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Stylish addition to the teen-horror cycle
Libretio25 February 2005

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Sound formats: Dolby Digital / SDDS

A serial killer descends on a New Hampshire college where he/she kills a number of students in the manner of various urban legends.

History has a habit of repeating itself. In the early 1980's, a series of low budget 'slasher' movies emerged in the wake of HALLOWEEN (1978) and "Friday the 13th" (1980), most of which were condemned as substandard imitators by critics and horror fans alike. The same thing happened in 1996, following the success of Wes Craven's SCREAM, a smug reworking of genre clichés which allowed 'sophisticated' multiplex audiences to indulge an attitude of superiority over those 'crappy' old horror flicks and the 'unsophisticated' viewers who once supported them. The subsequent wave of teenage horror pics were flashy, sexy and ramped to the max, and - true to form - virtually all of them were (ho hum) trashed by critics and horror fans alike. And yet, most of them made a profit, perhaps BECAUSE they were flashier and sexier than those earlier pictures, and because they were designed for a wider demographic than 'mere' horror fans.

Jamie Blanks' URBAN LEGEND is a case in point: Most reviews ran the gamut from harsh dismissal to faint praise, yet the movie is a visual treat, as creepy and atmospheric as any of the films which inspired it. Furthermore, Silvio Horta's unassuming screenplay confounds expectations with its solid narrative arc, recognizable characters and dynamic set-pieces, not to mention a climactic 'reveal' which offers a robust motive for the killer's devastating onslaught. There are a few embarrassing lapses along the way (such as the murder which takes place in full view of heroine Alicia Witt, which she ignores because she thinks it's a couple having sex!), and Horta can't resist a handful of cop-out contrivances (eg. the killer slashes the wrists of a girl known for her depressive tendencies, causing authorities to dismiss her death as suicide, though a routine forensic examination would have revealed the cuts were administered post mortem, AFTER she was strangled to death!), but these occasional blunders are redeemed by the movie's fast-paced editing, neo-Gothic visual scheme and clever plot developments. Blanks orchestrates proceedings with consummate skill, but he refuses to indulge the kind of transgressive gore that once distinguished this downmarket subgenre (where's Tom Savini when you really need him?!).

As expected, the talented young cast - including Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart and Tara Reid - is pleasingly photogenic, and there are lengthy appearances by TV favorites Michael Rosenbaum ("Smallville") and Joshua Jackson (watch out for the terrific "Dawson's Creek" gag!). Major co-stars include Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger himself!), John Neville and an uncredited Brad Dourif, who features heavily in a powerful opening sequence where Blanks and Horta pull a major switcheroo on the audience (I'll say no more). Loretta Devine is amusing as the campus security guard who views herself as a modern-day Coffy/Pam Grier (her fantasy is rudely curtailed by a climactic encounter with the rampaging maniac), and there's a brief appearance by Danielle Harris, the former child star of HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS (1988) and HALLOWEEN 5 (1989), playing an adult character FAR removed from the angelic poppet of those earlier pictures! Beautiful, fairy-tale score by Christopher Young. Followed by the largely unrelated URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT (2000).
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I really like it
mrkil7 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Slashers are never "good". OK maybe the first Scream but slashers are never "a good movie". But there is a good slasher and bad slashers. Prom Night, a very bad slasher. The sequel to this, a very bad slasher. But I really like this one. I absolutely love the plot. The deaths are awesome I still jump up in my seat when the principal is killed. I didn't expect Brenda as killer when I saw it first. The plot works. The death works. I didn't know who the killer was. I LIKED IT.

As a movie it not that great I mean. Critics are not gonna like it. Movie fans are not gonna like it. Unless you watch with it in mind that it is a slasher. As a slasher Urban Legend is perfect.
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Derivative addition to the Scream cycle, with a good solution to the mystery.
Jonathon Dabell4 December 2003
Yet another film to capitalise on the hunger for cynical, humorous slasher movies with whodunnit asides in the late '90s (started by Wes Craven's Scream), Urban Legend is a fairly entertaining but wholly derivative example of the genre. The "murderer-at-large-on-a-college-campus" formula was quite popular during the original period of slasher movies in the early '80s (movies like Pieces and Happy Birthday To Me spring to mind). This update is more polished, more logical and generally more watchable.

