Saturday, 6 November 2010

Creepers Jeepers

Just after the start of the latest Millennium there were two feature films about a particular monster. I will admit that Jeepers Creepers did try for something different. Only failed in that it wasn't that good. Note: I will be discussing the endings, but as these films are years old I'm not hiding the text.

Number One follows brother and sister as they observe someone dumping a body and they decide to investigate. Only to have the murderer track them down, and prove to be something not entirely human. There is a sense of the script being self-aware at several moments. Mention of someone doing something stupid in classy horror movie way. But a far better moment (in the trailer) of when sister hits the creature, brother asks if it is dead. "They never are," she replies, and then proceeds to drive over it several more times. Yeah. However... in the supposed final confrontation with the monster, that moment works in movies because the confrontationers are supposed to be a credible threat to the creature, they have some plan or weapon or something to take the creature down. In this movie, the creature isn't even slightly phased by the people with guns and so that final battle just feels like another mid-movie action sequence and that there will be a finaler confrontation with it. Only there isn't. Then movie then just ends, with a final note to try to justify the title, which doesn't really work.

Number Two is at the end of the current Creeper spell, with it attacking a bus full of school teams (a basketball team and some cheerleaders, plus some adults that die early). There is also a subplot with Ray Wise coming to avenge his boy (a rare case of a kid dying in a horror movie). While in the first movie the flying ability was a great reveal, here the creature is flying from the word go, making this more like "attack of the eagle!" than a horror movie. There are couple of neat effect sequences, especially where it is replacing its head. However, there is a long period in the middle of the movie where it is simply threatening the kids and they are running about on the bus and repeat and repeat. Deaths are few and far between, for a change when kids are about, but also, for a change, the kids are running around manically, having sex, and otherwise splitting into singles to be picked off. Odd. Ray Wise comes in with the only real ability to damage it, and again fails to fall into the "one blow and it's dead, honest guv" trap of other horror movies. Indeed, there's a neat tag set in the future that shows he is not stupid at all.

So these are standard monster creature features, but still manage to have long moments when you're waiting for them to get on with it. While I wouldn't suggest hunting them out, if you do come across them, could do worse that giving them a go.


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