Friday 7 October 2022

REVIEW: Jeepers Creepers: Reborn - Starring Imran Adams and Sydney Craven

Review by Jon Donnis
One of the biggest problems in rebooting/re-imagining/rebirthing a classic horror film, is that you lose the initial surprise build-up of the main character, and even if you never saw the original 3 films, if you come to this film completely fresh, you are more than likely going to search on google for Jeepers Creepers, and in doing so, you pretty much learn everything about the main character in a few seconds looking at a few posters or screenshots. So out of the window goes the old reveal and element of surprise, which you only ever truly get to do once.

Perhaps realising this Jeepers Creepers: Reborn takes a slightly different approach, and instead of making this a sequel, or even pretending that the original films never happened, Reborn takes the unusual step of referencing the original films.... as films. Yes, the original Jeepers Creepers trilogy exists in the Reborn universe as 3 films.

The film starts with a short re-enactment of the original film, 23 years ago an older couple are driving down a road when a big red truck speeds up behind them, it eventually passes them, but later in the drive they see the driver of that truck dumping something down a large pipe that goes underground, by an old house. Suddenly the truck appears behind them again, they manage to escape, but return to the house to see for themselves what was being dumped. They look down the pipe, scream, and we quickly fast forward to the present.

Chase (Imran Adams) and his girlfriend Laine (Sydney Craven) are off to The Horror Hound Festival, it is finally coming to Louisiana for the first time ever. Horror fans from all over the country are descending on the State to experience the fear and fun of the festival.

Laine starts to have strange psychic visions that involve the town's past. They learn more about the stories of the Creeper, and Laine starts to get the feeling that something evil is coming.

The film pretty early on shows the Creeper as he crawls out of a barn in a very decrepit state, awakened from his 23-year hibernation. (for those unfamiliar with the mythology, the Creeper sleeps for 23 years, then he wakes up, feeds on humans for 23 days, then goes back into hibernation.) Well, he awakens, and to regain his strength he must feed.

The film goes down a lot of the classic horror monster routes, stupid young people making bad decisions, a monster that keeps coming up with imaginative ways to kill people. And a few twists and turns along the way to keep the horror fan happy.

The Good
Forget about the previous films, watch this as a standalone film where you already kind of know what the monster is all about, (since he is literally on the poster and in the trailer). This is a classic horror film, which ticks all the boxes you would expect. It is also a great vehicle for two young actors to further expand their acting work. A tight runtime is also appreciated. There are some nice gruesome scenes and the Creeper looks as good as he ever did.

The Bad
A low budget means that there is a lot of green screen backgrounds, which I am not a fan of, although once they get into the big house to have the showdown with the Creeper, that is where the film hits full speed.

If you can separate this film from the original, and accept it as a standalone low budget horror film, then you should enjoy it for it is. If you try to compare it to the original then you are being unfair to this film, since the original had the benefit of surprise, which this one simple does not.

I am a horror fan, and I appreciate that they had a tight budget to work with, and with that budget they did a decent job. Imran Adams and Sydney Craven both have huge potential, and I am sure they will both have long and successful careers ahead of them.

Out in select cinemas now, and on Blu-ray and DVD on October 24th.