Violent murders begin to take place a college in North America. Many of the murders are based on urban legends (popular spook-stories bandied about by word-of-mouth). First to go is a young girl driving her car through a rainswept night. An axeman leaps up from the back seat and chops her to pieces, in a terrific opening sequence which will have you checking the back seat of your car for the next month or two. From then on, it's generally a downhill ride as more and more of the college staff and students are picked off by a hooded killer. A kid goes for a pee in the woods and is hanged for his trouble; a teenged DJ is hacked apart in her studio; the college principle is run down by a car; the resident wise-ass has an unhealthy variety of toxic products poured down his throat. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Many films of this type are awful Where Urban Legend remains tolerable lies in its all-round competence. The scary moments are quite well filmed and are genuinely nerve-jangling at times. The mystery, though contrived, manages to keep you guessing as the finger of suspicion falls upon virtually every character at some point. I must admit that the killer's identity is so well disguised that it caught me out (even though I usually figure out whodunnit in films of this type). Urban Legend is no classic, nor is it particularly fresh, but it does what it does decently enough. It certainly beats the hell out of the excrutiating low-budget exploitation items from the early '80s upon which it is based.
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Better than I expected
fabfemfatale13 September 2003
I am so not into scary movies. The twists and turns of the story line were edge of the seat watchable. The ending was the best. I recommend this to intelligent movie goers. The murderer is not who you expected it be. As most thrillers, go. Why give up who the "bad guy" really is? The first true scary movie for me was Halloween when I was 13 years old. This one is no Halloween, but it was able to make me jump at the right times. We all know about those Urban Legends, but do we really believe them? Enjoy this movie, don't pick it apart.
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i loooovvve this movie!!
SherryandGiggles28 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
omg, this movie is one of my faves... a lot of people think it is just another slasher flick, but i think the plot is really intriguing and keeps you guessing until the end. i had no idea who the killer was, and once i found out, i was totally surprised! although it is a bit scary at times, "urban legend" can also be humorous. i love the soundtrack too, and the cast is awesome. Alicia Witt was excellent as the heroine of the story, and Rebbecca gayheart gave a stunning performance as the psycho killer Brenda. she really knows how to act CRAZY (even if her motives are a little odd)!! and Jared leto is hot (i just had to add that). so if you love murder, humor, romance, and legends, "urban legend" is the movie for you. trust me, i've seen it about 500 times to date (and i first watched it last summer!).

and FYI, it's on abc family for the "13 nights of Halloween" thing next month! i'll be watching it... will you??
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This was a great movie!!!
MovieLuva8913 September 2001
I liked this movie because I could see someone actually doing this.It starts off with them telling you an urban legend.As the movie goes on people start dying based on urban legends.There is a reason for this but you don't find out till much later.But watch who you trust you might be wrong...
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Let's get our slasher on!
Kristine28 July 2002
Ah our precious 1990's, so many great things came out of this memorable decade, including a streak of teen slasher films. Let's face it, after the mega success of Scream which opened the doors once again after Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street, we needed a new classic. So naturally all the screen writers who were a bit scared to present their ideas on the table, thanks to Kevin Williamson, the clever writer of Scream and Dawson's Creek. After that, every teen slasher film was released: the Scream sequels, I Know What You Did Last Summer, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, etc. But we didn't stop at that, we were now presented with Urban Legend.

The film begins on a dark and stormy night as college student Michelle Mancini realizes she is near empty while driving in her car. There's someone in the back seat as Michelle drives, a figure in a dark coat with a fur trim around the hood sits up in the back seat and, with a swift blow from its axe, decapitates Michelle. The same night, on campus, a group of friends listens to Parker Riley tell an old story about one of the campus halls, Stanley Hall. According to the story, in 1973, an abnormal psychology teacher went crazy and killed all the students living in an on-campus residence hall. Paul, a school paper journalist thinks the story is bogus. Still, the story sticks in their minds, especially for Natalie, and Brenda. The next day, the front page of the campus newspaper has an article about Michelle Mancini's murder written by Paul but the papers are quickly confiscated by school officials. Later that night after going into a secluded area of woods to talk, Natalie reveals to Damon that she knew Michelle, but they hadn't spoken in years. Damon, playing on Natalie's vulnerability, tries to make a move on her but she rejects him. Upset, Damon goes into the woods to urinate but is attacked by the killer. He then is hung from a tree in a noose with the rope attached to the bumper of his car. The next day, no one believes Natalie's story due to Damon's penchant for pranks and tricks. Realizing both Damon's death and Michelle's murder closely resemble famous urban legends, Natalie goes to the library to read up on urban legends. Not realizing the terror has just begun to scare her and her friends even more.

