Jeepers Creepers

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May 21, 2017 by Kareem Youssef

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Jeepers Creepers (2001)

In anticipation for Jeepers Creepers 3 coming out later this year, lets resist the original now 16 years old.

Written and directed by Victor Salva Jeepers Creepers is a straight forward horror film with a demonic antagonist that yields a number of iconic scenes; yet I’ll never forget the opening. Trish Jenner and her brother, Darry are squabbling on a road trip reading license plates, then they see it; a large imposing rust covered dilapidated truck blaring its horn. It’s license plate ‘BEATNGU’ ‘Be eating you’ morbidly clever.

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Minutes later they see the driver dump ‘something’ wrapped in blood stained sheets in a tunnel behind a decrepit church. As per horror film tradition it is explored, the film self-aware of it’s necessary and campy cliche has Trish say,

You know the part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid, and everybody hates them for it? This is it.

Darry climbs in and discovers what the Creeper, calls his “House of Pain” or as Darry describes as “some psycho version of the Sistine Chapel” 

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I would later find out that Victor Salva was inspired to make that very intro from a case reported by Unsolved Mysteries in 1990.

Throughout the film Trish and Darry are hunted. Later in the film they meet Jezelle, a psychic who tells them “the Creeper” hunts every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days to feast on human body parts and it smells something it likes in one them. Hearing the song “Jeepers Creepers” in the car heightens an ominous atmospheres after Jezelle warns that it means something terrible for them. As it turns out that something is Darry’s eyes, giving new life to the lyric “where’d you get those eyes.”

While a lot of the dialogue and acting can be preposterous Jeepers Creepers combines the visceral fear of being hunted and eaten along with fear of the unknown. The Creeper is a demon without the paranormal and occult elements that is typically entwined within the genre. It holds up well to this day as does the mystery around the creature.

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