But that would make way too much sense. Instead, Salva forgets everything he did well in the first film and does it the opposite way here -- with much less success. What the original movie got right, this movie gets wrong, and it is difficult to watch such a talented filmmaker as Salva drift into horror-movie oblivion.
As Billy Taggart Jr. finishes his chores in his father's cornfield, he notices the unusual twitching of a scarecrow nearby. Suddenly, a horrifying winged beast -- called "The Creeper" -- bursts from its scarecrow disguise and lunges at him, sending him screaming and running toward the barn. Billy's father (Ray Wise) sees the monster chasing his son and races to grab his shotgun... but he is unable to save Billy. The Creeper quickly snatches the terrified boy from his feet and carries him into the sky.
Meanwhile, returning home from a championship game, a school bus full of varsity basketball players, cheerleaders, and coaches becomes stranded on a nearby country road. It's no accident that the bus has become marooned, however; The Creeper has flattened the tires. As night falls, The Creeper viciously kills the teammates, one by one. Eventually, they learn about the legend of The Creeper: Every 23rd spring, for 23 days, it gets to eat. It's day 22, and the athletes must work together as a team if they want to survive the night. But The Creeper has already chosen who it wants to eat, and it will stop at nothing to do so.
Jeepers Creepers 2 doesn't have interesting characters like the first film -- it merely has stereotypes posing as characters that are void of any interest or originality. Never breaking a creative sweat, Salva inserts the standard high school jocks, cheerleaders, fags, and a nerd who looks so much like Rick Moranis that I wonder if royalties were involved. Because the characters are so familiar -- after the amusing bus driver lady dies -- The Creeper itself becomes the most interesting of the bunch. After that, since we have such little to think about in the film, we actually begin to hope these idiot athletes get their just desserts.
The first Jeepers Creepers lacked a sufficient body count to relieve the ample tension, but, because it focused primarily on two characters, it got away with that. Jeepers Creepers 2 can't make such excuses; it has dozens of dispensable characters ripe for the picking. And, even though this film has a much higher body count than the first, the violence is much more brief. There are only a few savory moments of gore, such as when The Creeper surprises a victim, wraps him inside its wing, and tears off his head. The Creeper then replaces its own wounded head with the victim's. Apart from that, The Creeper merely whisks its victims into the sky. We want to see blood and gore in horror movies, not brief glimpses of a monster carrying victims away.
Salva is smart to continue the mythology he created in the first film. That whole "23rd spring" thing gives the movie a horrifying reality. The way the mythology is continued, however, is puzzling. Apparently, a cheerleader on the bus has a vision in her sleep, and it explains everything about The Creeper. A vision? Give me a break. I don't mind suspending disbelief, but this is just laziness. There are more creative ways the athletes could have discovered The Creeper mythology than a sleep-induced vision. Furthermore, the mythology itself is becoming flawed. For the first film, the concept of an invincible monster was chilling. But now that we know the monster is invincible, the concept just doesn't trigger much suspense anymore -- it can't die, and it gets whatever it wants. Where's the suspense in that?
Aka Jeepers Creepers II.
The DVD adds a ton of extras for the obsessed: deleted scenes, two commentary tracks (one from the Creeper!), documentaries galore, and two scenes that were storyboarded but not shot.
Get to creepin'.
Run time: 11 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 31st October 2012
Box Office Worldwide: $35.6M
Production compaines: American Zoetrope, United Artists, Myriad Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Director: Victor Salva
Producer: Tom Luse
Screenwriter: Victor Salva
Starring: Ray Wise as Jack Taggart, Sr., Jonathan Breck as The Creeper, Garikayi Mutambirwa as Deaundre 'Double D' Davis, Eric Nenninger as Scott 'Scotty' Braddock, Josh Hammond as Jake Spencer, Nicky Aycox as Minxie Hayes, Marieh Delfino as Rhonda Truitt, Thom Gossom Jr. as Coach Charlie Hanna, Billy Aaron Brown as Andy 'Bucky' Buck, Al Santos as Dante Belasco, Kasan Butcher as Kimball 'Big K' Ward, Tom Tarantini as Coach Dwayne Barnes, Luke Edwards as Jack Taggart, Jr., Shaun Fleming as Billy Taggart
Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...
Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...
Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...
Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...
An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...
The increasingly stale Marvel formula gets a blast of fresh air in this rollocking adventure...
An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the...
Fans of the surprise 2012 hit Ted will find plenty to love in this sequel,...