Basically, Urban Legend didn't stand out against it's competitors, it has every cliché in the book. Not to mention no memorable actors that had the same chemistry as the cast of Scream. It's over written at times and has every predictable moment: the friends don't believe in a ghost story, a couple people get killed off but everyone thinks it's a prank/fake death, a classic chase scene with a big breasted girl in a skimpy costume, the creepy janitor, the smart girl that no one believes is all of a sudden right about all the murders and of course a mega twist ending that no one will ever see coming! OK, Urban Legend isn't a horrible movie, while it has all these predictable moments and clichés, it's still actually fun to watch and a good part of the memory of good teen slasher films that came out of the 1990's.

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If you liked the Scream and Last Summer movies make sure you don't miss this atmospheric thriller
timefreezer715 December 2003
A local college is being terrorized by brutal murders. The mysterious killer targets a certain group of friends who initially do not realize, or even ignore, the upcoming danger and fall prey to his clutches. They leave their rooms unlocked or go alone in the forest at night. The killer's main victim seems to be Natalie (Alicia Witt) a very typical gal, at least on the surface. The killer stalks her and harasses her continuously and Natalie not only tries to convince everyone about the danger in vain, but has to deal with melanic issues from her past. People soon start dropping like flies and Natalie and her friends are helpless before they all meet their fate. Many years before the incidents the college was rumored to have been plagued by an insane professor who flipped and invaded the students' dormitory killing many fraternity members at one single night. One of the few survivors is proven to be a sociopath weird janitor who is not willing to share his traumatic memories in order to help solving the mystery of this new killing spree. The murderer is much more than a freaked loser copycat who simply wants to rekindle the horror on the 25th anniversary of the alleged massacre, but has an obscure agenda.

Maybe all these plot elements sound stereotyped and nothing special. The premise of a horror movie localized in a college is as old as it gets and has been done to death (no pun intended). Nevertheless there is a special originality in this film. The killer's modus operandi follows a unique pattern of an urban legend methodology. You probably all know what an urban legend is. Folklore stories which are always laying on the verge of reality and myth. Usually they are scary crimes and everyone seems to know or have heard or have read a similar crime although no one seems to have actually enlisted specific names. Stories like these are usually typical frightening tales. One example is the poisoned candy children are frequently treated on Halloween by insane people. Another example is the seemingly normal father who mysteriously brutally slaughtered his entire family over one night, preferably by axe, and disappeared never to be heard of again. The screenwriter plays cleverly with all the cliches and the fears of the dark. The urban legends provide fertile ground for some genuinely original and shocking death scenes.

Urban Legend, despite an intriguing premise, cannot hide its origin. It is a typical 90's horror film mixed with a whodunit subplot, recognizable TV faces and plenty of gore. The film succeeds in being a memorable and above average effort but if you are set to watch it you are bound to find all the stupid overused themes a teeny bopper provides (without nudity though: that is the determinant between 80's and 90's). There are plot holes the size of a volcano crater. For example the police officers are so dim witted that they regard a clearly obvious strangulation which would probably have left distinct bruises on the victim's neck as a suicide. Moreover why, oh why don't they send officers during the climactic tragic events after all those murders. I can accept the fact that the phone lines were dead but couldn't someone just go and ask for help? When they do arrive it is far too late. The cast was also over-crowded and it was obvious that the protagonists were nothing more than screen fillers. It is too bad since their acting skills, which seemed promising, were withheld. For example Jared Leto and Michael Rosenbaum are Paul and Parker respectively. Although the film starts off interestingly with equal screen time, Natalie soon wins the absolute focus and their roles are so small that they end up being extras. Things are even worse for Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) and Sasha (Tara Reid) who also had shrunken roles and are wandering pretty faces waiting in line to be sliced and diced. Although the suspects are many, the final revelation of the killer is weak, the motives even weaker and of course we have the inevitable cat-lived nature of the killer-who-refuses-to-die escorted by the predictable cliffhanger epilogue with the "TO BE SEQUELED" sign.

