Jeepers Creepers was a surprise hit back in 2001, so a sequel was inevitable. I actually got a kick out of the first flick, especially it's excellently paced first half, but I was let down by its monster movie conclusion. It was with that in mind that I ventured into the theater to view Jeepers Creepers 2.
The film picks up where the original Creepers left off. The Creeper is nearing the end of his 23 day feeding cycle, and happens upon a farmer (Wise) and his two sons. The Creeper steals off with the farmer's youngest boy as he and his other son watch helplessly. Meanwhile, a busload of jocks are returning from some sort of organized sporting event (I believe it's a football game, although I don't think it's ever mentioned), when the bus tire is blown out by what looks to be a bone shuriken. While the bus driver and coaches try to contact help for repairs, the teammates take off their shirts, soak up some sun, and stand shoulder to shoulder in a field as they urinate with homo-erotic glee. When the radio fails to yield results, the adults decide they should keep driving on their remaining tires until they get closer to town. When a second wheel is taken out by an identical weapon, the adults get worried, then get dead, leaving the jocks to fend for themselves as the bus is attacked by the winged Creeper. As things start looking grim, the teens find salvation when their radio calls are answered by the farmer whose child was abducted the day before. And he's got a harpoon....
I wasn't quite prepared for how bad this film was. I mean, I figured that since the entire premise was based on the worst half of the original film I wasn't going to be overly impressed, but this one managed to limbo right under my already low expectations.
While the first film was by no means a classic, I was rather impressed with it's gritty first half, and quite liked it until the monster movie revelation. Jeepers Creepers 2 has no such build-up. Instead, the Creeper is thrown at us within the first five minutes, and nary leaves the film until the final frame. The result is an absolutely astonishing lack of suspense. We get lots of sudden sounds, jolting camera movements, and well timed musical stabs, but they only serve to coax jumps that are more kneejerk than a result of any semblance of actual fear.
When the Creeper isn't attacking the bus, we're subjected to characters who become less sympathetic by the syllable. I literally didn't give two shits about any of the characters in this film, and that includes the Creeper. Seeing as how he's presented as a sort of Freddy Krueger-ish sentient being, one would think that writer/director Victor Salva would try and make him more colorful, or, at least endearing in a cartoonish horror movie sort of way. Instead, the Creeper's just....creepy. And not in a good way. He's icky Creepy. Like that weird neighbor who everybody keeps their kids away from. The way he sucks at the air with those vagina-like openings in his neck and licks his chops gives me the willies for all the wrong reasons.
The film is shot pretty well, with some interesting camera movements and creatively photographed scenery, and that's just about the only positive thing I can say about it. Even the special effects, save for the creature's facial appliances, are really quite shabby. The CGI flight scenes are meant to look cutting edge, but look more like bad claymation. Oh, and as for gore, there's very little of it, and what little there is looks pretty dodgy as well. I was actually amazed by how poor the effects were, considering that this film was made for more than twice as much as the first. There's a beheading in the film that's so crudely done (CGI once again) that it's laughable. Give me Tom Savini's puppet heads over this crap any day.
So, as you may have gathered, I didn't enjoy Jeepers Creepers 2 at all. I found it joyless, boring, and extremely long for a film so light on plot.
I expected bad; what I got was simply abysmal.