The murderous fisherman with a hook is back to once again stalk the two surviving teens, Julie and Ray, who had left him for dead, as well as cause even more murder and mayhem, this time at a posh island resort.
Jennifer Love Hewitt,
Freddie Prinze Jr.,
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. No one, including her friends, Wexler, Dean Adams and security guard, of course, believes her until it's too late. Now she finds that she and her friends are part of the killer's ultimate urban legend.Written by
K. Wilson [edited for spoilers]
The version of the film shown on the USA network keeps onscreen violence to a minimum. All violence is shown very quickly, while the sound effects during killings have been removed entirely, and any shots of a dead body have been trimmed to show only a flash of what the body looks like. See more »
Derivative addition to the Scream cycle, with a good solution to the mystery.
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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