(2001)3Michael HastingsWriter/director Victor Salva's genre offering proves more effective than the standard turn-of-the-century teen horror flick, in large part due to its respect for such essential -- but usually ignored -- elements as suspense, pacing, and atmosphere. Jeepers Creepers forgoes the jokey self-referentiality of the Scream series and the nihilistic, gore-for-gore's-sake quality of, say, Final Destination for a more straightforward approach, and -- at least in his film's first hour -- the choice pays off in a big way. As bickering but devoted siblings terrorized by an inhuman creature, Gina Philips and Justin Long have a natural, believable chemistry, which is particularly helpful when the script veers into some of its more ridiculous conceits. If anything, Salva is too enamored with horror conventions: In the last act, he's determined to throw in psychics, police squad showdowns, and even a few allusions to Quasimodo and The Phantom of the Opera. But for the most part, the script keeps it simple, and thanks to ace cinematography and editing, Jeepers Creepers provides an ample supply of economically presented cheap thrills.