Culture Magazine

Movie Review – Urban Legend (1998)

By Manofyesterday

Director: Jamie Blank

Stars: Jared Leto, Michael Rosenbaum, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Danielle Harris, Julian Richings, Robert England, Brad Dourif, Natasha Gregson Wagner

A college campus is swept up in a flurry of murders that all have one thing in common – they are based on urban legends.

This movie was made in ’98. It looks and feels like it was made in 90/91. Urban Legend straddles the line between parody and seriousness yet commits fully to neither, so it doesn’t really work.

With slasher films the whole thing is to try and work out who the killer is. I think here they tried to be too clever and put in too many red herrings, so that when the killer is eventually revealed it takes a while to process it, and this isn’t helped by the fact that it then piles on the twists, meaning that you’re spending the climax trying to work out how everything fits together rather than enjoying the film.

The rest of the film is pretty stupid really. None of the characters are that likeable and at times Michael Rosenbaum (as much as I love the guy) seems to be doing a Nicolas Cage impression. The characters are all taking a class that teaches them about urban legends. I’m not sure what class teaches you about these but it gives a way for the film to introduce these murders, but I feel that it would have been stronger had the murders been based on actual famous urban legends. As it is the characters have to resort to going to the library and finding an encyclopedia of urban legends (because that’s a thing that exists).

The campus security is laughable as well. Even though there’s been a murder no police are called, it’s all handled by one guard (who is apparently the only one employed by the whole campus, and there’s also only one janitor as well). Despite there being “Aren’t you glad you turned on the lights?” written in blood on the wall, the guard decides that there’s nothing suspicious and concludes that it was a suicide. Come on!

The film is filled with little things like this, and it overdoes the ‘character turns around and there’s someone standing right behind them’ trick too.

All in all it’s a pretty crap movie so it’s not worth watching unless you want a cheesy horror movie to make fun of. It’s not scary, it’s not tense and it’s not thrilling.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog