|Justin Long's doofiest shock face|
The other parts of the writing Salva forgets to elaborate on is the exposition to the antagonist and clearing up other reasons. Along their travels, the brother sister duo meet a psychic named Jezelle (Patricia Belcher) who has the ability to see visions into the future. Mind you she's been having these trances for several years and she has no clue why she has them. Ummm,...okay. As for the antagonist known as "the creeper" (Jonathan Breck), which kind of honestly he is, the reasons why he kills is explained but why he doesn't, goes unexplained. Plus, he has a grotesque side hobby that involves something along the lines of preservation. What exactly is it for? No idea. Since Jezelle is the only one who even knows about the creeper (and for so long) how come she knows so little? She's literally the creeper's creeper. Writer/director Salva could've went into more detail on this but didn't so this doesn't exactly help with fleshing out the villain's backstory.
Aside from this however, the rest of the film will manage to keep its audience's attention. The most effective part to this film's credit is in fact, its creep factor. The idea of knowing that someone is always following you and wants something from you (and you don't know what it is) is beyond unnerving. Plus after seeing what he does with his victims, who would want to stick around? As for the gore aspect of this horror feature, it exists but it's not abundant like one would expect it to be. The good thing is that Victor Salva ensures that certain in scenes when the creeper attacks is not what a viewer would normally predict. The director of photography belonged to Don E. FauntLeRoy who handled each scene nicely by giving it a grainy feel like that of Daniel Pearls’ work from Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). I am curious as to why it’s always in the middle of nowhere that crazy people exist. Why is that? Why is it always the rural communities? Can people really go mad out there that easily?
Sadly, most of its writing doesn't explain much about its antagonist and the main two protagonists aren't exactly the most enjoyable. However, everything else from its special effects, violence, creep factor, music and cinematography work well together. Its screenplay even contains a number of original ideas that don't follow your regular horror films.
Points Earned --> 6:10