Urban Legend movie series

Urban Legend

Urban Legend is yet another entry into the suspense-slasher genre that has become the rage after the success of Scream movie series.

Here, a group of students at Pendleton University run across a series of killings which are modelled after "urban legends" in which people (and animals) are killed through vicious and gruesome means, including the killer in the back seat of a car chopping off the victim's heads with an axe, a pet that is micro waved just before the owner falls victim, one of a stranded couple hung by a rope connected to a car while the other tries to make a getaway, the threatening caller who's actually calling from within the house, and the classic: the stolen kidney after a night of inebriation.

The movie follows the standard set for self-referencing slasher flicks. The murderer is the one you suspect the least. A couple of false alarms are thrown in, but the movie remains consistent in that only actions that mimic "urban legends" result in death. The final twists are also highly formulaic. The acting is adequate (any set of teens from TV could've been thrown in the film and it still would've worked fairly well). The moments of suspense are good enough to sustain this movie. Definitely a good time killer.

Urban Legend 2: The Final Cut

The first Urban Legend film ended with the death of the serial killer shrouded in mystery clearly pointing at a sequel. Urban Legends: Final Cut completely ignores that scenario (except until the very end) and comes up with a new one that is a rehash of the original film, but arguably executed slightly better.

In this film, Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is a film student at Alpine University trying to come up with a thesis project. Given that her father is a famous director, there are heavy expectations placed on her. She finally decides on a project featuring a serial killer whose modus operandi is based on urban legends, myths where young college students are killed in hideous and gruesome ways.

Needless to say, this idea takes on a life of its own as people around Amy start dying. As in the Scream films, there are a lot of red herrings as to the identity of the real killer. In this film, the ending was one of the more surprising ones for me (though not completely a shock).

The suspense level in the film is fairly high (thanks in part of the surreal visual effects) and perhaps the cleverest aspect of the movie is that it dismisses the events in the first one as an urban legend (also the multiple choice involving guns at the end is amusing). The acting is passable. Urban Legends: Final Cut is a decent time killer and worth the matinee fare on the big screen. I don't recommend renting it though, unless you're a fan of the self-referential slash/gore horror genre.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org