So, for nearly 15 years, Jeepers Creepers fans had been waiting for a sequel to this franchise, hoping that The Creeper was going to return to the big screen to bring more terror to hapless victims. Questions arose to how this would happen, as we saw that the creature was seemingly defeated after the second film, with the desiccated body hanging in a barn showing that the demon had gone into hibernation for the next twenty-three springs. Would we see a film set twenty-three years from that first film, some sort of sci-fi vision of the future where the body comes back to life and somehow escapes the barn it was kept within? Or would Victor Salva (writer, director, and overall creator of the Jeepers Creepers franchise) take the story back to the old west (as was the rumors that had been swirling around, hinting that the story would go that way when he spoke in interviews)?
Well, as it turns out, after waiting a decade and a half, Salva decided to create a story that takes place between the first and second film, showing what The Creeper had been up to after it took Darry and before it terrorized the busload of high schoolers stuck on the desolate highway.
So…before we dive into this film, let’s synopsize Jeepers Creepers 3…
Set between the first and second film, Sergeant Davis Tubbs (Brandon Smith)—along with Sheriff Dan Tashtego (Stan Shaw)—assembles a task force to hunt and destroy The Creeper (Jonathan Breck) once and for all while growing closer than ever in learning the secrets of its dark origins, as the monster terrorizes a local farming community.
Right away, I’d noticed that the film had a different feel to it, ostensibly showing that Salva had changed his directing style and filming tastes, which didn’t necessarily make me dislike this film at the beginning, but was a little different nonetheless. At this point I had known this was going to be an in-between story so I was going with it the best I could. I couldn’t help but think that this was going to go the route of Rogue One where I knew how it would end, that the creature wouldn’t be killed in the finale. I mean, if part one and part two were only days apart, it’s obvious that The Creeper wasn’t going to be defeated in this story.
With that in mind, really, the only way to enjoy this film is to watch what The Creeper does, who it kills, who it eats, and what new things we can learn about it. But do we truly learn anything about it? A little, I guess…but that’s not saying much—trust me.
Okay, so it’s nitpick time.
One of the main things I’d liked about the first two films—which is a theme I like about most good horror flicks—is setting most of the film in the dark. Although the first film starts off during the day, that was the time of the film where we didn’t see much of The Creeper, with the remainder of the film taking place at night. The same goes for the second film, where the shit goes down when night falls. Here in Jeepers Creepers 3, just about everything takes place during the day. So many things go against the film because of that fact and diminishes the terror and horror we should be feeling for the characters in this story. For one, the special effects don’t look that great, specifically the CGI. I’m sure Salva had a hard time selling this film and trying to get a decent budget for it…seeing The Creeper’s booby traps shooting out from his vehicle, and even his wings flapping behind him, give this away in such a paltry way. It probably would’ve helped if the effects were concealed or suppressed would they have shot these scenes in the dark. But even if the CGI was near perfect, having The Creeper appear in the daytime doesn’t seem as scary. Keeping those things in mind, along with some of the sound effects as well, all make for this film to be a bit of a downer.
Probably the biggest question I have for this film: What was with Sergeant Tubbs’ terrible hairpiece? If anything shows the limited budget this movie attained, it’s that awful periwig.
I think I’ve said enough about this film. What’s my final “bit” on Jeepers Creepers 3?
For a film that was many years in the making, as well as Victor Salva constantly talking about doing a sequel during all that time, this sure was a mediocre accomplishment. You’d figure he’d have something more in store for us, either showing us The Creeper’s origins long ago or going into the future to see how it was going to escape its capture. Talks of having Gina Philips reprising her role as Trisha while teaming up with an aging Taggart to finally go after and ending The Creeper for good sounded like such a great concept, I really don’t know why Salva didn’t go with that angle. Though Philips reprised her role for about a minute at the end of this one, setting up a potential sequel later on, it was probably all for naught as I don’t think we’ll ever get another Jeepers Creepers film unless Salva gives the rights to another filmmaker to do it. If you want to see an okay, yet average, horror movie, go ahead and seek this out (I think it’s still on SyFy’s OnDemand channel and even streaming on Netflix). Even if you’re a Jeepers Creepers fan, this film is worth a watch…somewhat. It’d be interesting to watch all three movies in a sitting (if you’ve got about six hours to kill), but just make sure to watch it in this order: part one, part three, and then part two. At least part two will leave it on a high note.
Thanks for reading!