Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jeepers Creepers 3

Movie Name: Jeepers Creepers 3
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Victor Salva
Stars: Stan Shaw, Meg Foster, Gabrielle Haugh, Brandon Smith, Jordan Salloum, Chester Rushing, Jason Bayle, Ryan Moore, Michael Sirow, Joyce Giraud, Michael Papajohn
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 2
Watch it on Amazon

Following the previous two iterations of the "Jeepers Creepers" franchise, the third one is decidedly a more modest endeavor, which barely premiered in theaters and went instead to VOD and streaming services. The film takes place between the events of the first and second film. Right after Darry gets taken by the creature, the local sheriff gets the help of another police officer, who has dealt with the creature before. This new sheriff, by the name of Dan Tashtego, has his own team prepared to battle the creature, who in the meantime has gone on a killing spree across the area. This killing spree affects a family who was also victim of the creature 23 years ago - that victim keeps appearing to his mother, warning her about the impending visit of the creature, since he hid something that belongs to it. All these disparate characters realize they have to unite their efforts if this creature is to come to an end.
What made the original "Jeepers Creepers" so interesting and original, was the fact that it managed to create a sense of dread and suspense, without showing much of the creature, and for a large part of the film, without realizing its motivation to pursue the lead characters. It was a mix of Steven Spielberg's "Duel" and the entity of Robert Harmon's "The Hitcher" - a relentless creature pursuing the innocent lead characters, who only wanted to go home (much like a classic fairytale). As the other sequels have evolved, the allure of that first film has subsided, with the creature being featured more prominently, and the pyrotechnics and action set pieces also increasing. This third film, of all of the ones premiered thus far, is the weakest, and also most nonsensical. Also in terms of production values, this film looks like a very low budget endeavor, with most of the gothic feel of the first film gone, and replaced with an anemic stylistic approach. It's a film where most characters are non existent, and where everyone is just cannon fodder for the merciless creature (and there's not much development in terms of the mythology of that same creature). The only winning points for this film are the presence of the underrated Meg Foster (a veteran from the 80s, who was in John Carpenter's "They Live") and of Stan Shaw. An instantly forgettable film.