An extra detrimental element is the presence of Alicia Witt in an especially important role. Her acting is not awful but it is definitely misguided and fails. Witt is way too calm to convince as a realistic character. After a certain point it is clear that her psychopath stalker has not only killed her friends, but is after her, and she doesn't even show a trace of panic. She DOES try of course to warn the bonehead authorities and she does a little research on the urban legends. The bad thing is that even in the gruesome finale she doesn't seem to fear the maniac even a little bit and even worse she is not the willing-to-fight heroine that Sidney Prescott in Scream was. Now I don't want to be misunderstood, I wasn't looking for Jamie Lee Curtis's overblown vocal pipes but she could have more human reactions, especially after the deaths of her friends. It's as though Natalie had read the victim list and knew that she had a contractual commitment to survive until the end. The only one of the main characters with some substance is Joshua Jackson as Damon. This guy is a derivative from other horror films and strikes as a cardboard cutout: a prankster who teases his friends and is slightly horny. At least Damon has a certain and sensible persona and Jackson is adequate. The funniest aspect of the film is that the cameos are far more successful and memorable than the leads!! Danielle Harris in a short role is the quite trendy Gothic young diva who is the incarnation of the Lust sin, the aged John Neville is the strict and by the rules Dean of the University and Brad Dourif gives an excellent performance in a role which I won't reveal. The best of them is Robert Englund as the clever and a bit creepy Professor who teaches folklore and introduces his students to the urban legends. Professor Wexler seems to be the chief suspect for this horrific situation and although there are sporadic hints throughout the film which point to other directions, Englund virtually dominates the screen even with his absence!!! Of course I won't omit Loretta Devine as Reese the guardian of the University who is very funny and adds the necessary comic relief. Who could have thought? A woman and indeed a black one as the cop/protector. It is another attempt to break a few cliches. Well done casting directors.

Apart from some good performances Urban Legend has many other assets. The opening sequence alone was enough to keep me hooked on as I realized I would watch a great film. The rainy frames and the professional shooting with the distant take angles is enough to pose the threatening tone and warn us about what is to follow. The introductory scene is a stand alone masterpiece. The killer here doesn't have a costume but hides under a winter jacket with a cowl and this gives a realistic touch and a difficulty in pinpointing the culprit since many people have the same type of jacket. The best part of Urban Legend is the setting and the cinematography. The university buildings are bulky and old enough to support a medieval atmosphere which excites our imagination. Further, these baroque aged buildings give a much more scary climate and ensure that no matter how much they run, the protagonists will never get away since the corridors are so long that probably no one is going to hear them scream. But the greatest virtue is the photography which was dreary and gave a sense of a documentary style. The best example to describe the stigma the director tried to pull off are the library scenes. The leads are in a situation reminiscent of the Name of the Rose (lacking the religious undertones of course!!!) and are trapped in an infernal game they cannot escape. The whole point of view of the movie is clearly cinematic and the imaging techniques are much supportive. As I aforementioned the death scenes are fascinating and catapult the adrenaline to heights. Although the character development is bare you feel sorry for the victims (well, OK, for most of them). One surprise follows another as the body count increases.

It comes as a great disappointment therefore that after a chilling 90 minutes period, the last 30 minutes go downhill. The action is very weak, the suspense retreats and we are left with overacting, inept and predictable "plot twists," inadequate explanations and a rather disappointing climax . I mean how could anyone not wonder why the maniac wouldn't just kill Natalie and get over with this revenging mission instead of doing this wild carnage. So be warned: the last half hour is extremely disappointing. Thus, if you are a horror fan who wants an entertaining thriller Urban Legend is a good shot. Despite some letdowns Urban Legend is yet another landmark in 90's horror genre.

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Not Bad, but too predictable...
Gislef5 October 1998
Unfortunately, Urban Legend suffers from a rather disjointed plot, and the fact that as a pseudo-mystery, they've eliminated most of the suspects by the end of the movie, so you pretty much know who is responsible. The murderer displays all the qualities of a more supernatural killer like Jason or Michael Myers, such as superhuman strength and the ability to be everywhere the plot requires him to be (like being across campus within minutes of each murder). Signposting some of the urban legends would have been helpful (there's a urban legend about a DJ being killed on the air and people thinking it was a hoax???). The cast is likable enough, but only Loretta Devine really stands out. The movie could as easily have been called "Horror Movie Cliche" as "Urban Legend" (or was that subtitle spoken for by Scream?). There are a few cute in-jokes (yes, one of the actresses was in a Noxema commercial). It's generally an entertaining way to waste a couple of hours if you're a horror-slasher fan.
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I Like It!
famousgir110 May 2001
Urban Legend is a great movie with a good twist at the end. It's different from all the other horror-genre movies around. The only thing that Urban Legend has in common with them is the fact that they are all not scary but still very good. Jamie Blanks is a great director who puts everything right in this movie and the cast especially Jared Leto, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart are all great. I give this movie a 10/10
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Good premise wasted in tepid horror film
chainsaw-829 September 1998
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.
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Good 90's Slasher, Considering its Competition
j-kirby24728 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Basic Story Guide:

