Trish Jenner and her brother Darry are traveling home from college for spring break. As they drive through the Florida countryside, an old, rusty truck tries to run them off the road. The vehicle eventually passes them, and they later see the same truck parked next to an abandoned church with a man sliding what appears to be a body wrapped in bloodstained sheets into a large pipe sticking out of the ground. The man notices Trish and Darry watching him and attempts to run them off the road a second time.
After escaping, Darry convinces Trish to go back to the church and investigate. At the church, Darry hears noises coming from within the pipe and crawls inside with Trish holding on to his feet, but he ends up falling in after being startled by a swarm of rats. At the bottom, he finds a dying man with stitches running down his stomach, and hundreds of other bodies sewn to the walls and ceiling. After Darry escapes, the two flee the scene and attempt to contact the police at a diner. At the diner, they are phoned by a strange woman who warns them that they are in danger. Confused and frightened, they ignore her warning. Trish and Darry leave, with two police officers providing a security escort. As they travel, the police learn that the church has caught fire, and any evidence of bodies has been destroyed. The police are then attacked and killed by the mysterious driver, who loads their bodies into his truck.
Fleeing, Trish and Darry stop at a reclusive old woman's house, and beg her to call the police. The woman complies until she notices the driver hiding in her yard. She attempts to kill him, but the driver kills her and reveals his inhuman face to Trish and Darry, before pursuing them once again. Trish runs the driver over with her car, but they are horrified to see a giant wing tear through his trench coat and flap frantically in the air. They drive to the local police station, where they are approached by psychic Jezelle Gay Hartman. She reveals herself as the woman who called them at the diner and tells them the true nature of their pursuer: it is an ancient creature, known as "The Creeper", which hunts every twenty-third spring for twenty-three days to feast on human body parts, which then form parts of its own body. She also tells them that it seeks out its victims through fear, and, by smelling the fear from Trish and Darry, it has found something it likes, but she does not know what.
The wounded Creeper arrives and attacks the police station. After cutting off the power, it gains entrance to the cells and feasts on prisoners to heal. The Creeper is swarmed by police but kills a number of them and evades capture. Trapped, Jezelle warns Trish and Darry that one of them will die a horrible death. Darry demands to know who, and Jezelle looks at Trish. The Creeper finds them, spares Jezelle as she does not have anything it wants, and pursues Trish and Darry. The Creeper corners them in an upstairs interrogation room. After sniffing and tasting them, the Creeper throws Trish aside and chooses Darry. Trish offers her life for her brother's, but the Creeper escapes out of the window and flies away with Darry.
The next day, Trish is picked up by her parents, and Jezelle returns home in regret.
Finally, the Creeper is in its new hideout, an abandoned factory, where it becomes clear that he has removed the back of Darry's head and taken his eyes.Gina Philips as Patricia "Trish" Jenner
Justin Long as Darius "Darry" Jenner/Creeper at the end scene of the movie (uncredited cameo)
Jonathan Breck as the Creeper / Bald Cop
Patricia Belcher as Jezelle Gay Hartman
Brandon Smith as Sergeant Davis Tubbs
Eileen Brennan as the Cat Lady
Jon Beshara as Trooper Robert Gideon
Avis-Marie Barnes as Trooper Natasha Weston
Tom Tarantini as Roach
Jeepers Creepers was filmed in Dunnellon, Florida in the summer of 2000.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 45% of 108 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5.1/10. The sites consensus reads: "Jeepers Creepers has a promising start. Unfortunately, the tension and suspense quickly deflates into genre cliches as the movie goes on." Metacritic rated it 49/100. Scott Foundas of Variety wrote that it is "the most conventional and least imaginative of the recent crop of high-class fright movies". Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "a cannier-than-average teen horror movie" that "disintegrates into a shoot-by-numbers monster hunt". Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "has the scariest opening sequence of any horror picture in recent memory" but becomes an "amusing horror-comedy, spooky and jolting but too literally preposterous to regain its initial aura of suspense." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote that the film starts off well but quickly degenerates into cliche.
Jeepers Creepers opened in 2,944 theaters and took in a US gross of $37.9 million; it later made $21.3 million internationally, making a total of $59.2 million worldwide.
It broke the record for the highest ever Labor Day opening weekend four-day gross, holding the record until the 2003 release of its sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2. After the 2015 Labor Day weekend, Jeepers Creepers holds the #7 spot and the #5 spot goes to its sequel. Allowing for films that had been released prior to Labor Day, Jeepers Creepers holds the #16 spot for the Labor Day four-day weekend, with the #9 spot going to Jeepers Creepers 2.Nominated: 28th Saturn Awards - Best Horror Film
Nominated: 28th Saturn Awards - Best Young Actor: Justin Long
Nominated: International Horror Guild Award - Best Movie
Nominated: 34th Sitges Film Festival - Best Film
In 2003, a sequel was released, Jeepers Creepers 2. Events in the second film take place four days after the first film. The Creeper and Darry are the only characters to appear in both films, although they are not the only actors to appear in both films. In the first film, actor Tom Tarantini appears as the minor character "Austin McCoy" AKA "Roach" who is a car thief and regular in the Poho County jail. In the second film, he portrays "Coach Dwayne Barnes".
On September 11, 2015, Jeepers Creepers 3 was officially greenlit., with a planned 2017 release. Victor Salva returns as director, Jonathan Breck returns as "The Creeper", and Gina Philips is going to be returning as "Trish Jenner", her first screen role in five years. Production was halted in 2016 until it resumed in February 2017, and completed in April. The film is opting for a September 2017 theatrical release.