The film opens with an elderly couple driving on a highway, encountering something unexplained and horrific before disappearing. Twenty-two years later, The Creeper is often spoken of as an urban legend or a myth. Now we are introduced to Laine (Sydney Craven), who is being dragged along on a road trip thanks to her partner Chase (Imran Adam). Chase is a huge fan of all things relating to The Creeper, including the rumours and theories about its possible return. We learn quickly that Laine and Chase are keeping huge secrets from each other. Laine suspects that she might be pregnant but has yet to confirm it. As for Chase, he’s holding a wedding ring in his pocket and is waiting to ask Laine that special big question.
While driving, Chase suggests the pair visit a voodoo store and ask for directions. Here, Laine and Chase have a few strange encounters while looking around, including strange interactions with the store owner. The store owner claims to know already that Laine is pregnant, and both are unsure how to react after hearing this claim. No matter, the road trip continues, and Chase finally reveals that the pair are on their way to a Horror Hound Festival. The Horror Hound Festival celebrates all things relating to horror films and pop culture.
Most importantly, it also celebrates the legend of The Creeper. Certain people at the festival are familiar with The Creeper, and these rumours only excite Chase even more. However, Laine becomes more concerned and distances herself from everything around her at the festival. She even begins to have unexpected premonitions. The festival’s highlight is a giveaway where two lucky winners will experience an escape room known as ‘The Creeper House’. Luckily for Laine and Chase, they win the major prize and are joined by a small group who will be filming their activity in the house overnight. Naturally, The Creeper has also awoken and has a thirst for blood. Of course, The Creeper decides to make an appearance at the festival and the Creeper-themed home. But this time, The Creeper isn’t working alone and is somehow getting help from a mysterious cult.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn is best described as a horror film that serves as the fourth instalment and continues after the second film from 2003 (as the third, released in 2017, was a prequel). I’ve always found the Jeepers Creepers franchise provides a fun time with solid horror aspects. Both the first and the second films earnt praise from me. However, while I had hopes for this new instalment, it’s packed with many disappointing factors and little to speak highly about.
The most exciting aspect of Jeepers Creepers: Reborn is when the film reaches its one-hour mark, and we finally get a group of misfits stuck in a house being hunted by The Creeper. Still, by the time the real plot begins, the credits roll shortly after. Everything before this moment feels dull and pointless, lacking proper storytelling. The film also suffers continuity issues, especially in the opening.
Compared to the previous instalments, this one feels extremely cheap, almost like a YouTube fan made it. The heavy use of green screens cheapens the production and removes any realism or horror that should be presented on-screen. Those who know the previous films well will be even more disappointed when they find this new feature introduces new rules and laws surrounding The Creeper himself. These new rules don’t make any sense, and the ending also left me baffled and frustrated due to the lack of explanations. The look and general appearance of The Creeper himself feels toned down, and performances from the remaining cast are hard to support as they are unlikeable. This includes the character Chase who is just so obsessed with The Creeper he is like a childhood fan. It makes zero sense to me why someone like Laine would even adore this kind of person. The two leads lack chemistry, and the idea that the two have a strong relationship is not convincing.
Overall, the world was excited when a fourth instalment was summoned for the big screen. The potential was strong, but sadly, the results were a big disaster. Unlikeable characters, extreme use of poor effects (including too much green screen) and a toned-down Creeper are just some of the issues here. The plot is also tortuous, and the film’s first hour is a major drag lacking any form of excitement. By the time the film delivers any form of entertainment, the end credits are just around the corner. Fans of the series will also be frustrated to see new laws introduced, which also make zero sense. The absurd ending will only leave fans extremely riddled with many questions.