|Jeepers Creepers 2
2003 - R - 106 Mins.
|Director: Victor Salva
|Producer: Tom Luse
|Written By: Victor Salva
|Starring: Justin Long, Eric Nenninger, Ray Wise, Luke Edwards, Diane Delano
|Review by: Harrison Cheung
In 2001, JEEPERS CREEPERS was a surprise horror hit with a refreshing and intelligently written script about a brother and sister driving on a lonely, deserted country highway, only to be pursued by a flesh-eating monster. The banter between the siblings and the wonderful cinematography made for a very smart, modern horror movie that was like a cross between THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and the hugely popular SCREAM movies, self-aware of all the previous horror movie cliches.
Think Abercrombie wants us?
What a disappointment JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 is! Suffering from major sequelitis, JC2 is full of horror and teen movie cliches. If 2 people being chased was scary in the first movie, let's hunt down a whole busload!
In a nutshell, a busload of the local high school football team is stranded on a deserted country highway. Soon, they get picked off, one by one by the 'Creeper' who happens to like a boxed lunch.
Well, the first problem is that once you've set a movie on a bus, there isn't much to see that's particularly interesting. A school bus is a lot smaller than, say, the submarine in DAS BOOT. Do they stay on the bus or get off the bus? Is it safer at this end of the bus or that end? Will the monster be able to get at them on the bus or off the bus?
Then, we have actors who have seen REMEMBER THE TITANS too many times. There's a black vs white friction happening on the bus while a cheerleader, in the only funny line in the movie, has suddenly become psychic - though none of her visions are particularly helpful to the team.
Logic errors abound. In the first movie, the reason for the very name of the movie was because of the song, "Jeepers Creepers", that turns up as a warning, but oddly, that song doesn't reappear in this movie.
The prologue of the movie has a father gunning for vengeance and yet he inexplicably doesn't contact the police. (And he does something even odder by the end of the film, but I'll leave it at that).
The dialogue is pretty atrocious but it did make me appreciate a video I rented a few weeks ago - NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE. In that comedy about teen movie cliches, they nailed the highschool coach's dialogue on the nose. And here in JC2, the coach is full of 'gawdammit', 'you have a problem?' kind of speech that was ridiculed in the other flick. It's a real shame that the shining writing that writer/director Victor Salva did for the first movie is nowhere in this sequel.
Clearly the budget for the special effects have gone up in this second movie. The Creeper flies around like a giant bat and has some disgusting eating habits, but again, since he's only flying around one school bus that's stranded on the road, the movie misses the opportunity for a lot of aerial scares.
While the first movie took advantage of the country road scenery, JC2 is happy to stay centered on the bus and its surrounding field. But this time, the movie is shot like an A&F ad with the guys barechested in the bus, barechested suntanning on the bus, and in a scene that makes you remember Salva's previous porn conviction, guys peeing together, standing shoulder-to-shoulder. The few girls on the bus are there apparently just for the occasional wisecrack.
The star of the movie is Eric Nenninger who's best known for playing Cadet Eric, Francis' best-friend on the hit TV series MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE. Though this movie's a wash, he does well in a bitter/racist jock role that does a lot to distance himself from his whiny TV character.
If Salva is hoping to create a horror franchise, he should remember what made the first JEEPERS CREEPERS a special movie - good writing! We cared about the brother and sister in that movie, hoping they'd outwit the 'Creeper'. In this sequel, the football players are just anonymous unhappy meals in a drive-thru.