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JEEPERS CREEPERS 2
Reviewed January 5th, 2004 by David Nusair

 

As a fan of the first Jeepers Creepers, my expectations for this sequel were fairly high. And though the film starts out well enough, it eventually becomes dull and repetitive.

Picking up a few days after the original left off, Jeepers Creepers 2 follows the Creeper as he stalks a bus full of teenagers. Storywise, that's about it - which would be fine, if writer/director Victor Salva had bothered to include any likable characters. What made the first one work as well as it did was the convincing relationship between the brother and sister; the two become figures that we genuinely cared about.

Here, Salva's filled the bus with scarcely developed jocks that aren't compelling in the least (the audience is more likely to root for the Creeper than any of these losers). And since the plot seems to consist of the Creeper swooping down and flying off with a victim over and over again, the film becomes boring fairly quickly. And that's another problem with the movie, the Creeper himself - once an ominous figure, he's now become about as scary as a bowl of Corn Flakes.

In the original, he had that menacing truck and he barely flew around at all; now that Salva's been given a bigger budget, he's turned the Creeper into an airborne nuisance (which is somehow not quite as threatening). Even if this hadn't been a sequel to one of the better horror flicks as of late, Jeepers Creepers 2 would still be a huge disappointment because Salva's clearly got talent.

The opening sequence, featuring that ever-present image of the Creeper pretending to be a scarecrow, is easily the most intriguing portion of the entire film; if what followed had been even close to that suspenseful and creepy, Jeepers Creepers 2 would've been a rare horror sequel to work just as well as its predecessor.

Audio: Jeepers Creepers 2 is presented with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and itís very impressive. This is a movie with a lot of surround effects, and this track does a fantastic job of planting us right in the middle of the action.

Video: Ditto this 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. A lot of Jeepers Creepers 2 takes place at night, and the transfer handles such darkness beautifully.

Extras: MGM has provided a lot of extras for Jeepers Creepers 2, starting with two commentary tracks. The first features Salva along with the majority of the filmís cast, and itís not as annoying as it could have been. Salva proves to be a good ringleader and does an effective job of keeping the many participants well behaved. Though their laughter does get somewhat irritating, there are a lot of interesting tidbits that make this a worthy listen. The second track features the Creeper himself, Jonathan Breck, along with storyboard artist Brad Parker and special effects guy Brian Penikas. This track is obviously more technical than the first one, but turns out to be somewhat more informative. Moving onto the featurettes, first up is a 40-minute documentary on the making of the film thatís broken up into four parts Ė Lights, Camera, Creeper, Creeper Creation, Creeper Composer, and Digital Effects. A lotís covered here, from the storyboard process to the actual production of the film. Salva mentions, in one of the interviews, that the film was initially supposed to be a straight sequel of the first one Ė something that certainly should have happened. The Creeper Composer section is fascinating, as we get to see an entire orchestra performing some of the more intense pieces from the film. Next up is a 26-minute look at a day in the filming of the movie. This essentially consists of Salva taking us on a tour of the set, while going about his day-to-day work. This is fairly interesting, as it manages to capture the mundane nature of filmmaking. Next is 15 minutes worth of deleted scenes edited together, including one than almost gives us a little Creeper backstory. Thereís also two storyboard sequences featuring scenes that were excised in the pre-production stage. Rounding out the discís extras are a photo gallery and trailers.

Conclusion: Though Jeepers Creepers 2 isnít exactly a worthy sequel, thereís no denying that MGMís given the flick grade A treatment.

 

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