Justin Long, Gina Philips. Directed by Victor Slava.
Running Time: 89 mins
Rated: MA 15+

Horror films are meant to be cathartic. The safe distance of the cinema is supposed to help us face up to our worst nightmares and deal with the fear or dread these things hold. They are some of the most tightly structured films in the cinema. The plot, characters, situations and music are completely predictable and yet, if the director has done his or her job, the audience usually screams and jumps on queue. Horror films have attracted large numbers of young people for decades. The relatively recent sub-genre of schlock-horror sends up horror films by using the mainstream conventions but playing them for laughs. It's hard to know on which side Jeepers Creepers falls.

Derry (Long) and Trish (Philips) are on their way home for summer holidays from University. Out of nowhere they are pursued and run off the road by a fierce man in huge pick-up truck. Later they see him dump some blood stained sheets down a well. They turn back and investigate!

If you like to be frightened at the cinema this film has many of the ingredients for a decent shock or two: isolated locations, no way out, missing persons, power failures, murders, dead bodies, stupid decisions, alien invasion of bodies and an incompetent police force. The problem here is that the writers and director are not sure whether they playing it for laughs or really trying to be spooky.

After a promising start, Jeepers Creepers is neither funny nor scary and so limps along to the end.

Richard Leonard SJ

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