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Things You Forgot Happened In Jeepers Creepers

A classic scary movie is timeless.

Despite outdated cinematic elements ranging from costumes to makeup to storytelling, a perpetually good scary movie can still induce hair-raising fear years later. Horror film Jeepers Creepers might be nearing twenty years old, but the movie is arguably just as scary today as it was when it hit theaters in 2001.

Jeepers Creepers follows siblings Darius "Darry" Jenner (Justin Long) and Patricia "Trish" Jenner (Gina Philips). Similar to other horror movies that feature the main characters taking a wrong turn and ending up in a living nightmare, Darry and Trish find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unless, of course, audience members believe the Creeper (Jonathan Breck) is the hero of this story. After all, this straight-out-of-hell creature is the titular character, and the movie franchise centers around the Creeper.

Three Jeepers Creepers movies have graced the big screen with their presence. The first installment came out in the early 2000s. Given those two details, audience members might not remember every single scene that occurred in the first film, and they might also get the first and second movies mixed up since the second one was released in 2003. The third film dropped in 2017. For anyone who'd like a refresher, we're here to reacquaint you with the events of the Jeepers Creepers movie that started it all.

Darry and Trish's nightmare begins because they take the scenic route home

Darry and Trish begin the movie on a road trip home from college. With the movie taking place in rural Florida, they take the scenic route home as they're on spring break and have nothing but time. Mind you, the scenic route happens to be the setting for the perfect horror movie: in the middle of nowhere, where so many outstanding examples of the genre seem to find themselves located. To further set the stage, the road the siblings traveling on is a typical country highway consisting of two lanes in which traffic goes in the opposite direction of one another. This simple detail even makes passing another vehicle perfect horror movie fodder.

Unfortunately for Darry and Trish, their nightmare could have been avoided if they would have taken the quicker route home. Even more unfortunate is that they cross paths with a demonic creature that's surrounded by mystery. And he's also an aggressive driver.

The Creeper might be able to fly, but he also drives

Before the audience discovers who the antagonist is, Darry and Trish are tailgated by a rusty truck that, unsurprisingly, has the appearance of a vehicle that comes straight out of a horror movie. An ominous truck coming up hard and fast in one's rear view mirror was perhaps best used in this context in the 1971 TV movie Duel, in which a young Steven Spielberg put star Dennis Weaver in the sights of an unseen driver behind the wheel of a massive, dangerous Peterbilt 281. 

In the case of Jeepers Creepers, however, the audience finds out fairly quickly that the Creeper drives this truck. The significance? The Creeper, who's not human, can fly. And it's revealed that he can fly fast after Trish questions how someone can loot their car and get back and forth to the church — where the Creeper keeps his victims — so fast.

Being a monster film, a genre that usually features the monsters only coming out at night for special effects and storytelling purposes, it's easy to forget that the Creeper can drive. (Who's the lucky individual who taught him that skill?) The Creeper not only drives, though, but he also appears to do his business during all hours of the day.

The Creeper isn't afraid to do his killings during the day

Darry and Trish first see the Creeper dumping bodies at the abandoned church that's conveniently located in plain view of the road. Not only do they see this strange figure unloading corpses into a large pipe that sticks out of the ground, but they get a clear, full frontal shot of the Creeper after he spots them watching him.

In most — yet not all — monster movies, the monster doesn't usually fight on an equal playing field. Monsters stick to their strengths. Vampires, for example, do their monster mashing at night — and for obvious reasons, as sunlight is one of their biggest weaknesses. It's not always easy to remember, especially if you've only seen the first installment of this franchise, but the Creeper isn't afraid to roam free and do his business during the daytime.

After the Creeper sees Darry and Trish watching him, he proceeds to get in his truck and chase after them. He rams into their car several times until their vehicle goes off the side of the road, and then the Creeper speeds off into the day. The Creeper, at this point in the movie, is only trying to scare the siblings, so they could have presumably gone on their way mostly untouched. But Darry decides to be a hero.

Darry's heroism leads to his eventual death

Darry convinces his sister to go back to the church to see what the Creeper is throwing down the pipe. After all, blood-stained sheets that are shaped like human bodies could be anything...

Darry hears something coming from the pipe, so he has his sister hold his feet as he tries to get a better view of what lurks below. He sees rats and freaks out. Trish accidentally lets go of his legs and he falls into the pipe. He finds an underground tomb filled with bodies and one poor victim who's still barely alive but on his way out. This is the Creeper's hideout, also referred to as the House of Pain. Instead of helping Darry find a way out, Trish follows her brother's orders and leaves him to fend for himself so she can flag a passing car down for help. Against all odds, Darry makes it out, their car starts, and they drive away.

