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Urban Legend (1998)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  25 September 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 45,804 users   Metascore: 35/100
Reviews: 424 user | 101 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gord Martineau ...
Kay Hawtrey ...
Library Attendant
Angela Vint ...
Bitchy Girl


After a bravura opening sequence featuring Natasha Gregson Wagner getting slaughtered by the killer with an ax hiding in the backseat of her car, Urban Legend tells the story of a group of pretty college students at a remote New England university. The focus of the story is Natalie, a beautiful, academically-gifted student at the fictional Pendleton University. Natalie and her friends are all involved in the Folklore class being taught by Professor Wexler. Wexler regales his class with urban legends, which include Pendleton's own urban legend about a Psych professor who murdered six students at Stanley Hall 25 years ago. Natalie is the first one to suspect there's a killer on campus, especially after she has ties to all of the victims. First, it's her high school friend, a guy she's in the woods with at night, her roommate... No one, including her friends, Wexler, Dean Adams and security guard, of course, believes her until it's too late and everyone begins to die according to famous ... Written by K. Wilson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It Happened To Someone Who Knows Someone You Know... You're Next. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for horror violence/gore, language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Urban Legends  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,515,444 (USA) (25 September 1998)


£1,146,110 (UK) (19 March 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In one scene they show the front page of a newspaper, and the writer of that story is credited to "John MacNeil". John MacNeil was the assistant art director on this film. See more »


After one character has been hit with an axe, it swings into view without a drop of blood on it. See more »


Michael McDonnell, gas station attendant: Someone's in the back... SEAT!
See more »


Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »


Crop Circle
Written by David Wyndorf
Performed by Monster Magnet
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good premise wasted in tepid horror film
29 September 1998 | by (Orlando, FL) – See all my reviews

The days of low-budget slasher films appear to be back with Urban Legend, a mildly entertaining but mostly lame variation on Scream with an attractive cast of young TV stars.

The plot centers on a series of campus murders in the mold of urban legends, most of which will be familiar even to the younger audience this is pandering to. What little suspense there is comes from the anticipation of these scenes, since the surrounding story is almost as ridiculous as the film itself.

If the screenwriters had concentrated less on incorporating the whodunit aspect into the plot and more on the legends themselves, they might have had something here. Experienced viewers will spot the killer's identity (and motive) early on, and those that don't will be fooled only because the conclusion is so completely ludicrous, not to mention mostly impossible.

Of course, most of this would be easily overlooked if Urban Legend was scary, but time and again, director Jamie Banks telegraphs the surprises far ahead, and doesn't know how to time the shocks. Over and over we get the sudden burst of loud music followed by a character running into another character, but it doesn't work. And that gets annoying after the third or fourth try. Occasionally Banks does get something eerie going, but the style is more suited to an action flick.

Of the cast, most of the actors more or less get by despite a less-than-clever script, though it's disheartening to see a talented young actor like Jared Leto wasting his time with a nothing role as the reporter. Horror favorites Robert Englund and Brad Douriff pop up in cameos, adding a nice touch to their brief scenes.

What we're left with is an intriguing idea undone by cliche after cliche. The legends are potent enough to hold your attention to the end, and horror fans will find a few gruesome goodies to amuse themselves. And even though the script needs to be about three times again as clever as it is, there is a great in-joke at the end about one of the actresses and a commercial.

That clever scene might have been the first scene of a clever movie. It's the last scene of this one.

12 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Any GOOD movies with female serial killers/psychos/socio paths? emaxwell1313
Remake rorrocalling
What was the class being taught? danfaz94
most stupid part of the movie alvaro2908
Who did you think the killer is? takooisi-1
So good...but the sequels davidreynolds22
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