best horror movies to come out of Hollywood in a long time.

Teen siblings Derry and Trish (Justin Long and Gina Philips) have their long-distance bickering interrupted when they’re set upon by a menacing suped-up truck in need of a good wash. Later, they come across the truck’s driver ditching what looks like dead bodies down an old pipe, before being plunged into further terror as the rickety old vehicle again gives chase.

The pair then decide, unbelievably, to return to the scene and investigate the contents of said pipe. Bad idea. Not just because it means they’re about to become this mysterious killer’s next target, but because from here on in things get decidedly crappy.

The only thing this movie has more of than dead bodies are horror clichés – whatever you expect to happen next, inevitably does. What’s more, as soon as the killer is unveiled as a flesh-eating wing-backed reptile-faced laundry-sniffing bat-monster of some sort, the proceedings degenerate even deeper into the realms of stupidity. If he’s got wings, why has he been bothering to drive around in a truck for all this time? We can only assume that it’s because his favourite film is ‘Duel’.

Director Victor Salva ups the creepy music to ensure the glaring plot-holes are at least accompanied by some decent atmospherics, and he deserves credit for being brave enough not to give us an up-beat ‘everyone’s happy now’ ending. But by the time it reaches its disturbing closing shot, ‘Jeepers Creepers’ has already lost its audience through its sheer idiocy.

It's Got: An unexplained villain – all we know about him is that, evidently, he quite likes big band swing music.

It Needs: To deliver the level of creepiness promised by its first 30 minutes.

DVD Extras Six-part Making of documentary, 15 minutes-worth of deleted and extended scenes, audio commentary with Victor Salva, photo gallery and trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10

Alternatives:

Duel, Jeepers Creepers 2, The Ring, Wrong Turn

Summary

Hugely-hackneyed teen horror. You might start off screaming, but you’ll soon be laughing.

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