Probably even at this point, Darry and Trish could have left this town and called for help once they were out of harm's way. Darry, of course, wants justice for the lifeless victims he found, so they go to a nearby diner to contact the authorities. This, unfortunately, gives the Creeper more time to find out that someone discovered his lair, with all signs pointing to Darry and Trish. It also leaves the door open for the Creeper to discover that Darry and Trish are in possession of something that he must have.

Darry and Trish did mostly everything right, even for a scary movie

Darry and Trish find the bodies and link them to the Creeper. Instead of leaving town, they contact local authorities to solve a case involving hundreds of dead people. With that said, they still do basically everything right, especially for a horror movie, a genre that routinely sees the characters do the exact opposite of what they should do.

Even after the first cops to respond are killed by the Creeper, Darry and Trish drive to an old woman's house and ask to call the police. Caught in the crosshairs, the Creeper kills the woman. Darry and Trish escape to their vehicle, and momentarily hurt the Creeper by running him over. They've seen his inhuman face and know he can fly. It wouldn't have been out of the ordinary for them to no longer seek help from the authorities because typical horror movie logic would have the main characters thinking that no one will believe their story. But Darry and Trish go to a police station for help anyway, and this inadvertently sets in motion what a lady sees in her psychic dreams.

The psychic lady

Darry and Trish find out what the Creeper is because of a random phone call. While at the diner, an unknown woman calls them on a payphone that they're coincidentally standing next to. The woman somehow knows who they are and the danger that lies ahead. She tells them that if they hear the song "Jeepers Creepers," they need to run away as fast as possible.

It's not until after Darry and Trish arrive at the police station that the audience discovers who the woman is: a psychic named Jezelle Gay Hartman (Patricia Belcher). Jezelle tells them that the creature is an ancient being that awakens every 23rd spring for 23 days to feast on the living. The Creeper eats human body parts and those parts become part of him. The Creeper seeks out his victims through fear, and, via smell, he has found something he wants from Trish and Darry.

The Creeper can't die

The Creeper doesn't solely eat human flesh that becomes part of his makeshift vessel, but he's also virtually impossible to kill. Case in point: Trish runs over the Creeper multiple times with her car. The Creeper momentarily appears mutilated and dead. But then a wing sprouts up from the Creeper and the siblings drive off in fear — they have no clue what they're dealing with, but they're not going to stick around to find out.

The Creeper follows Trish and Darry to the police station, and rejuvenates himself by eating prisoners' body parts. The Creeper can be hurt and slowed down, but it's not easy for everyone to remember that the first movie doesn't give a formula to kill him — and, therefore, he can't be killed. That makes Jeepers Creepers even more terrifying, as the only way to defeat the Creeper is to survive his 23 days of terror. The Creeper is an unimaginable creature beyond this world and the only way to stop him is to...not die. Darry never stood a chance.

The story behind the Jeepers Creepers song

This movie takes its name from the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers." In the first movie, Darry and Trish receive an ominous warning to run whenever it's played. So whether audience members remember it or not, the song itself isn't just the title of the movie, but it also plays a significant role and occurs multiple times. Jezelle plays it to them on the phone. They hear it again in their car. Jezelle sings it at the police station. Perhaps maddening of all, the song plays at the end of the movie during the big reveal.

Since the Creeper is attracted to specific humans and will stop at nothing until he gets what he desires, the song's lyrics are a bit sadistic when paired with Jeepers Creepers the movie. The lyrics, in fact, foreshadow Darry's fate: "Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers? Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?"

The Creeper takes Darry's eyes

Time has a funny way of clouding memory. Jeepers Creepers has a memorable ending, but it can be easily forgotten over time. And, unfortunately, only one of the two main characters survive. Trish lives on to tell her story, but Darry perishes at the end of Jeepers Creepers in a brutal death.

Trish, in a last-ditch effort to save her brother, tries sacrificing herself, telling the Creeper to take her instead because she's stronger. The Creeper contemplates her offer but then flies off into the night with Darry. Darry isn't shown again until the graphic ending in which his eyes are missing. The Creeper, as if he's posing for the camera, stands on the other side of Darry and looks through the holes in Darry's face. The Creeper's eyes have presumably been replaced with Darry's, disturbingly making Darry's eyes appear to look through the holes of where they once were.

The movie doesn't end with much hope

There are three Jeepers Creepers movies, so it's safe to assume, whether you remember the first movie or not, that the Creeper survives the first installment. Every viewer might not remember, however, that the movie ends on a sinister note, with no hope in sight.

A defeated and emotionally drained Trish leaves the police station not knowing if she'll ever see her brother again. It's fair to assume that she knows she's already lost him as there's no way of finding the Creeper — and he can't be killed. And, of course, the final scene of the movie features the Creeper still alive and peacefully working in his new lair, now with Darry's eyes in his own head. It's no wonder Jeepers Creepers haunts people's dreams to this day. Maybe people don't necessarily forget the entire movie because of how long ago it came out — they forget because the ending is the stuff of nightmares and they choose not to remember.