(contains a few minor spoilers)

Natalie Simons is attending college at Pendleton University, when the news hits collage that Michelle Mancini, a fellow student at Pendleton, was murdered the previous night. Although the police are focusing on the gas station attendant who last saw Michelle, the killer then strikes again. This time Natalie witnesses the attack but is able to escape, but another college student is not so fortunate. As she is recovering, Natalie makes a realization: Michelle was murdered by a guy in the backseat with an ax, and her class mate was murdered by being hung above a car while Natalie was inside it. All of the murders thus far are being taken from urban legends, and made into horrific reality. And this is only beginning…


Between I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, and its surprisingly successful sequel, its sister silver screen slasher Urban Legend kind of fell into obscurity, and bordered on the rarely being seen. In spite of this I have only one real problem with it, the woman who played Michelle Mancini acted like she was in a soap opera, even by horror movie standard her acting was horrendous. If you can make it past that, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the movie.

The killings in this are unique, and original. In the words of Timothy Olyphant from Scream 2, "It's all about execution," and because of the originality of the murders, I bumped up the number of stars on it. I'm big on originality, when it comes to my horror movies. When you consider it's competition, it's lucky to have even been seen at all. And while it may not stand out as the greatest slasher or horror movie of the 1990's it can still stand on its own two feet.

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You Can Only Rate Them On Laughs.
daveisit6 December 2000
"Urban Legend" is just like all the other horror movies ever made. How can any horror movie copy another when they all have exactly the same story and plot? This is what "Scream" was telling everyone throughout the whole movie. In the end all horror movies are just comedies with very few jokes.

"Urban Legend" was just as good or bad as all the other recent horror movies. You can only go on the number of laughs you get which is usually three to five in a decent horror flick.

I enjoyed "Urban Legend" 3 Laughs out of 10.
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Entertaining, sometimes clever, style over substance horror film.
Lucien Lessard21 January 2009
When New England College, Natalie (Alicia Witt) finds out that her former best friend (Natasha Gregson Wagner) was murdered not far from an gas station. Now she finds herself in danger, the mysterious killer who killed his best friend is now stalking her friends and murdering them. An ambitious college reporter student (Jared Leto) tries to help her to find the killer but Natalie isn't what she seems to be as well. Since she has an very dark secret, she kept hidden from her friends at College. But her former friend's murder is based on a urban legend, which this killer is re-creating from these eerie tales.

Directed by Jamie Blanks (Valentine) made an entertaining horror film with some clever touches of suspense and black comedy. This movie was certainly made in the wake of "Scream". Which many film critics felt it was an bad rip-off but i felt it is one of the better horror pictures of the late 1990's. This features has better than expected cast, including:Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, John Neville, Julian Richings and Robert Englund. Director Blanks and Screenwriter:Silvio Horta (Best known as being the developer for TV's "Ugly Betty) are certainly having fun with their character, the suspense, dark humour and plenty of amusing in-jokes as well. Despite bad reviews by movie critics, it was an surprise box office hit. When it was released in the fall of 1998, i remember seeing it over ten years ago and i still enjoy it.

DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer (Also in Pan & Scan) and an good Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD has an amusing commentary track by Blanks, Horta and Rosenbaum. DVD also has Behind the Scream with commentary by the filmmakers, a deleted scene, the original theatrical trailer and a collector's booklet. If "Urban Legend" has an flaw, it is during the last 20 minutes of the picture. The movie goes way over the top with an disappointing conclusion. But "Urban Legend" is one of those movies, you could tell that the cast & crew has a great time making this. This is worth seeing. Brad Dourif appears uncredited. Followed by two loose sequels. Super 35. (****/*****).
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Urban Malaise
Billy_Crash6 July 2007
Alas, another horrible horror film. The only new element, which was completely wasted on the run-of-the-mill, hack and slice, and regurgitated plot, is the use of the urban legend. The psychotic fiend brings urban legends to reality by using them as the tool to annihilate a group of stock character college students.

