Jeepers Creepers introduced us to one of the best openings of a horror film. What’s interesting is that the opening sequence is actually far from fiction. If you look into the Unsolved Mysteries you will find a story that is quite similar in comparison to Jeepers Creepers. The film itself stars Justin Long, Gina Phillips and Jonathan Breck as the “The Creeper.”
The opening sequence shows two kids who are brother and sister who are driving along a country road and are nearly run off by an old looking truck. After a while later, the two see the same truck stopped near a church where a man is seen throwing something into a long pipe. Curious, Darry (Justin Long) wants to investigate as to what’s inside the pipe despite his sister’s pleas to not do anything. The suspense is creepy as the man notices them and chases after them again. After escaping, Darry is held by his legs as he eases himself into the pipe when suddenly his sister loses her grip and Darry falls inside.
What’s down below is terrifying. Bodies are seen hanging on the walls, it’s morbid and stuff that only exist in nightmares, but this is all too real. Later we learn that the man they saw is not actually a man, but something known as “The Creeper.“ He arrives every 23rd spring and feasts on humans for 23 days. But there is a catch. He’s only looking for someone specific. He can smell your fear and he will see something that he likes in you and won’t stop until he has want he wants.
Even though Jeepers Creepers was a moderate success at the box office and received an only okay pass from the critics, I feel that “The Creeper” never got a film he so rightfully deserved. The thrills are good, the creature itself is creepy, but as the film rolls along, the clichés start to pile on. The opening is fantastic giving us a nail-biting chase but oddly the film slows down. All in all Jeepers Creepers is more of a teen thriller. There isn’t much brains to the film, but at times it was fun.
Some things to note from the film is that the opening sequence is inspired by a real event as seen on Unsolved Mysteries, the famous song Jeepers Creepers is in fact a real song that was released in 1938, and of course the creature itself which draws inspiration from the Spring-heeled Jack; which is an entity of English Folklore. After watching the film, it’s cool to draw conclusions that the film draws a lot from real life. Sure Jeepers Creepers is an overlooked film and cheesy, but one that shouldn’t be passed over when comparing it to other famous horror icons such as Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees.
Give the film a chance and take away with you the inspirations that made the film a possibility. It’s not the best or worst horror film, but since it’s 15 years old, remember something about it by listening to the song or popping it in the DVD player on a late evening.