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Soundtrack review: Jeepers creepers 2 (Bennett Salvay, 2003)

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Soundtrack review: Jeepers creepers 2 (Bennett Salvay, 2003)

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“Jeepers creepers 2” is the second movie in the Creepers franchise. I remember seeing it and actually sitting through it even if I hadn’t intended to. I liked the thrills it provided; the movie was fun for me to watch. Bennett Salvay wrote the music and I wasn’t familiar with his work before I heard this.

The score starts with a bang. “Billy’s abduction” sets the tone of the score with its first stab. This cue is smart and complex and doesn’t rely on cheap frights. I’m excited about this overture and can’t wait to hear what comes next. The next few cues keep the listener on alert. The main character in the movie is the “Creeper” and that’s exactly what the music seems to do. It creeps up on you, it surrounds you, you feel its presence but it doesn’t attack you head on. The scary parts are subtle and intense. “Jeepers creepers 2” is not about individual shocks, it’s more about setting up a properly scary atmosphere. The two “Minxie’s dream” cues are to be listened to very loud in order to get all their subtleties. I feel like I want to run away when I hear the first one, it’s quite the ride. The second one is even more atmospheric. I get the sensation of a fall I can’t stop.

“Creeper Star / Coach snatchings” is a very claustrophobic cue which makes me think of the M Night Shyamalan / James Newton Howard collaborations. You feel trapped listening to this cue, you’re in a tight spot and he’s coming to get you. Let me spare you the suspense, he gets you by the time the cue ends. This a beautiful, interesting and complex cue that has all a horror music fan could ever want. It’s 6 minutes long and has all the time it needs to develop into one of the best tracks of the score. “Creeper outside the bus” follows and it creates a spider web from which is very hard to escape. The suspense is so thick you could touch it. You can almost hear the creaking sounds around the bus, all the noises that make you want to run, everything brilliantly crafted.

That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the action cues like “Brain flossing”, “Sneaking past the creeper”, “The creeper takes flight” or the awesome and crazy “Headless Dante dance/ Regeneration” as well. “Field chase” is another frantic action cue that takes your breath away. But my favorite is the climax cue, “The big battle”. Wow, what a rush!

But for me, this score is all about the texture. It creates something; it weaves a net around you that you get tangled in the more you try to escape. It nails what the character and movie is all about, it nails how a scary score should sound like and it’s smarter then the usual slasher movie scores.  Many horror scores bore me, because they are very repetitive and rely on shock to scare the listener. It’s not the case here. “Jeepers Creepers 2” is one of the smartest and more complex horror scores I’ve heard. It kept me in its grip for 75 minutes and I could have listened to more. Parts of it could work very well on an intelligent thriller score, while others just get the pulse to an insane level. I’m glad I got the chance to discover this score!

Cue rating: 81/100

Total minutes of excellence: 56/75

Album excellence: 75%

Highlights:

Billy’s Abduction
Shadowy Figure
The Taggarts Prepare
Minxie’s Dream #1
Creeper Star/Coach Snatchings
Creeper Outside The Bus
Minxie’s Dream #2
Bad News/Taggart Makes Contact
Brain Flossing
Headless Dante Dance/Regeneration
Choosing Sides
Field Chase
The Creeper Takes Flight
Taggart Finds Minxie
The Taggart/Creeper Faceoff
The Big Battle
The Creeper Escapes
Bug Truck Chase
End Titles

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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