In 2003, Victor Salva decided it was a good idea to release the follow-up film to his sleeper hit, Jeepers Creepers. It had been two years and some of the hype had worn off, not to mention the internet was buzzing with talk of how despicable Victor Salva truly was. Light was being shed on his past and many horror fans were not having it. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin Jeepers Creepers II was trying to open one week after Freddy vs. Jason — I can remember seeing interviews with the cast telling people not to see FvsJ and urging them to instead see JC2.
I made up my mind that they were desperately trying to get butts in the seats because they knew it wasn’t that great. The film disappeared from theaters and came to home video very quickly. I purchased it a few months later on DVD and I will admit on the ride home, I was anxious to see if I had been wrong. After all, I was a fan of the original.
Jeepers Creepers II picks up a few days after the events of the first film, which means the creeper only has a few days left to feed. Ray Wise plays Jack Taggart, a father who is tracking the creeper after it viciously abducts/murders his young son. Wise is most certainly the best actor in the film. As always, he brings an authenticity to his performance that is rarely matched, especially surrounded by this cast. Jonathan Breck returns as the creeper and does a fantastic job. He gets more screen time this go around and really finds the monster within.
A bus load of obnoxious teenagers get stranded on the infamous highway the creeper is known to frequent. They must fight to survive or end up another meal for the creeper.
I really wish I liked at least one of the teen cast, but they really are tough to love. Diane Delano as the bus driver, Betty Borman, is really the only likeable character on board and she doesn’t get nearly the screen time she deserves. Salva’s writing is really sub-par in this outing and almost every situation feels forced. There are a few moments with high tension and some absolutely creepy scenes, but it’s just too few and far between.
Jeepers Creepers II is an average flick that doesn’t really stand the test of time. It’s a fun popcorn movie and is much better when watching it with a group of friends. I recommend it to fans of monster flicks and teen-style slashers, but just don’t get your hopes up too high.
I give this film 2 post hole diggers out of 5.