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Jeepers Creepers II
USA, 2003
[Victor Salva]
Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Nicki Lynn Aycox
21st October 2003
Well, since I'm one of the seemingly few people (at DtheRH) that appreciated the first movie for what is was, it seems only fitting that I serve as critic for the inevitable sequel. Firstly, the good thing is that they have tried to do something different with the tone of this movie. Similarly to how Aliens differed from Alien, the second movie has gone for more action and a faster paced story whilst still keeping some of the tension factor, rather than the slow burning mysterious hell-ride of the original. This is a good way to do things, and what better movie saga to learn from eh? While this does work on some counts, it does have an underlying tone of 'another-bloody-teen-slasher-flick!'

The thin plot line is thus: set only days after Darry and Trisha's ordeal, a school football team is returning home from a championship game, complete with driver, coaches and cheerleaders (yay!) along the same fateful highway at the same time a small farm boy has a run-in with the Creeper, brought right onto the screen, seeing as though we already know what he looks like. After making off with the boy, his father and eldest son prepare to hunt him down and avenge the Creeper's latest meal. Now we find that he wants seconds, and the spare parts he needs are on the bus he immobilises in the middle of nowhere.

This sets up some fantastic tension, just imagine, an unseen terror, attacking without warning in the dead of night miles away from anyone, you are trapped on a bus with no protection and he could attack from anywhere at any time....creepy huh? Well, Victor Salva manages to pull this off well, including a funny yet suspenseful moment as the Creeper teases his potential prey, picking out the ones he may need. Brilliant! From about halfway through though, the movie takes the same downward spiral as the first one did. Tension is lost and it seems as though Salva had run out of ideas by this point, telling his 2-dimensional stereotypes to just run for it, including a girl who gets visions of the dead Darry (for no apparent reason and without explanation), so you know she's going to make it. The ending is just as silly and unbelievable, unintentionally funny and deliberately setting up another sequel, although I can't see it happening myself.

The redeeming factor in this let-down is the Creeper himself, perfectly played by Jonathan Breck (watch his creepy screen-test footage on the first movie DVD). We get to see how he evolves and uses his victims in different ways, using fear as a weapon itself, and his flying effects are Harryhausen-esque (stop-motion) which works rather well. Watch it anyway for a bit of light entertainment.
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