Jeepers Creepers 3 FILM REVIEW
JEEPERS CREEPERS 3
Director: Victor Salva
Screenplay by Victor Salva
Starring: Meg Foster, Stan Shaw, Gabrielle Haugh, Chester Rushing, Brandon Smith, Jonathan Breck
Running Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
** out of *****
Photo: Screen Media Films
The Creeper returns in Victor Salva's JEEPERS CREEPERS 3 the latest entry in the horror franchise.
Ever since the last time we saw The Creeper on the big screen, JEEPERS CREEPERS 2 opened in the summer of 2003, we have seen just about every iconic horror villain rebooted for a new generation. Some are considered to be solid remakes like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003) or THE HILLS HAVE EYES (2006) while others are often vilified by the fan base as was the fate of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010), HALLOWEEN (2009) and even FRIDAY THE 13th (2009). In recent years there has been a welcome resurgence of long dormant franchises where beloved characters return in a new sequel that isn't a remake. They arrived with mixed results but franchises such as HATCHET, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, PHANTASM and CHILD'S PLAY all made comebacks. Writer-director Victor Salva brings his demonic creation, The Creeper, back for more in JEEPERS CREEPERS 3 but time has not been kind to this once entertaining villain.
The JEEPERS CREEPERS series, thus far, had been a fairly entertaining killer monster/mad slasher horror hybrid. The first film was decent enough as it laid out the character's introduction. Every 23 years, for 23 days, it will eat. What we presumed to be a stereo-typical cannibal/slasher turned out to be something more. Personally I prefer the second film primarily because of Ray Wise and that Salva gave The Creeper a suitable protagonist. The second film ended with the promise that Wise's character would be waiting for The Creeper's return and would put him out of his misery. Fans of the series would not be at fault to expect the new film to pick up where the last one left off. Alas, it does not and that is just one of the reasons that this new film falls flat.
Salva attempts to get to the origins of The Creeper in the new film but instead offers up an unnecessarily convoluted story that seems more interested in setting up further sequels as opposed to a more contained narrative with allusions to a continuation. One particular narrative, a seemingly significant one at that, is introduced and it is never properly resolved. It actually didn't even need a resolution just a more coherent answer that would have intrigued instead of perplexed. Another plot device occurs during the film that on paper may have sounded really cool but in the end serves more as a cop out as to why this one didn't pick up where the last one left off.
The first film had a likable pairing of brother and sister. The second had a bad ass father seeking revenge. This one doesn't provide any significant protagonists to take on The Creeper. The film expands upon how survivors are hunting The Creeper and we are introduced to what is essential Creep-busters. They amount to nothing more than stereo-typical, ineffective caricatures whose sole purpose is to be fodder for the Creeper. Meg Foster and Stan Shaw are easily the most recognizable names and faces in the film and there really wasn't much they could do to elevate the material. In general, the performances were fairly unconvincing and it seemed like Jonathan Breck, returning as The Creeper, was the only one having the most fun.
When compared to the previous films this one was clearly hampered by budgetary restrictions and it shows. There were many choices Salva made that likely affected the tone and atmosphere of the film. Most of the action with the Creeper takes place in the daylight. Most of the CGI was of such low quality that even the least discerning of viewers may find distracting. The Creeper make up really looked like make up. Regardless this sequel simply didn't deliver the story fans were anticipating nor provide enough incentive to want to return for the inevitable sequel. The Creeper had his wings clipped in this one and it doesn't look like it has enough left in the tank to make it to its next feeding cycle.
***** = Outstanding ****1/2 = Excellent **** = Very Good ***1/2 = Above Average
*** = Good **1/2 = Mediocre ** = Fair *1/2 = Poor * = Bad 1/2* = Abysmal