Director – Victor Salva
Cast – Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Travis Schiffner, Lena Cardwell, Billy Aaron Brown, Luke Edwards, Marieh Delfino, Al Santos, Josh Hammond, Kasan Butcher, Drew Tyler Bell, Diane Delano, Thom Gossom Jr., Tom Tarantini, Shaun Fleming, Justin Long
Release Year – 2003
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Two years after the moderately successful Jeepers Creepers, Victor Salva returned to the series(thanks to Francis Ford Coppola of all people) to continue his genre-heavy monster feast with Jeepers Creepers 2, a fun film that despite the usual clichés still comes out an OK watch. Not as good or hard hitting as its predecessor, this one still manages to keep the fun tone and once again brings on a good amount of creature action.
Jeepers Creepers 2 is set a few days after the events of the original film, taking place on the last 23rd day of The Creeper’s reign of terror. A school bus carrying a championship men’s basketball team and a few cheerleaders suffers crippling attacks from The Creeper while on the solemn East 9 highway, leaving them stranded and with little options to contact help. The highschoolers are sitting ducks and are one by one picked off by The Creeper, until a vengeful father(Ray Wise) who’s young son was taken by The Creeper shows up seeking vengeance.
Fans of the first entry who go into this flick expecting more of the same should be at least moderately pleased. Much like the first entry this one takes off right away and throws us into the carnage pretty early on during a very positive first act. Because this is a sequel there is less development involved which means we get a lot more action involving The Creeper, which should be good for those who want to just turn off their brain and enjoy the action.
Story-wise I really liked that this flick kept much of the same feel of the first but gave us a new atmosphere and a lot more characters. If you know me or have been reading my entries then you should know that I am a huge fan of nowhere-to-run scenarios, and finding yourself in a disabled school bus in the middle of nowhere counts as a nowhere-to-run scenario. This provided great opportunities for The Creeper to taunt and play with the kids before taking his pick of which one he would like to devour next. The tension reigns high due to this atmosphere, and I commend pedophile Victor Salva for using that element to its fullest potential. One element I also heavily enjoyed was the usage of Jack Taggart Sr., portrayed by Ray Wise. Jack Taggart Sr. is the father of a young child who was taken by The Creeper earlier on in the film, and watching him seek vengeance against The Creeper was sweet and very satisfying for vengeful folk like me. We have two different plots going on with these two elements, and when they are mixed together towards the third act they make for one hell of an ending sequence, one filled with a father’s rage and a pretty cool climax that leaves room for the upcoming sequel Jeepers Creepers 3: Cathedral.
This film’s most inferior element in regards to the first entry is Salva’s direction. His direction is not bad by any means, but he did not deliver as much of a “punch” as he did with the first entry. We also get a lot more CGI usage in this flick, which I did not enjoy too much but they came during scenes that would have been impossible to film live-action, and the mediocre quality of the CGI suggests that the design company obviously did not consist of Japan’s finest. Nonetheless Salva brought on a good amount of tension and made the most out of some very positive and isolated sets. Oh, and this flick comes with a heavier amount of gore and kills, which is never a bad thing.
Overall, this is an OK watch and a fun sequel to one of the genre’s most well-known films from last decade. We get a cool storyline that incorporates two different groups of people, some mostly positive direction, and plenty of Creeper action to keep the viewer engaged.