Creepypasta Critique: Jeff the Killer Sucks

Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Okay, before all you Jeff fans throw me to the wolves, hear me out. Those who are unfamiliar with the story can read it here and get acquainted with this merciless fellow.

Jeff the Killer is a psychotic young man who was maimed when neighborhood bullies attacked him and set him on fire. This triggered his psychosis, causing him to become a murderous lunatic and he now enjoys a life of murdering anyone and everyone he can get his hands on. He’s so ubiquitous with creepypasta, anyone who has ever spent their time reading such internet tales has at least heard of him. However, there is one significant problem with our pale-faced friend: his story sucks!

The number of bizarre plot points is significant: Suburban kids pulling knives and guns like they’re an intercity gang, the lack of involvement from intelligent adults and parents, poorly constructed motivations for revenge, not to mention the fire maiming Jeff in ways not possible in the real world. The dialogue and prose aren’t impressive either as events occur quickly with little reflection or emotional investment (Poor Jeff is depressed that his bother was arrested and sent to juvenile detention…oh well, make him cheer up and go to a silly kids party anyway!).

I’m sure many have noticed that his appearance is similar to version of Christopher Nolan’s version of the Joker. Come on, the guy cuts a smile into his face! Why so serious, Jeff? But I digress

This story makes the perfectionist part of me go a little bonkers because I want to fix the story somehow, like I’m an editor with a serious case of OCD.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that it doesn’t matter. That it’s just a story made for entertainment and not to be taken seriously, and it should be enjoyed for what it is. I disagree on all of these points. I don’t care if it’s a movie, TV show, book, or a short story on the internet; bad writing always gets to me. The plot holes, the lack of realism, bad dialogue: all of these issues take away my ability to immerse myself, to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the moment. All this story does is tick me off and wonder why I’m wasting my time when I could be reading something better. Forget getting creeped out or scared! There are many creepypastas that are much better than this.

All I’m saying is put effort into what you do. It really does make a difference.

Yes it is an internet story written by an amateur. We’ve all got to start somewhere when it comes to writing, and whoever wrote Jeff the Killer must be commended for their creativity. I certainly understand that it not something the author was getting paid for or anything, but why give success to such a lackluster story? Why couldn’t the original author do a little more editing before sharing it with all of us? The story just proves to me people are lazy and don’t care about the quality of what they do manage to produce.

So if the original story is so terrible, how has Jeff become such an iconic character in the creepypasta community? The answer, in my personal opinion, is that damned picture. Like many well known horror villains, Jeff’s features are striking and frightening, yet instantly recognizable. This is a trait of many horror movie villains; Michael Meyers has his creepy William Shatner mask, Freddy Kruger’ has a burned face of his own with a clawed hand and bold sweater, and Jason Voorhees has his hockey mask and machete. Most of these slasher flicks aren’t very good either, yet these characters have entered mainstream culture as well. Jeff’s even has his own catchphrase going for him, and easy to reference. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood tries to rip the internet off and make a movie with him at some point.

I suppose my point is that even though the story that spawned Jeff is a bore, the character has redeeming qualities that manage to make him one of the most popular creepypasta characters on the internet. I don’t hate Jeff, I hate bad writing!

So what do all of you readers think? Could the story be improved? Are you a fan of Jeff the Killer? Why do you think he’s become so popular? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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4 Responses to “Creepypasta Critique: Jeff the Killer Sucks”

  1. I agree; story is way overrated and absurd…but, as you pointed out. That pic is haunting and, in fairness, Jeff’s catchphrase ain’t bad.

    • Absolutely! I’ve always thought of writing a ‘remake’ of the story in order to give poor Jeff proper justice, but I worry I would look like I was stealing another person’s ideas. Just look at modern horror remakes; hardly any creativity to be found.

  2. Oh my God, you are so right. It really pisses me off that such an uninspired piece has become so viral these days. I’ve also contemplated rewritting the JTK story, but honestly it’s not worth it. I totally agree with you, it’s pretty obvious that only thing keeping Jeff the Killer above water are the fangirls. Fuck the internet.

    • One of the things I’ve learned is you can never, ever really predict what will become popular. It doesn’t really matter if it’s ‘bad’ or ‘good’ in any sense, but it does have to strike a chord with your audience.

      Just look at the Twilight series: it’s absolute nonsense but female audiences loved it because it took advantage of an under-catered niche. In Jeff’s case, he caters to disenfranchised youth and bullying has been a hot topic in pop culture lately.

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