After making a horrific discovery in the basement of an old abandoned church, a squabbling brother and sister watch their road trip home from college turn into a heart-stopping race for their lives. They find themselves the chosen prey of an indestructible demon that relentlessly pursues them.
What at first appears to be another “Friday the 13th” styled slasher film with a deathless Freddie Kruger rip-off antagonist quickly becomes a high-voltage scare-a-thon, not fueled by a cartoonish villain, but an evil demonic monster. Allowed to feed every 23 days, this beast captures unwary citizens from the nearby community to feast upon – thereby giving him life. If it needs lungs, it eats those of captured victims. He also digests limbs, hearts and, of course – eyes – hence the use of the musical lyric, “Jeepers, creepers, where’d you get those peepers.” The ceiling and walls of his hidden cavern are covered with lifeless corpses that have been beheaded or otherwise slashed, then sutured back together. ….. The film is terrifying, often causing startled audience members to shout out for the dim-witted heroes to run for their lives – the audience participation being the best part of this spooky, but clichéd horror flick. ….. The script’s terror, however, stems from its satanic being, with little theology to back up the premise that this creature is allowed to feed every 23 days. If there is a meaning to the number 23, it most likely comes from occult ritual rather than biblical scripture. Nor does the script contain a good vs. evil theme. Although one character is spared when she begins praying the Lord’s Prayer, little else in the picture could be construed as evidence that God defeats the evil one. Indeed, the Almighty is never referred to, except as a profanity. Both His name, and Christ’s, is bandied about as mere expletives by the film’s two young leads. ….. It’s very likely that secular audiences will embrace this film with the same enthusiasm as they have “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer,” “Charmed,” “Angel,” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” But those attempting to further their spiritual development probably won’t want to attend a movie that deals with occult and demonic material as escapist entertainment. To be honest, had I known the content this is one I would have passed on myself. ….. I’m not trying to base my objections to this movie on a pious fanaticism. It’s just that the further I travel down my spiritual path, the less I want to do with anything that would give Satan a stronghold. It’s one thing to be aware of demonic forces. It’s quite another to be entertained by them. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). …….. You may jump. You may laugh. But chances are good this film won’t nourish you. I couldn’t possibly say it any better than the following quote from “I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” by Miramax. “Your head is like a gas tank. You have to be really careful about what you put in it, because it might just affect the whole system” . ….. Preferring psychological suspense to occultic horror, let me suggest this video alternative: “And Then There Were None.” This superb adaptation of the Agatha Christie suspense thriller concerns a group of colorful guests invited to a secluded mansion, where their mysterious host intends to systematically murder them. Barry Fitzgerald, C. Aubrey Smith, Judith Anderson, Walter Huston.