The sad part is, even though the urban legend angle would make this genre film unique, the execution of these death scenes is far from stellar. There is no punch, no shock and no suspense, just your typical and redundant scares with a heavy music cue. Needless to say, the premise is a tremendous waste of a great idea.

It appears that the movie tried to parody itself near the end, when one of the characters asks "Where's the twist?", but Craven's successful "Scream" did it far better with much more wit.

Save your time and money by avoiding this ho-hum, saw it all before, half-baked flick.
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Heard the one about the terrible film ???
rhsymonds9 September 2006
This was really poor, Filled with mistimed shocks, appalling acting (apart from Leto) and people bumping into each other for scares every 7 minutes, the special effects aren't up to much, not the worst I've seen, but even scream managed to do better.

If you like really predictable "horror" films then give this a whirl, you can see every drawn out waste of celluloid coming a mile off, and even though the deaths are all authentic "Urban Legends" that have been passed down over the years, I'm sure we wont be hearing any more about this one.

Seriously, its worse than Ultraviolet.
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Cliché, cliché and cliché
Trungsten12 January 2005
Urban Legend is the prime example of how a good premise can be let down by just poor storytelling. The whole concept is interesting enough with the title a dead giveaway. What's disappointing is that every horror movie cliché is used here- horror theme music every time something happens, car stalls while killer prowls around, ominous telephone ring, desperate run from killer, the stunning 'anti-climax' and the shameless of gore and blood. The acting is over the top with every scream accentuate with the lame soundtrack. The last twenty minutes the whole thing falls apart as the film abandons all pretence of reality or cohesion. Urban Legend in a nutshell is disappointing with poor acting and an awful soundtrack.
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Silly and "overpredictable"
Vassago13 October 2000
Sill, silly movie. Which would be fun if it weren't so predictable. I knew the killer less than FIFTEEN MINUTES after the opening, and this is one of those films where you're supposed to learn who the killer is only in the very end. Even Robert Englund cannot save this movie with others acting so bad. And speaking of bad actors: who is that ugly girl killed in the very beginning, the one driving the car in the rain? She has to be the worst "actress" I have ever seen. She can't do ANYTHING, she can't speak, she can't sing, she can't walk, and she most certainly couldn't act even if she took 1000 acting classes. If you think you've seen a bad, wooden actress, take a look at this one... Apart from the quite good, ambient score, there is one good thing about this movie (probably especially for a non-American viewer :) - you learn a good deal about nice urban legends. The movie actually inspired me to hunt for those on the Net and then write an article on them - for this I'm thankful. :)
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here is the most accurate interpretation of the movie
DKRisley22 November 1999
Urban Legend was an extremely piss-poor effort for a slasher movie trying lamely to emulate the success of scream. it's such a waste of celluloid to create a sequel. i was highly disappointed by the predictability of the movie, and i think it's a shame that the actors of the future must have their names dragged through the mud by featuring in the film
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A film that manages to do everything very badly
dvdjedi21 July 1999
Urban Legend is the current standard by which I rate terrible movies. It manages to win the triple crown of badness: it's badly written, badly directed, and badly acted. Alicia Witt gives a spectacularly wooden performance in the lead role & there is little tension & few true scares. The most amazing aspect of this film is that a sequel is planned! Avoid this film at all costs.
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A Mediocre Rip off of Scream & I Know What You Did Last Summer
indigo-217 August 1998
It is a sad state of affairs when a film has to rip off not just one mediocre horror film, but two. Urban Legend does just that, taking a brilliant premise, casting a group of untalented 20-somethings, giving them hip one-liners and bland dialogue, thereby creating a carbon copy of last year's I Know What You Did Last Summer and 1996's Scream.

What could have been fresh and exciting just comes off as another glib horror movie that startles you, but never really scares. The killer goes around dressed as Nanook of the North, killing college coeds with apparent ease and strength. When the killer is finally revealed, the filmmakers expect us to believe that this person can, among other things, hang a larger person by a rope and throw another victim across the room.

The cast is just another bunch of television has-beens and soon-to-be-has -beens. Alicia Witt can't scream to save her life (no pun intended) and Rebecca Gayheart can't act to save her fledgling career.

