URBAN LEGEND (REVIEW)
Dir. Jamie Blanks
Reviewer. Dan Cook
You’d think that with its satirical lampooning of the genres many conventions that Wes Craven’s 1996 hit SCREAM would have been the final nail in the coffin of the slasher movie. However, as we all know, it unintentionally reinvigorated filmmakers to make their own low budget serial killer shockers and while a select few pushed the teen horror film to its next evolutionary stage, many instead settled on following the decade and a half long formula that Craven’s postmodern classic did its very best to demystify. And none were more derivative than URBAN LEGEND, Jamie Blank’s star studded 1998 college-set thriller that is so generic and archetypal that horror fans will be second guessing the films narrative long before its “twist” ending raises its predictable head.
Telling the story of a revenge-seeking, parka-wearing killer who begins to bump off the students and staff of a New England University by way of popular deadly myths, URBAN LEGEND boasts a pretty sizeable cast including future Academy Award winner Jared Leto, TV star Alicia Witt and even small but memorable appearances from horror icons Robert Englund and Brad Dourif. However, despite its praiseworthy credits as well as Christopher Young’s suitably creepy score and a number of inventive and enjoyably gruesome death scenes, URBAN LEGEND is little more than a minor footnote in the depressingly long story of the late 90’s, post-SCREAM slasher craze.