Jeepers CreepersTitle: Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Runtime: 90 minutes
Director: Victor Salva

Jeepers Creepers is an underrated horror gem whose minor flaws are outweighed by its wonderful direction and focus. The story, though meek, has just enough substance to make this memorable. The acting, though, is why I will keep coming back to Jeepers Creepers years down the road.

I make no qualms over the fact that I am a huge fan of Justin Long. This is, in fact, the first thing I ever saw him in many moons ago, and I’ve liked him ever since. His roles after this one really sealed the deal for me (Waiting…Accepted, and Idiocracy are ones that immediately spring to mind). What I like about his work here, and in films like After.Life and Drag Me to Hell is that he showcases his dramatic talent, which is arguably even stronger than his comedic talent. Though this was one of Long’s first major roles, he handles it with the same ease and believability as his later roles, and fits perfectly alongside Gina Phillips, who plays his older sister in the film.

Another great aspect of Jeepers Creepers is the monster design. This film could’ve been ruined by a poor creature design, but fortunately the exact opposite is true: the creature is detailed, gruesome, and makes a lasting impact.

If I had to pick one of my favorite directorial choices, it would have to be Salva’s choice to show a lot of action out of focus. For example, as the monster approaches the lead character’s car in the opening scene, the entire thing happens ominously in the background, out of focus. It sounds simple, but is wonderfully effective. This happens at various times throughout the movie, and each time the technique is applied, it works better than the last.

I enjoyed Jeepers Creepers this time more than the first time I watched it. I just picked it up on Blu-ray a few hours before I watching it, and the Blu-ray transfer is definitely solid. There are a good amount of special features as well, but most are repeats from the DVD version of the film. I watched the deleted scenes, and found it funny that at one point Salva had the monster speak. Boy am I glad that was cut; it could’ve ruined an otherwise solid film.

three_and_a_half_stars

Original Uncut DVD

Rent on Netflix

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.