If you want real horror, rent Hellraiser. If you want a great take on an urban legend (the baby sitter and the man upstairs), rent Halloween. But don't waste your hard earned money on Urban Legend.
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OMG was that bad
cliosimonetta23 January 2013
Lame and stupid. The characters are so thin that a piece of white paper with a number would have been just the same. The story is predictable and the only twist it can menage is by stop making any goddamn sense. This is not really an horror, no supernatural element should be included here, which makes every scene damn unbelievable. The protagonist is annoying, downright stupid (she never, EVER gets it right, and I know some ten years old with more sense) and the movie tries to compensate the absolute lack of "scariness" by jumpscaring you for 1h and half. Just the same, old, useless teenage-slasher movie. To its honor, it kinds of tell you from the very beginning: "hey, I'm lame nd stupid like the lamest urban legend you happen to hear when you hang out with stupid folks!" So, it's not a surprise. If you are twelve, or very sensitive, or you never watch scary movies, you MAY find this scary. If not, be prepared to one of the silliest pieces of crap ever put on the screen.

But in the end I must say: it IS kind of entertaining! It is so stupid, predictable, lame and trashy that it's kind of fun to watch. You got a night with friends, beer and taste for trash? This might be your movie. Sits down and enjoy the parade of clichés. Girl running-Killer walking but still keeping up with her... checked; Teenagers partying... checked; Horny teenagers... checked; Killer somehow foreseeing where the victim (randomly escaping in a very vast compound) will end... checked; Killer in the backseat... checked; Shall I go on?
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Great Flick, But Seems Others Differ
rosemcgowanrulez200110 October 2002
One question I have to ask all who watch movies is, do you watch to be entertained or watch for flaws, watch to be cynical or watch a movie expecting to be disappointed? Do you watch movies for the storyline? Or do you watch for who is in the movie. Now if you are all saying storylines, you are lying, why? Well because we see previews and are attracted to wanting to watch the movie based on who is in it. Which brings me to Urban Legend. Now sure Urban Legends are interesting myths, folklore but put them into a movie with, remember a big with, an "attractive" cast and bang, you have a successful movie. Horror movie mind you. Remember horror movies are always criticized by those "older" and "mature" viewers who always say, this is crap when thier movie collection consists of every hit horror movie from the 80's. Rebecca Gayheart is a sexy hottie, and all guys will agree no matter what. Tara Reid isn't? Ya sure guys, she is as hot as can be in this one and in American Pie. Throw in Jared Leto for the women and Joshua Jackson as well and it looks like we have a cast who is not only known but attractive. That is what sells a movie, and put them into a horror movie that viewers will relate to, meaning folklore myths..Urban Legends and we have the hook, line and sinker. SO all in all this movie is a good horror movie, regardless of it's rip offs. Almost all movies of any genre are rip offs of previous similar movies. this horror movie is not crap, is entertaining and that is the word so many people seem to forget when it comes to watching movies and tv. Be entertained, not so critical. No one is perfect and no production is perfect.
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A silly-but-fun, post-Scream slasher.
BA_Harrison1 September 2009
One of the many slick teen slashers featuring an impossibly photogenic cast to follow in the wake of Scream, Urban Legend sees a crazed killer at a college staging an elaborate series of murders based on popular contemporary folklore.

This ridiculously impractical modus operandi relies heavily on sheer coincidence for success, and inevitably, the resultant film is highly preposterous. Urban Legend's makers are, without a doubt, only too well aware of this fact, but soldier on regardless, relying on the probability that their target audience (indiscriminate teens) will be having too much fun to care (or even notice).

And for the most part, the gamble seems to pay off—the eye candy cast (Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson and Michael Rosembaum for the girls; Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Danielle Harris and Tara Reid for the guys), enjoyable mechanical scares, frivolous in-jokes, and well handled action help detract from the general silliness, and director Jamie Blanks keeps things whipping along at a brisk enough pace to ensure that there's little opportunity to dissect the material and pose awkward questions (at least until the film has finished).

It had been up to me, however, I'd have ramped up the violence (the film is surprisingly unbloody) and thrown in some gratuitous nudity in order to play it safe, for things do get EXTREMELY daft towards the end, and the slasher fans I know are always more forgiving if there's loads of blood 'n' guts and a few boobies on display (surely Reid could have been talked into getting them out for the lads).
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