One of the best things about Jeepers Creepers 2 is that that damn song doesnt get stuck in your head after the movie ends. Thankfully the songs been dropped and I can personally say its not missed. While thats not the single most important issue when deciding whether or not to see this sequel, its definitely a major selling point in my book.
The sequel benefits from a bigger budget, which amounts to a larger cast, many more effects, and more of what most horror freaks demand gore, and lots of it. And this time around the Creeper (again played by Jonathan Breck) gets to let loose with a grisly assortment of lethal weapons chiseled from bone and covered with flesh. Fine fun for the whole family (if youre a member of the Manson Family).
Most of the action takes place in a broken down school bus filled with high school jocks, their cheerleader girlfriends, a few token adults, the brainy and ambiguously gay school reporter, and the teams nerdy equipment manager. The jocks themselves are a pretty whitewashed bunch except for the angry guy whos also a racist and his two African-American teammates who are the targets of his anger. Trapped on a school bus and potential fodder for the Creeper, you wonder what will get to them first: the vicious killer stalking them outside or the dangerous beast that lurks within each of the students as they fight each other for survival. The final answer: who cares, as long as the deaths are disgustingly bloody.
When the movie focuses in on the Creeper himself, in all his slimy glory, the horror flicks at its best. In Jeepers Creepers 2, audiences are treated to more close-ups and extended flying sequences than in the original. However the movie loses a lot of ground during the harpooning sequences, as the Creeper caught on the end of the harpoons line looks like a toy store rubber fish flopping about. The special effects dont work and they actually elicited a good amount of chuckles from the preview audience, but not at the scene itself, rather at how fake the effects look. Its hard to recover from a scene that yanks you that far out of the movie.
Another facet of the film that didnt sit well with me was the interaction between the students. Too much of the movies dialogue seems scripted and not organic, like the screenwriter really wanted to use voice over narration and instead went with stilted dialogue to move the story along. We knew the Creepers motivation and didnt care enough about any of the students to need to know theirs.
The first Jeepers Creepers had great dialogue between the two main characters, and its too bad that style didnt carry through to the sequel. Fun dialogue between characters is always a welcome addition to any genre movie. The only saving grace to the second Jeepers Creepers is the amount of screen time the Creeper gets all to himself. Between full body shots and repulsive close-ups, the Creeper alone saves the movie from collapsing in on itself.
Is Jeepers Creepers 2 a terrifying thriller as the studio proclaims? No. Is it a good popcorn movie with a decent amount of scary moments? Sure.
"Jeepers Creepers 2" was written and directed by Victor Salva (full cast and crew list) and is rated R for horror violence and language.