The evil entity "The Creeper" makes his return to the big screen after fourteen years, with Jeepers Creepers 3 from Infinity Films, Myriad Pictures & Screen Media Films. Victor Salva, who wrote & directed the first two films, is back in the director's chair, and naturally, one can't help but wonder how scary is the movie? The threequel takes place between the first film and the second film and finds Sgt. Davis Tubbs (Brandon Smith) and a task force of hunters embark on a mission to destroy the Creeper during its last days of feeding.
The Creeper soon fights back when they get close to discovering its mysterious and dark origins. Tubbs, whose character appeared in the first film, is now a broken man. He gets help from the task force, led by Sheriff Dan Tashtego (Stan Shaw), which includes members who have all come into contact with the Creeper at some point in their lives. On the other side of town, Gaylen Brandon (Meg Foster) is raising her granddaughter Addison (Gabrielle Haugh) after suffering a tragic loss twenty-three years prior.
One of the high points of the film is Jonathan Breck as "The Creeper." Breck is still menacing and useful today as he was fourteen years since last playing the role. Additionally, it was a treat to see two of my favorite eighties actors Stan Shaw & Meg Foster, on the big screen. Both Shaw's & Foster's characters have a history with the Creeper, with both characters showcasing their ability to deal with the Creeper.
However, outside of that, there's isn't too much I enjoyed. For starters, as the final girl, Gabrielle Haugh brings nothing to the table. While I never expect some Oscar-worthy acting in a film like this, I always want to root for the final girl to make it. Part of what made the first Jeepers Creepers so strong was Gina Philips in the role of Trisha. I wanted to see Trisha survive and find a way to defeat the Creeper. Ironically, with Jeepers Creepers 3, I hoped the big bad guy would take out the lead heroine.
The rest of the cast was horrible, and I'd be surprised if I ever see any of them do any work again after this film. Salva's script also isn't as sharp as it should be, despite having endless possibilities on where he could take it. When you have a villain making a repeat appearance with the horror genre, the creator owes his audience a back story on what caused the villain to be evil. Jeepers Creepers 3 does offer hints on where "The Creeper" came from and maybe even how to kill it, but these ideas never come into play
In interviews, Salva has mentioned The Creeper has been slaughtering humans in between 23 year break periods since before the dawn of technology, and The Creeper being a demonic consciousness in physical form. Why not take an extra five minutes and give your audience that information? Had Salva provided these plot points, then the audience may be more forgiving. Given the 23 year angle of the Jeepers Creepers franchise, I felt like it would have been wiser to do a series instead of another sequel. The possibilities would be endless, and audiences could finally see The Creeper's origins and maybe see him get his just due.
While Jeepers Creepers 3 does have an ending that includes a surprise cameo and an excellent connection to the second film, there isn't enough to salvage this mess of a movie. I found myself laughing more at how bad the film was. No matter what the genre is, most of the time, the third entry is usually the weakest one. If Salva decides to continue with the franchise, he will need to go back to what made the first film scary.
Final Grade D-