In one of the most underrated movies in Horror, Trish Jenner (Gina Philips) and her brother Darry (Justin Long) take a ride through the country in hopes of arriving home safe during spring break. Little do they realize something evil stalks the travelers, and they’re about to meet it face to face. This week, my Women Who Wow Wednesday series focuses its crosshairs on the reluctant hero Trish Jenner of the movie Jeepers Creepers.
It starts with the siblings witnessing a possible crime and the story escalates from there. Released in late August of 2001 with a budget of $10 Million and directed by Victor Salva, the movie went on to make almost $60 Million worldwide. Yet, not only did most critics pan it, the film is not a Horror fan favorite either.
Although for a third of the movie Trish appears as a self-centered sister, her character shines once her brother returns in shock after having explored a hole in the ground. Her “keep it together” phrase comes in handy with every passing moment Darry losses touch with reality. Instead of fear, which her brother shows without restraint, her strength lies in remaining calm regardless of what is going on around her.
The turning point in her character comes when she gets behind the wheel of her busted up collector car and decides to take matters in her own hands. Gone is the apprehensive, smart aleck. In its place, an action hero takes control to save the day. One of the best lines of the movie goes something like this:
Darry: Is he dead?
Trish: They never are.
Trish then proceeds to run over whatever’s been chasing them for the length of the film several times before her brother says, “Enough.” Nothing quite like a character who’s had enough of a situation to let her inhibitions run wild.
As much as Trish fulfills the role of a Doubting Thomas, in the later half, she makes it clear her only intention is to protect her and her brother from harm’s way. As much as she complains, throws sarcastic remarks or hides her emotion, she is very much a woman as any woman could be—but stronger. Her instincts guide her in times of peril. When everyone else runs away, she remains firm in her stance against the unknown.
And it’s that firmness in resolve that makes her someone to admire.
Have you seen Jeepers Creepers? What did you think of Trish Jenner?