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Urban Legend – 6

Director – Jamie Blanks

Cast – Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Julian Richings, Robert Englund, Danielle Harris, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Gord Martineau

Release Year – 1998

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Despite this being a 90s teen slasher starring a group of young stars as well as a few horror icons (Robert Englund and Brad Dourif) I had never seen this film until now. After Scream the late 90s were infested with teen slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cherry Falls, Valentine, etc., and if you enjoy such films then Urban Legend is sure to give you what you want. While flawed and not as good as I wanted it to be, this flick manages to serve as the usual 90s teen slasher and throws in some cleverly funny kills for viewers to enjoy.

When a series of strange and brutal murders begin to plague a college campus with a shady past, Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) begins to suspect that the deaths are connected to popular urban legends.

Urban legends are so well known in society and I am not surprised to see this horror film taking full advantage of that to suck in viewers. TV writer Silvio Horta began his career with this piece and he does so in such epic fashion thanks to one of the best opening sequences I have ever seen in the genre. The remainder of the film moves well, giving us the usual cliches and plenty of kills for us to enjoy, but it never tops its opening that comes starring Brad Dourif. Much like Scream and the other films I mentioned above, this flick follows the usual template and keeps us guessing who the killer is until the very end (if you still care by that point) and not much really separates this flick from its cohorts aside from its kills. I thought Horta’s kills were pretty fun and some of them were downright awesome (the toilet kill) and these kills were the biggest reason behind why I enjoyed the film despite expecting a better experience.

Urban Legend also marks the career starter for director Jamie Blanks, who went on to direct teen horror flick Valentine and the enjoyable 2008 flick Storm Warning. Personally, I really like the look and feel of later-90s teen slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer and you get the same visual results from this flick. The acting performances are fun and it is enjoyable to see Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Danielle Harris and Robert Englund do their thing and most of them are killed in the process. Speaking of the kills, I was glad to see live action gore and positive swinging of an axe. Blanks’ execution of the kills is great and while we never really get a good look at the killer his looks were decent and his mannerisms sold me.

Overall, Urban Legend is a fun 90s teen slasher that is very much like other films relative to it. If you enjoy those flicks then you will probably enjoy this one and vice versa.

Rating: 6/10

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