‘Jeepers Creepers’ 20 Years Later: Justin Long Reveals the Surprising Way He Finally Met the Creeper After Avoiding Him for Weeks

Few movies have a lasting impact on those who watch them. However, any true horror fan can say that Jeepers Creepers is near the top of the “must watch” list. This 2001 movie has it all. A story, a few jump-scares, and just enough twisted stuff to make you terrified for days.

Even though it is 20 years old, there is still a new twist to this old horror movie. Justin Long didn’t meet the Creeper until they had almost wrapped up filming because he wanted his reaction to be authentic. He recently explained more on his Instagram.

‘Jeepers Creepers’: the story behind the horror movie franchise

Jeepers Creepers is about a creature, “The Creeper”, that comes around every 23 years. Then he finds victims and feasts on their body parts, which then become his own body.

When the movie begins, Trish and Darry Jenner played by Long and Gina Philips, are driving home on spring break. As they travel through the countryside, a truck begins to follow them closely. Eventually, the vehicle goes past and is later seen dropping bodies down a pipe. After being spotted, the truck begins to follow the brother and sister again, running them off the road.

The two go back to the pipe to check it out, and Darry ends up falling in. He sees hundreds of bodies, including a man who is still alive, but his stomach is sewn up. He also glimpses a prom couple who went missing 23 years prior to this night. The Creeper ends up following the brother and sister and killing everyone they try to tell. He also goes after them, choosing Darry as the one he wants.

The movie was released in 2001. For the era it premiered in, many people feel director Victor Salva did a great job of bringing the story to life, especially since audiences know little about The Creeper and the saga builds throughout the movie.

A 20-year secret revealed: Why did Justin Long wait so long to meet The Creeper?

Justin Long is interviewed by Vanessa Minnillo on MTV's 'TRL' in 2005
Vanessa Minnillo and Justin Long on MTV’s ‘TRL’ in 2005 | Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic

Both Long and co-star Philips avoided interacting with The Creeper throughout filming the 2001 movie. According to Long’s Instagram post, he hoped, “It’d be beneficial to all our performances.” In the end, he isn’t sure it truly helped their performances. But the now-43-year-old admits that being “out of character” with The Creeper happened due to a malfunction on the last day of filming.

What happened? The wings on The Creeper’s face weren’t working properly. Therefore, several extra takes were required to get the movie wrapped up. For the scene, Long was supposed to be terrified, but he was really just worn out after hours of screaming at the top of his lungs as The Creeper held him in a near-chokehold.

Instead of walking away to maintain his distance from The Creeper, Long chose to stay in position. As tired as he was, Long rested his head against The Creeper’s shoulder, to which a “slightly twangy” voice said from the mask, “You doing alright?” Long admits he didn’t answer, though he isn’t sure why.

So, who was the masked Creeper with a twangy voice?


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Long was avoiding and then resting on the shoulder of Jonathan Breck, as IMDb reports. Breck has played The Creeper in all three of the films. After Jeepers Creepers premiered, both the franchise and Breck won awards, including the winner of the Chainsaw Award where Breck was awarded Best Supporting Actor in 2002.

Breck has gone on to have several other impressive roles in movies, including Carbon Copy, Spy Kids 4-D: All the Time in the World, and Man in Striped Pajamas. He has also been involved in the production of three films, Into Shadows, The Carbon Copy, and Dreamland.

Long has also been quite active as an actor, director, and screenwriter. Most recently, he played Frank in The Wave as well as Max Cameron in Lady of the Manor, which he also wrote, directed, and produced.