Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (R16 88 mins) Directed by Timo Vuorensola ** Reviewed by Graeme Tuckett
Director Timo Vuorensola was responsible for Iron Sky – the movie. It debuted in 2012, after an online trailer and marketing campaign had scared up enough money and interest to get the film financed.
And the campaign was fantastic. Seriously, you won’t see many better 160-second trailers for a low- budget indie in your life than the one that was spruiking Iron Sky in 2010. I mean, “Nazis on the Moon”? Do elevator pitches come any stronger than that?
I even considered sending in a few dollars myself, before sanity and sobriety kicked back in.
But the film that turned up in 2012 was a bit of a dog. Actually, scratch that. Iron Sky was pretty much all of a dog. After a promising first 10 minutes or so, the film settled for lazy jokes that played on a loop. Iron Sky will have its fans – everything does. But it’s generally agreed that the mighty promise of the trailer and the idea that underpinned it had been wasted.
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Which brings us to 2022, with the same Timo Vuorensola turning up as co-writer and all-the-director of Jeepers Creepers: Reborn. Which is threatening to reboot a horror trilogy that kicked off in 2001 with the well-liked and still very cult Jeepers Creepers, before fizzling out in 2017 with a third installment that did no one any favours. Least of all the gullible sods who paid money to see it.
The Creeper – the villain of the show – is a demonic serial killer-type whose schtick is that he hibernates for 23 years, before emerging to feast for exactly 23 days. From memory, there’s some boiler-plate nonsense about ancient prophesies and curses to explain all this, but I may be wrong. I often am.
All that matters is that Jeepers Creepers was a trio of films that had run their course. The Creeper was no Freddy or Jason, who could stand endless reinvention. This was a strictly B-team slasher and should have known when to quit.
Vuorensola kicks off his film with a scene that revisits the 2001 film. And for a moment I wondered if Reborn was going to be a surprise X-style treat.
But the retro first few minutes too quickly resolve into a YouTube documentary being watched in the present day, by a young guy called Chase and his girlfriend Laine. They are driving to a backwoods horror convention – “It’s the Coachella of cosplay,” says someone, twice.
From there, Reborn flickers briefly when the couple and a few others win a stay in a panic room – actually a decrepit farmhouse – that will be the setting for the rest of the film. But whatever meta-promise the idea had is quickly forgotten.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn is a barely serviceable slasher movie that has exactly no memorable moments in its happily brief running time. The online trailer, however, is pretty great. Maybe, Vuorensola should just stick to doing them.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn is now screening in select cinemas nationwide.