14 years ago, we saw the last of The Creeper after he awoke from his 23-year-long slumber to feast. When the first two Jeepers Creepers movies were released, fans patiently waited for a third film that would follow up the events ending Jeepers Creepers 2. Jeepers Creepers 1 and 2 take place only a few days apart and were released in the early 2000’s. Jeepers Creepers 3 is released 14 years after Jeepers Creepers 2 and is set in between the first two movies instead of as a sequel to Jeepers Creepers 2 like all fans have assumed. Growing up, I loved watching both Jeepers Creepers films because it wasn’t the bloodbath horror but instead the horror villain, The Creeper, who kept the movie entertaining. Because of this, of course, I was excited for the third installment of this short series and was anticipating the one-night event of Jeepers Creepers 3.
Jeepers Creepers 3 brings back director Victor Salva for the next chapter which focuses on Sergeant Tubbs (Brandon Smith) who assembles a task force that is determined to destroy The Creeper. Sergeant Tubbs grows closer to learning the dark origins of The Creeper as the film follows a family that has been affected by The Creeper’s 23 springs previously. They are patiently awaiting the return of The Creeper so they can set things straight.
Jeepers Creepers 3 is a satisfying horror film that is reminiscent of the previous two films. I’ve admired The Creeper as a horror character and have always felt that he is unfairly overlooked. There’s a mysterious cloud that follows him around that makes him an intriguing character to watch. The third film shows a lot of The Creeper in the daylight, more than any other film, and it offers new ways to experience the terror. What I enjoyed about The Creeper is the use of his beat down truck that also manages to torment his victims. I thought the dirty old truck was just as menacing as The Creeper. With the movie being set between the first two films, I knew that The Creeper would survive to restart his reign of terror in the second film but to my surprise the film does have moments of suspense where the fate of The Creeper feels unknown.
The previous two films have never delved deep into his dark origins and the third film attempts to reveal the secrets but never fully reaches them. The story is focused on characters and their connections to events that took place 23 years prior to Jeepers Creepers 3. The film had too many characters it was trying to develop and most of them fell off the radar quickly and were never mentioned again. A lot of the scenes felt unfinished and transitioned quickly without ever wrapping up the previous scene. This happened a lot when The Creeper was terrorizing its victims. By finishing up certain scenes, the director could have really strengthened the writing for the film.
The film clearly shows the lack of budget as some of the CGI is equally as horrifying as The Creeper himself. None of the special effects provided for The Creeper’s action scenes felt believable. There were moments of great violence that I found myself enjoying but then suddenly came a moment of horrible CGI that pulled me out of those scenes. Complementing the horrendous CGI is plenty of equally bad acting. The cast displays either cringe-worthy overacting or hardly any acting at all, there’s no in-between. Most of the task force brings the overacting as every scene they had was big and over the top when it came to fighting off The Creeper. The family that is connected to The Creeper shows off the weaker and quieter side of the acting. One of the main leads, Addison (Gabrielle Haugh), spends the entire film trying to find hay for her horse and hiding her crush on a local worker at a family owned market. She has a lot of family issues surrounding her but the way she presents herself never leads her into the role of a strong protagonist that I would be interested in.
Jeepers Creepers 3 has a lot going wrong for it technically but the film still managed to entertain me. I appreciated the way The Creeper was presented and he managed to show me again why I think he’s a seriously underrated horror character. The Creeper returned in a big way and wrapped up the story that started with Jeepers Creepers and ended with Jeepers Creepers 2. If you are a fan of both films, there will be plenty to enjoy in this third installment!
Want to see Jeepers Creepers 3 and judge for yourself? Click on the images below to buy your tickets now for the special October 4 screening, and be sure to come back and tell us what you thought!
Jeepers Creepers 3 runs 1 hour 40 minutes and has not been rated by the MPAA.