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Gouging Out My Peepers

Jeepers Creepers 3 follows a small town's fight against the Creeper. A band of cops, along with a variety of other characters, do battle against the creature as they attempt to end its reign of terror once and for all.

Jeepers Creepers 3 Review

It's sad to see such a young film franchise lose its edge, originality and presence in only its third film. JC3 decided it was better off becoming a mockery of itself, rather than a progression of the Creeper concept.

It seems that it is becoming more and more common that a horror fan has to admit with some level of guilt that they enjoyed Jeepers Creepers. I stand by it, however embarrassed I am supposed to feel. I think the original property was one of the best potential horror icons we've seen in decades. It was this unusual blend of monster and slasher at its core, with the character displaying sentience and deviance beneath a layer of animalistic and primal tendencies.

The first film's fault, in my opinion, is the need to embrace some degree of surreal mysticism. Why not let the Creeper be this unusual being that operates in some level of corporeal standards? Why bring psychics into it? And sadly, the sequels embrace this element rather than cut it loose.

At least the sequel attempted to deliver more Creeper mayhem on top of its supernatural gag that seems so secondary that it's primarily used to eat up runtime on a cheaper dime and fake some semblance of character development and plot. But like Victor Crowley, I just don't think a "plot" with the Creeper is necessary.

If I had the talent necessary to orchestrate a feature film, I would have embraced the Creeper's nature and structure within the confines of our reality, letting the mystery be the scientific approach, like a good ol' creature feature or monster movie. There's no need for the supernatural here, and I think it derails from the greatness the Creeper could have been.

But alas, we get a third film that is laughably off-track and virtually unwatchable in its abysmal plot, weak acting, and worse script. The effects and cinematography that drove the first two films are nearly absent here as well, with no sequences worth mentioning in the horror or action space outside of a SyFy original.

And for some reason, this film decided that nothing should be taken seriously. Sure, the first film didn't take itself all-that-seriously either, but it had this blend of pulp that at least had the pride to know its creation had promise and legitimacy.

The most disappointing thing about JC3 is that it convinced me the franchise is dead before it had a chance to fly. The potential of the Creeper is now all-but erased for me outside of a reboot. While normally I wouldn't approve of such a thing for such a "young" film, the Creeper deserves better than what it got, not only in production value, but the stigma that comes along with its morally bankrupt director.

Some may not think the Creeper to be original or an effective vehicle for a franchise. I disagree, personally, as I think it brings a fresh blend of two sub genres and had the potential to be the icon of a new generation. No longer. It's now just a failed franchise that couldn't latch onto the things that made it special, and couldn't even become a sardonic twist of itself to any success like the Crowley series was able to pull off.

So for this century so far we have Crowley and Jigsaw and a band of remakes and sequels from the icons that impressed us in the 70s and 80s. The Creeper as a solo entry deserves its recognition, but the sad display of quality that has spiraled out of control in its two sequels proves this franchise should just die. It doesn't deserve to ride the proverbial wave of the regenerated flesh wings it flew in on.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 8/10

Horror Quality: 4/10

Film Quality: 2/10

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