Jeepers Creepers 2 picks up right after the first film leaves off. The Creeper is at the end of his feeding cycle but still has some snacking to do. While trolling for sustenance, The Creeper happens upon a bus of high school students that are on their way home from the state finals of a sporting event. When the bus experiences a blowout, the driver pulls over and The Creeper ascends to claim what is his.
This film lacks the taught and suspenseful tone of the original. It eventually builds up enough steam to engage its audience but never reaches the level of intensity set by its predecessor.
Like the first Jeepers Creepers film, this sequel is written and directed by Victor Salva (Clownhouse). While this film has its moments, Salva does not find as much success with this second installment as he did with the original film.
Jeepers Creepers had a cast of characters that the audience could relate to. But the altruistic characters of the first film have been replaced by a group of high school jocks that don’t really care about anyone but themselves. The only character with any depth or redeeming qualities is Ray Wise’s (Twin Peaks) character Jack. The rest of the cast is about as contemptible as they come. Salva reportedly felt like an outsider in school, so perhaps this is his perception of how high school students act. Regardless of the reasoning, the cast of this film is had to take.
As for pacing, Jeepers Creepers 2 takes a little too long to get going considering that it is a follow up effort and the original film has already established backstory and The Mythology behind The Creeper. It takes about 30 minutes for this sequel to really find its footing. The sequel is 15 minutes longer than its predecessor and it feels a bit too lengthy. There is a lot of side talk that isn’t essential to the film that could have been cut and the finale is a touch on the long side as well.
One of things the film does right is to establish a level of mystery around who will live and who will die. The manner and the order in which the characters are picked off is completely unpredictable. It’s never obvious who the final girl will be or who The Creeper will pick off.
The body count in Jeepers Creepers 2 is much greater than the first film. While the ramped up body count is nice to see, this sequel is alittle more formulaic than the original. It follows a lot of the slasher film conventions and doesn’t focus on the relationships between the characters as much as it does killing them off.
The effects are good. The kills are fairly graphic and pretty inventive. The scene where one of the characters is decapitated and their body walks around headless afterwards is particularly memorable and good for a chuckle.
One of the film’s other strong suits is the sound sound editing. The noises that accompany the kill scenes are brutal and perfectly fitting. The sounds that go along with the scene where The Creeper pulls a javelin out of his face is exceptionally grotesque but awesome.
Perhaps it is to be expected but there are some definite gaps in logic here. For example: Though continuous rounds of bullets barely slow the creeper down in the first film a javelin is able to go through one end of hiss head and out the other in this sequel. If a javelin can penetrate his body armor, why couldn’t a bullet?
Jeepers Creepers 2 presupposes that you’ve seen the original and you should do so before checking out this film. Jeepers Creepers 2 is a mixed bag. It’s suspenseful at times, has a good body count, and excellent sound editing but the film takes a little too long to get going and the characters are primarily two-dimensional. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth a look but it’s not as well put together as its predecessor.
Director(s): Victor Salva
Writer(s): Victor Salva
Stars: Justin Long, Gina Phillips
Studio/ Production Co: United Artists
Budget: $17 Million
Length: 104 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Monster Movie