Jeepers Creepers: Reborn
review by Bobby Blakey
There are so many horror franchises out there, but there are only a handful that manage to stand the test of time and establish themselves in with the big ones. In 2001 director Victor Salva brought his new creature feature Jeepers Creepers to the big screen. The film was a big enough to spawn two sequel in 2003 and 2017 that brought more terror from the creeper, but mixed reviews from the fans. Salva has been hit with much controversy that has in turn affected the franchise, but now Iron Sky director Timo Vuorensola has kicked off a new planned trilogy with Jeepers Creepers: Reborn that is meant to be separate from the original films.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn follows the Horror Hound Festival as it holds its first ever event in Louisiana, where it attracts hundreds of geeks, freaks and die-hard horror fans from far and wide. Among them is fan boy Chase and his girlfriend Laine, who is visiting a festival of this kind for the first time. But as the event approaches, Laine begins to experience unexplained premonitions and disturbing visions associated with the town’s past, and in particular, local legend/urban myth The Creeper. As the festival arrives and the blood-soaked entertainment builds to a frenzy, Laine believes that something unearthly has been summoned…and that she is at the center of it.
I love the original film despite the past of Salva, but the sequels just never lived up to that first one. Despite that the Creeper remained one of the cooler monsters in the genre so of course I was eager to see what they did with this latest entry. This is a complete revamp and reboot of the franchise that changes up some of the origins and direction of the story that is pretty hit and miss for me.
There are some elements that recreated although in a different way to try to make it fresh complete with the opening that is a good addition, butthen it slows down to a crawl for way too long before anything happens. With a film only running an hour and a half you expect it to get to it, but alas that isn’t the case. They don’t play around with mystery surrounding the Creeper and show him pretty quickly but sparingly until the third act. At the point it does pick up a little, but not sure it’s enough to ever get it out of generic standings. In addition the CGI used here isn’t bad per see, but doesn’t blend all that well most notably with the outside back grounds that just look fake.
The most important thing here is the Creeper himself. Even the not so great sequels are entertaining when this creature is doing his thing. This new design is fine, but not near as cool as the original. I get them trying to distance themselves by trying to change things up a bit, but here they should have left it alone. I also feel they tried to hard to back story and/or explain the Creeper when we just don’t need that. Add to that another element regarding the reasoning behind his rampage and it just loses the impact for me. I loke the mindless killing rage for feeding and don’t need more.
The gore level isn’t as high as I had thought and the focus on him eating body parts he needs was an element I am not sure adding anything. They also have little to no scares here so those hoping for a gory jump fest will be sorely disappointed. In the end it is a decent enough attempt at doing something with the iconic and cool creature, but not sure it is enough to make it all that memorable especially with it being the first of a planned trilogy.
Check out the new chapter of the Creeper’s reign of terror when Jeepers Creepers Reborn available now on Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th from Screen Media.