Original VS Sequel: “Jeepers Creepers”

This review contains major SPOILERS.

This review contains major SPOILERS.

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Back in 2004 I first saw Jeepers Creepers 2 when I purchased it on DVD from a supermarket shortly after it’s release. I didn’t see the original Jeepers Creepers until 2015. I actually regret watching them in this order, here’s why…

I always liked JC2 as it is a fun movie, has a likability and somewhat keeps you on the edge of your seat. Having the majority of the movie shot on a school bus does take some clever filmmaking to keep the audiences interest, which I think this movie succeeds at. Obviously the full story is far beyond reality and is not believable but I think JC2 is excellent for what it is.

There is some poor acting and bad line delivery but for the most part I really enjoyed it and held it as a great horror flick. After watching the first JC many years later I now like the sequel a little bit less and not because the original was a better movie.

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If you were to watch the sequel first like I did you would just assume it is a continuation of the original and the back story of the Creeper is fully explained in the first movie; so the fact there is no explanation about the creature in the sequel (other than he hunts every 23 years and then goes back in the ground) doesn’t seem to be a negative.

You just accept JC2 for what it is and enjoy the ride of some crazy hybrid batman-alien dude that stole Freddy Krueger’s hat, flying around fucking shit up and eating people. I think the Creeper is one of the toughest badasses in the horror world; he could literally fly up behind you and in 10 seconds you’ll be falling from 10,000 ft into a pile of mashed potato. Michael Myers thinks falling off a balcony is bad? Well then he should meet this mother fucker!

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Back to the story…

After watching the original JC movie I expected a full back-story of the Creeper because the sequel doesn’t give any of that (which I was fine with but the original doesn’t deliver what I was expecting to get out of it). Now the original is a great movie and definitely mandatory for any horror collection, as is the sequel, but it didn’t live up to my expectations.

I enjoyed seeing a little more of a back-story and the fact the Creeper could drive that scary rusty dark farmer truck was cool but the fact is the origin of the Creeper wasn’t explained. In my opinion this makes the sequel weaker because after watching the original you would expect the sequel to dive into the past of the creeper a bit more. Some like this aspect, that the origin is unknown, but to me that is far from great film making.

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The two movies are different but not all in good ways.

I enjoyed seeing the Creeper’s lair in JC1 where he throws bodies down the pipe at the old church (I assume he wraps them up to harvest on later?). I know he takes organs out and stitches them back up, either I am missing the point or it’s just a pointless plot element as they end up stuck to a wall looking like the something from House of Wax. Anyway…

Also the two movies showcase a very different creature, although we’re meant to believe it is the same creature. In the original he drives, he has a lair, he takes care of the condition of the bodies and also builds a House of Wax wall with the victims; he allows himself to be run over multiple times and looks to be weak and struggling. Yet in the sequel he gets absolutely beaten, beheaded and shows no sign of weakness, he also has no lair, no truck and doesn’t care about the condition of the bodies (just aiming to terrorize and eat them). Also the Jeepers Creepers song is not featured in the sequel and it seems they removed all the quality elements the Creeper had from the original.

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I like the suspense in the original far more than the sequel. The truck, the camera work and the fact you just see a dark figure in the distance, or a truck without seeing the driver, builds a lot of suspense as you don’t know what to expect. JC2 tries to build suspense but struggles as we all know what is about to happen and who the creature is.

The original is a lot darker and, in my opinion, better than the sequel because it gives a bit of a back story which leaves the sequel wide open to complete the story (which it doesn’t do). The first JC had an original plot, a lot of suspense and some edge-of-your-seat quality. The sequel has less of all of these. Although the sequel is great I think it’s weaker than the original because it doesn’t continue to explain where the Creeper came from, just a 90-minute panic movie about a flying creature fucking up school kids.

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If we ever get a JC3 (which I hope does happen) I really really hope they dive into more of the origin story as well as exploring new routes to take the franchise. I think if the third installment goes back to the roots to show case the Creeper having a lair and more of his skills that help him blend into the world like driving, walking, putting bodies down a pipe, seeming more like a person, that would work better than a flying creature with no story other than he eats and kills everything.

If they do this I would say it would make JC2 a better movie as some of the points I stated would be explained in the third movie; so the fact JC2 didn’t explore or explain any more of the origin story is kind of waved but as it stands it was a let down after seeing the origin because it lost all the magic the first one had. If you’ve only seen JC2 and love it like I did then don’t watch the first movie.

 

My score:

Jeepers Creepers: 7.2/10

Jeepers Creepers 2: 6.4/10

Own Jeepers Creepers: HERE

Own Jeepers Creepers and Jeepers Creepers 2: HERE

4 Comments on this post.

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  • Angel
    20 May 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Yeah, you make the perfect point that while the sequel was entertaining it failed to build on any of the suspense of the original. Hands down the first was a better film; both had great qualities but you can’t beat the horror of not knowing what was chasing Darry and his sister, find his lair then the big reveal as the film closes up.
    I remember reading that the director of the sequel was notorious for making films that oversexualize its male stars (and even that he would purposely cast younger boys and continue that trend). It made the sequel creepy, not in a good way.
    I can wait for the third one to come out, if it means they are really working on an A+ script.

    • Cat
      20 May 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      The director of the sequel had previously been convicted of child molestation. After his release from jail, he was allowed to continue to make movies as long as no underage boys were used in the filming. That’s why he tends to hire actors that look so young & are boyish in build. He can satisfy his “urges” by looking at the guys, without actually being tempted to touch them. Now that’s creepy.

  • Cat
    20 May 2015 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    If you recall, the creeper would kill anyone who got in his way of who he wanted in JC1. That continued on in JC2. He was only interested in a few of the kids & ended up killing others to replace damaged parts. We don’t know that he wouldn’t have taken home his wanted trophies for extra special care, as JC2 show us his new home or him being able to get his trophies. Instead, it focused more on the damage the Creeper could cause when someone got in his way. A fun movie for sure, but not as dark as the first.

  • Jay Wheeler
    20 May 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    I just don’t like the sequel as much now as it didn’t have any of the magic of the first one and didn’t attempt to deliver anymore of an origin story.

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