Retro Review: Jeepers Creepers 2

In the dark of night, amongst the corn-stalks there is a scream as an unsuspecting co-ed is whisked off into the night sky. The flap of giant wings, a scream of a cheerleader and the thundering thud of a harpoon are all the ingredients needed to bring the Creeper out for another feeding frenzy at the box office.

Writer-director Victor Salva returns to the silver screen as he once again steers the onslaught of his Creeper creation.

This time the story takes place in the final two days of the Creeper’s 23 day killing spree. The first film took place during the same spree.

A varsity high-school basketball team becomes stranded after their team bus suffers from a mysterious blow-out after a championship win.

Stranded on the secluded highway and stuck with nothing but a weak radio signal, the team assesses their options for survival.

But their little problem of the blow-out becomes a harrowing nightmare when the team is attacked by The Creeper (Jonathan Breck), a man-eating beast bent on finishing off a 23 day feeding frenzy with their blood.

Meanwhile, father Jack Taggart (Ray Wise) and his son begin to track the Creeper with vengeance on their minds.

“Jeepers Creepers 2” has a lot of previous horror film influence in its execution. I love “creature” features and as they go, this sequel is a strong one. There is a lot of “creature” feature styled gimmicks throughout.

Probably the most recognizable are 1987’s “Predator” and 1993’s “Jurassic Park”. In “Predator”, humans are stalked by an alien predator character with a thirst for blood and trophy. The whole being in the bus with a flashlight shining on the monster reminded me some of “Jurassic Park” too.

Placing aside the obvious comparisons, I really liked Ray Wise’s performance as a distraught father who goes all Ahab on the creature. The only other performance other than Wise that I enjoyed was Nikki Lynn Aycox who plays the “psychic” cheerleader, Minxie. She was really the only stand-out of the co-eds. The others were basically just Creeper food.

The Creeper
The Creeper

Salva goes more for the jugular with this entry in his Creeper series then he did in the first film. The first had a lot more story and background than presented in this film. I did enjoy that Salva allowed the audience to slowly learn more about the Creeper as the film went on. I love knowing technical stuff about monsters in movies.

I was however sad to see that there are hardly any references to the previous film since this is supposed to take place just days after the first. The first’s cliffhanger was so stone-cold and chilling I was expecting some sort of connection to the predecessor. That was some what of a disappointment.

“Jeepers Creepers 2” is a solid sequel and along the same par as the original. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original but with repeated viewings I warmed up to its more creature than slasher style. If I were to rate the original now I probably would have rated it higher than I did in 2001. The sequel capitalizes on the whole allure of this creature and it in some ways becomes more fun than the original. For fans of the Freddy and Jason, this one should delight. Even fans of “Predator” should check this out.

3 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

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