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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Jeepers Creepers 2 (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
Jeepers Creepers 2 (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
Shout Factory // R // June 14, 2016 // Region A
List Price: $34.93 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by William Harrison | posted June 25, 2016 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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THE FILM:

Click an image to view Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution.

The original Jeepers Creepers did not exactly allow its protagonists to ride into the sunset victorious over the Creeper, so this sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2, tackles an entirely new story. Nearing the end of its 23-day reign of terror, the Creeper wants to get some last-minute hunting done before it hibernates for another 23 years. The prey here is a group of high-school students returning from an away game. Their bus breaks down on the side of the rode, rendering them easy pickings for the Creeper. This sequel offers more action, digital effects and gore than its predecessor, but the story is not as satisfying. There are few particularly likeable characters, and the large number of students hurts any potential character development. Even so, Jeepers Creepers 2 is an enjoyable sequel that expands on the first film's mythology, and the Creeper remains a memorable, nearly unstoppable villain.

Let's address the elephant in the room first. Yes, Director Victor Salva is a convicted sex offender, and yes, there are a lot of shirtless young men in Jeepers Creepers 2. I tried not to read anything into that, and will focus the remainder of the review on what is on screen. When a football team's bus breaks down - with help from the Creeper - in the countryside where Darry and Trish previously encountered a hellacious monster, a number of young students and teachers are stranded and vulnerable. A title card informs viewers this is "Day 23;" the last day of the Creeper's cycle for those in the know. Student Minxie Hayes (Nicki Aycox) sees visions of a bloodied, frightened Darry (Justin Long) warning her of impending danger, but the group is initially confused when members begin disappearing, seemingly dragged into the sky by an unseen force. Their only salvation comes from Jack Taggart Sr. (Ray Wise) and his son, Jack Taggart Jr. (Luke Edwards), who watched a family member fall victim to the Creeper.

This sequel is not as stylish or intelligent as the original, but it has a certain likeable utility that kept me entertained. The stage is bigger and players numerous, but Salva still keeps a tight focus, remaining with the stricken bus throughout much of the movie. Since viewers already know what they're getting into, Jeepers Creepers 2 expands the mythology while offering more action and more expensive effects. The original kept the Creeper's flying to a minimum, this sequel sends him airborne frequently. The first film thrived on the unknown, this sequel is more of a Creeper throwdown, particularly in the finale. Jonathan Breck returns as the Creeper, and the make-up and effects crew improves upon the creature's look and design. There are some excellent kills here, and, while not especially scary, there are some nice jolts and surprises when the Creeper attacks.

The main human drama involves the students. There are allegiances and enemies, and some of that high-school melodrama is grating. There are a couple of jocks that deserve a nasty death, and I couldn't wait for them to stop talking. The Creeper terrorizes the bus at length, seductively licking the windows in one unsettling, darkly funny scene. The movie retains the campy atmosphere of the first, even if it has a distinctly more modern feel. Salva and cinematographer Don E. FauntLeRoy stage some gorgeous shots in sunbaked cornfields. The scene where the Creeper throws his homemade weapon in slow motion stands out, as do the Creeper's flying jumps during the climax. Minxie's visions were shot upside down and righted, giving them an out-of-body feel, which is clever. Jeepers Creepers 2 is not perfect, and may have benefitted from fewer bodies and a defined protagonist. Even so, there is plenty to enjoy in the action and creature-feature villain.

THE BLU-RAY:

PICTURE:

Scream Factory did a new 2K scan of the original film for its recent release but recycles the 2.37:1/1080p/AVC-encoded image from MGM's previous Blu-ray release for Jeepers Creepers 2. The image is decent but not without flaws. Grain is natural and film-like, and fine-object detail is excellent. I noticed no noise reduction or digital tinkering, and print damage is very minimal. The colors run a bit hot in spots, and skin tones reflect the late-summer color scheme. Black levels are mostly good, and shadow detail is readily apparent. I did notice a fair amount of digital artifacts, which can be somewhat distracting in darker scenes. A new encode may have cleaned that up a bit.

SOUND:

The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is effective, with good element separation and plenty of surround-driven effects. The Creeper swoops and rolls around the sound field, and the ambient effects of a country night surround the viewer. There are more pronounced action effects this go-round, but dialogue and score do not suffer. The mix uses directional effects well, and viewers will hear frequent Creeper action behind their heads and off to stage right and left. An English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is also included, as are English subtitles.

PACKAGING AND EXTRAS:

Scream Factory sprung for a two-disc "Collector's Edition" of Jeepers Creepers 2, which is not something I would have expected a few years ago. The discs are packed in a standard case with two-sided artwork. The front key artwork is new; the inside offers the classic artwork. A slipcover replicates the newly designed key artwork. On Disc 1 you get an Audio Commentary by Director Victor Salva and cast members Eric Nenninger, Josh Hammond, Nicki Aycox, Marieh Delfino, Garikayi Mutambirwa and Shaun Fleming. This is not the best track, as the cast prefers to joke around while Salva tries to talk production details. The Commentary by Jonathan Breck, Creeper designer Brad Parker and make-up effects artist Brian Penikas is better and more focused.

Disc 2 opens with Jeepers Creepers 2: Then and Now (22:30/HD), a good retrospective with interviews from Salva, FauntLeRoy and others. They reveal the impact of the first film, discuss shooting on location for Jeepers Creepers 2, and talk about a proposed second sequel. A Father's Revenge (15:20/HD) sees Ray Wise discuss his character and working with Salva. Don't Get Off the Bus (20:52/HD) offers new interviews with Tom Tarantini, Thom Gossom Jr. and Diane Delano. Several older extras appear, too: A Day in Hell - A Look at the Filming of Jeepers Creepers 2 (26:40/SD); Lights, Camera, Creeper: The Making of Jeepers Creepers 2 (14:20/SD); Creeper Creation (11:30/SD), a neat breakdown of the creature; a Visual Effects Reel (5:20/SD); Creeper Composer (9:30/SD), an interview with composer Bennett Salvay; some Storyboards of Un-shot Scenes (10:00/SD); some Deleted Scenes (15:50/SD); a Stills Gallery; and the Trailer (2:13/HD).

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Neither as original nor as memorable as the original film, Jeepers Creepers 2 is still an enjoyable sequel anchored by a unique, creature-feature villain. Victor Salva's sequel ups the gore, effects and action, but the story and characters suffer. Scream Factory's new Blu-ray release offers decent picture, good audio and some excellent supplements. Recommended.


Additional screenshots:

William lives in Burlington, North Carolina, and looks forward to a Friday-afternoon matinee.

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