04th Oct2022

‘Jeepers Creepers Reborn’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Imran Adams, Sydney Craven, Jarreau Benjamin, Peter Brooke, Ocean Navarro, Matt Barkley, Georgia Goodman, Gabriel Freilich | Written by Sean-Michael Argo | Directed by Timo Vuorensola

The Horror Hound festival is a big deal, and now, it’s coming to Louisiana for the very first time – the excitement is immense. The geeks, freaks and die-hard horror fans are coming from far and wide to experience the fear and the fun. Chase (Imran Adams; Hollyoaks, Ghosts), a lovable geek, is one such fan. He can’t wait to go and has bagged tickets for him and his devoted girlfriend Laine (Sydney Craven; EastEnders, A Christmas Carol), who has even more exciting news she’s waiting to share…

But as the festival approaches, Laine experiences disturbing premonitions involving the town’s terrifying past … and can’t shake the feeling that something evil is coming. As the festival kicks off and blood-soaked entertainment builds to a frenzy, are Laine and Chase ready to face the legend of the Creeper, in a brand-new horror attraction? Or could Laine’s fears be about to come true – is one of the most wicked demons ever set to wreak havoc, death and devastation on the unsuspecting crowds?

The first thing you notice about Jeepers Creepers Reborn is the fact the franchise has gone all meta, referencing three movies based on the legend of the Creeper – along with the Horrorhound Weekend festival, a bizarre cosplay montage in which our heroine dresses as Freddy Krueger, Edward Scissorhands and more. Yet the story starts out very much like the first Jeepers Creepers movie, with a couple on a road trip coming across the titular monster. Only Jeepers Creepers Reborn isn’t satisfied with just retreading the existing franchise, oh no, it has to throw in a Rosemary’s Baby-like plot device with the films heroine being pregnant and a cult that keeps their eye on her – only in this film the cult worships the Creeper and not Satan!

Jeepers Creepers Reborn does at least offer some backstory, some more mythos to the Creeper. Although it takes the word Reborn in the title a little TOO literally… We see a young version of the monster coming out of hibernation, being “reborn” and then becoming the iconic Creeper – even finding a hat and coat on a scarecrow that is the exact match to that worn in the original trilogy.

However, unlike the original trilogy, this Jeepers Creepers feels like a product of another era, like it’s stepped straight out of the 90s – complete with a techno soundtrack, and visuals that look like a myriad of those direct-to-market teen horrors that followed in the wake of Scream’s success. Yet at the same time, Jeepers Creepers Reborn feels like it’s trying to be one of those monster-led 80s slasher films – the creeper featuring more on screen, in crystal clear technicolour (and some dodgy 90s-like CGI) than in ANY of the other films. It’s almost as if they’re trying to position the creeper as a horror icon like Jason and Freddy! Though the film is more like the latter two Wishmaster movies than those iconic franchises!

Speaking of CGI, what the hell were the filmmakers behind Jeepers Creepers Reborn thinking with the, frankly horrible, use of green-screen? Though given that the movie comes from director Timo Vuorensola, the man behind the Iron Sky franchise, the over-use of CGI becomes something to be expected. Terrible but expected. The colour palette Vuorensola uses doesn’t help either – replete with greens and blues – as if to try and hide the use of green/blue screen (FYI, it doesn’t hide ANYTHING but instead makes things worse!)

Whilst it’s filled with cliches and stereotypes and makes the Creeper feel like a Jason wannabe on a Wishmaster 3 budget, I didn’t hate Jeepers Creepers Reborn. In fact, as someone who enjoyed the studio horrors of the mid-90s to early 2000s (even Halloween Resurrection), I found the film to be somewhat of a comforting throwback to that era. And hey, at least us horror fans can watch this franchise entry in good conscience…

*** 3/5

Jeepers Creepers Reborn gets its digital release on 10 October 2022 and a Blu-ray and DVD debut on October 24th, courtesy of 101 Films.


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