Oh man, where do I even begin?
I've been waiting for Jeepers Creepers 3 since elementary school. When the day was finally announced last month, I couldn't contain my excitement...well, I could, simply because Jeepers Creepers had worn off a bit. I had realized that the first film, though good in certain aspects, was an overall flawed film, and that the second film was an outright piece of garbage. I predicted that this film would be bad, but oh man, I never could've guessed it would be as awful as it turned out to be. JC3 makes JC2 look good. There's so much wrong with this movie that I'm not even sure where to start.
First, let's start off with the plot, or lack thereof. There are several stories Jeepers Creepers 3 could've told, but it's like they didn't know which one to choose, so they just made a film with no plot at all. JC3 takes place in between 1 and 2, which is a baffling decision since that story didn't need to be told and it ruins the continuity of the JC timeline. The film revolves around, like, 9 characters and I don't even know which character would count as the "main" character because nobody gets adequate enough screen time. We have Officer Tubbs from the end of the first movie, a character so minor in the original that it really makes you wonder why Salva would write him a lead role. Then we have the team of Creeper Hunters led by Stan Shaw. We also have some dementia-stricken old lady, her teenage daughter, the country hunk that's crushing on her, a group of punk teenage bikers, and the Creeper himself. They all have notable screen time but most of them are totally pointless and some don't even have resolutions of concussions to their characters. Notice how out of all of these characters, I never mentioned Trisha? Despite Gina Phillips's on-poster credit, she is not in the movie at all and instead has a 15 second cameo at the very, very tail end of the movie. The film constantly flip-flops back and forth between all of these characters at the most inconvenient times, and by the time the story has come back around to a set of characters, we've already forgotten what's going on with them because the story has packed so much into a 5 minute span, yet so little at the same time.
The errors in the plot continue as, well, there is no plot. Pacing is something that seems totally oblivious to Salva and company, as the film had no distinguishable act structure of any kind. The film still felt like it was in it's 1st act at the hour mark, and I'm honestly not even sure what the climax was supposed to be, if the film even had a climax to begin with! We're just watching the film and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the screen turns black and the credits begin to roll. Tonal shifts are aggressive in this film, as one minute it's an episode of Degrassi, then it's John Carpenter's Vampires, then it's Evil Dead 2, and then it's American Horror Story. None of it matches and it feels like 3 or 4 random scripts were cobbled together without any editing. There are some moments the feel like Salva was trying to make a borderline comedy, but it's unclear mostly due to our next point...
Next is the production. Salva is a great cinematic director and the first two movies are filled with gorgeous shots and atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a blade. I suppose Salva got lazy with JC3 because this movie feels like it was made for TV. The film is laden with abysmal CGI, some of the worst I've ever seen in a theatrical release. The CGI in the original film looked better, and that came out in 2001. The editing and lighting are often so awful that you can't even tell what's happening; there is one instance where a biker is snatched, or something, by the Creeper, but it's so quick and shot so poorly you can't even tell what happens. An audience member behind me said "what just happened?" and I was glad I wasn't the only one. The production actually reaches "so bad it's hilarious" status on several occasions, including a slow-mo scene with the Creeper that was so over-the-top that it had the theater erupting in laughter. Trust me, it wasn't the only serious scene where the audience laughed hard at something meant to be serious.
Even The Creeper himself is ruined. One of the most intimidating horror villains of the modern horror age has been reduced to a slightly irritated staggering drunk. Whoever decided to give him that bright red T shirt should be fired, as it looks severely out of place on him. Oh, and we STILL don't know his origins. By this point, being teased on his history comes off as a cheap gimmick, like even Salva has no idea what to do about his backstory.
So there you have it. JC3 is possibly 2017's worst film so far. Too many main characters, an unfocused story with no conclusion, too much plot yet somehow not enough plot, absent pacing, a nonthreatening and goofy looking villain, Syfy channel levels of production, some of the worst CGI ever, and a massive kick in the groin towards the JC fan-base. I used to wonder why this film was denied a worldwide theatrical release, thinking Salva's history may be the culprit. I've now realized that the more likely reason is that the producers saw how awful this film was and couldn't bear to release this on the big screen. It's most definitely a home release, and that's where it should've gone. Judging by how hard my theater laughed at every scene, I doubt I'm the only one who holds these opinions.