Skip to content

John’s Horror Corner: Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017), the hokey sequel of the trilogy featuring a Fast and Furious intelligent truck. What!?!

March 7, 2023

MY CALL: Not as good as parts 1 and 2, but still a fun ride even if things are getting silly (even for the already very cheeky Creeper and his feisty antics). Probably a good sign to stop making these movies. But who ever listens to that kind of advice? MORE MOVIES LIKE Jeepers Creepers 3: I’d recommend seeing Jeepers Creepers (2001) and Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003) before seeing this sequel—maybe even instead of seeing this sequel. But I’d recommend a hard pass on Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (2022).

The Creeper Timeline: In Jeepers Creepers (2001), we learned that The Creeper is a creature of unknown origin that emerges every 23rd Spring to eat for 23 days… and once it finds a scent it fancies, it will stop at nothing to devour it! Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003) take place on days 22 and 23 of the infernal feast, shortly after the events of Jeepers Creepers (2001). Now part 3 takes place between parts 1 and 2.

So after The Creeper ate Justin Long in part 1, Sheriff Tashtego (Stan Shaw; The Monster Squad) assembled a team of Creeper hunters who recruit Sgt Tubbs (Brandon Smith; Jeepers Creepers) to stop the monster’s murderous rampage in rural Florida. They’ve all seen what this creature can do, and understand it is not of this world.

Part 2 really amped up the action to something awesome, enjoying developments in affordable CGI for the wild flying action shots. However, I fear by this Part 3, writer and director Victor Salva’s (Clownhouse, Jeepers Creepers 1-2) now-overreliance on CGI conveniences have limited the creativity of some kills and flight scenes. I also think the “severed hand gag” was over-milked beyond its worth. Still this sequel offers improvements to the franchise in the form of deepening mythology and folklore among the locals (though more in the form of deepened mystique than actual answers). They even find a way to commune with the monster through its severed remains from decades past (i.e., from its last buffet rampage 23 years earlier).

Every JC movie has its psychic, and in this movie it’s Meg Foster, mother to a teenage farm boy taken in The Creeper’s last binge in the 70s. The nature of these psychics was never explained in the movies. They’re just a device for exposition and harbingers. That’s a shame because I feel like that’s a lost opportunity—like, what if only those who had a brush with The Creeper and survived would be cursed/gifted these visions.

So our psychic bereft mother (Meg Foster; Stepfather 2, They Live31Lords of Salem) whose visions involve her dead son seems to be our main character story. But then there’s also Sheriff Tashtego and his Creeper hunters, which comes with a lot of exposition as the character explains his relevance to the movie on-screen to other characters. And then there’s Sgt Tubbs and his little yarn… and it all gets tangled together. This sequel seems to have too many people crossing paths with their own stories for us to keep track—at least, for what should have been a simple horror movie part 3.

I much preferred the strong link between parts 1 and 2. They each focused on a core group of victims, and the psychic in part 2 had visions of the victims of part 1. Simple, connected, satisfying—even if unexplained. This third movie felt like it was trying to do too much.

Another shortcoming of this sequel is the lack of substantial “answers” regarding the monster mythology. We find more weaponry from the Creeper’s arsenal that harken of Biblical origins (as in part 2). But we lack any satisfying explanation of why; no more hint than the illustrations on the weapons themselves. We learn that The Creeper travels with ravens and crows in its wake as it migrates to new hunting grounds. A nice touch of flavor. Still, I’d like more. And with this being the second sequel, I feel like I’ve earned it.

Now for an odd turn. I felt like The Creeper’s truck got as much attention as the Creeper himself. This heavily booby-trapped truck smacks of the Predator’s ship (i.e., Predator 2 (1990)), boasting a skull trophy of something not of this earth as we know it. Like the Fast and Furious movie series, this later sequel comes with new-fangled toys for our monster, who now has a self-driving truck (yes, you read that correctly—SELF-DRIVING) with a retractable harpoon gun and bulletproof tires and windows. I suppose this tricked up truck wasn’t fully functional in parts 1 or 2 for some reason… because there were certainly scenes where this would have come into play! The bulletproof car results in some hokey shenanigans, and the car releases Mario Kart bomb-shells. It’s almost cartoonishly silly to watch. That vehicle is a 1940s truck suped up into a  future-tech war wagon.

The final confrontation has some nice visuals, but overall lacks the flair and ghoulish heart of its predecessors. The creature seemed like it felt defeated in the end, but we don’t really understand why. At this point, I’m not sure I even cared. The movie was fun and all, but I never felt invested in the outcome. The movie ends with Trish (part 1’s survivor; Gina Philips; Jeepers Creepers, The Sickhouse) taunting the next 23rd year emergence of the beast. I suppose we were to expect a JC 4 taking place 23 years after JC 1-3 and hopefully teaming up with our farmer dad (Ray Wise) who defeated the monster and waited 23 years for The Creeper’s resurrection at the end of Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003). But alas, why would they give us the movie we deserve?

This is not nearly as good as JC 2, which might have been better than it deserved to be. For me, most to least entertaining would be JC 2, JC, JC 3. Still, this was a fun jaunt, especially when viewed in close proximity to the others for appreciation of the timeline.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: