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These days it is becoming increasingly common to watch movies which cannot decide what genre they belong to. Sometimes this is intentional and the decision proves to be successful, but more often then not they simply don’t work. Read any review on Jeepers Creepers and you can be sure to find a reference to its change in direction. With a shortage of decent horror movies recently, Jeepers Creepers had the chance to fill the gap. Read on to find out if Jeepers Creepers really does scare, or just turns out to be another huge let down.  

Jeepers Creepers
Movie
Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Philips) are the two main characters in Jeepers Creepers. They could be described as typical brother and sister. They bicker all the time and generally do their best to annoy each other. During a drive home from college, the pair pass the time by playing games.  Usually their trips home are uneventful, but not on this occasion. While driving down a quiet road the pair have an unpleasant run-in with an odd looking truck. Dismissing it as bad driving, they continue on their journey. Further down the road, they notice the truck parked by an abandoned church. As they drive past the vehicle they realise that the driver is dumping some suspicious looking bags in a hole in the ground.

The pair believe that the bags look suspiciously like body bags, and decide to go back and investigate.  Darry decides to climb down into the hole in order to find out exactly what was in the bags. As he climbs down the hole his fears are confirmed. In predictable horror movie fashion, the maniac driver returns to the site just as the pair are leaving. Another car chase commences, and Trish and Darry find themselves being run off the road. The rest of the movie focuses on their attempt to escape the crazed driver. As the film progresses, the pair realise that the killer is not exactly as they would have expected. The killer has motives for his crimes, and Trish and Darry are next on his hitlist! That’s enough from me concerning the story.  I won’t explain any more of the plot as I am likely to spoil the movie. I have deliberately kept the summary of the film short in order not to disclose too much of what is a one-dimensional plot.

Jeepers Creepers
Before seeing this film, I had read many reviews which complimented the first half hour of the movie, but hated the rest of it. I can see the point the reviewers were making. While watching Jeepers Creepers I was terrified and enthralled by the opening twenty minutes. Recently too many horror films have failed to do the one thing that they should, and that is scare the viewer! Jeepers Creepers provides a tense and creepy opening which sets up what looks like a promising movie. Unfortunately once the killer is shown to the audience, the movie turns into a run of the mill monster movie. Towards the end it picks up a little, but by then the damage has already been done. The creepiness and uniqueness of the opening scenes is never really matched during the final hour. If the final hour added something different to the monster genre, then the movie may have succeeded. However we are treated to predictable set pieces which have been done before a thousand times in other movies.  

Even considering the untimely redirection of the film, I am still going to recommend this movie. It’s far from being a classic, but there are enough positive moments to make it worthwhile viewing.  A strong cast, a superb first quarter and clever ending make Jeepers Creepers a good night’s entertainment. Before watching the film, if you realise that it is a primarily a monster movie and enjoy the first ten minutes for what they are, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t expect the tone of the first half to carry on, or otherwise you will be sadly disappointed.  

Jeepers Creepers
Visual
Jeepers Creepers is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. What we get is a clear transfer which doesn’t suffer from any print damage. Colours seem accurate, as do black levels. The movie has plenty of night scenes and black levels appeared good throughout. There appeared to be no compression artefacts. Grain levels are however disappointing at times. Sometimes the grain levels were extremely obvious, but at other moments they were hardly noticeable. There was also no visible sign of edge enhancement.  Overall this is an acceptable transfer which you would expect from such a new release.

Audio
With this disc we are given two soundtracks. There are DTS and English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks to complement the movie. Both tracks offer good all round performance. As you would expect, dialogue is clear and audible at all times. Even when the musical score is blaring, the dialogue is understandable. The surround channels are used to good effect throughout the movie, with the full range of speakers given a good work-out. I did not really notice much difference between the two tracks, but the DTS seemed to just about have the edge. There were not that many opportunities in the film for the use of my subwoofer. Occasionally it was used to good effect, but generally it was merely a spectator. Overall an adequate effort which failed to inspire, but didn’t really have any bad points.

Jeepers Creepers
Extras
Sadly the only extra that we are provided with is a theatrical trailer. This is quite disappointing considering that the region one and two DVDs contained much more. On other regions you can find a commentary, deleted scenes and a documentary. Considering that this region four version is released a while after the region one version, you would at least expect the extras to be duplicated on this version. Unfortunately that seems to much to ask for. The trailer has a running time of just under two minutes and I was actually impressed by its quality. It is presented in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The trailer produces a creepy atmosphere, which should make people interested in the movie. We do not see much of the film itself, but what is shown is exciting and does a good job of promoting the product as a terrifying horror movie.

Overall
Jeepers Creepers is the type of movie which will split audiences down the middle, but I am sure it will leave most feeling disappointed. I apologise for harping on about the disappointing twist in the movie, but it really does spoil what seemed to be a very promising film. However it is worth watching and should keep you entertained for a few hours. As for the disc, I am struggling to recommend it. There are no real excuses for the lack of extras, considering that they are available on other regions. The audio and visual elements are perfectly acceptable, but for a trailer to be the only extra is quite poor by today’s standards. If you are interested in this movie, then you could consider getting the vastly superior region one or two version.


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