- Movie Rating -

Urban Legend (1998)

| September 25, 1998

20 years of slasher movies have more or less deluded my interest in a movie like ‘Urban Legend’. How many times can you repeat the same old scenes over and over and over again? There are many overdone horror movie standards but the one that irritates me the most is the one where the girl walks into a dark room and doesn’t turn on the light, says ‘hello?’ at least twice before being tapped on the shoulder and whips around to a stinger on the soundtrack to discover that it’s Kimberly or Natalie or Greg or Brian or Kimmy or Blake or Jessica or Shawn or Danny or Jenny or Sandra or Paul or Brenda or Marty or Brandy or Buffy or Heather or Michele or Kippy – but never the killer at least not the first time.

My mind has become so adhered to these formulas that I am weary from it. The formula is so familiar that it’s like hearing James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’ where not only have you heard it so many times that you know the words but you know the pauses and tweaks in the music by heart as well.

The movie takes place on a college campus where no one ever studies, no one goes to class and everyone looks like soap opera stars on hiatus. There is a mad killer on the loose wearing a parka even where it’s too hot to wear a parka. The kids are killed off according to old urban legends (that’s the films gimmick) and all die off one by one in the order of how famous they are in real like a.k.a. if you aren’t famous your death will come early in the film.

I am going to diverge here for a moment if you will indulge me . ..

I have a lot of time to think during a movie like ‘Urban Legend’ and here is the thought that I had. I know this cast from their previous work and most of them have done some very good work. I have a mental picture of them standing as a group on a studio lot between two sound stages. On one sound stage they could film ‘Urban Legend’.

On the other they could film this movie: A group of kids go to college and have the normal problems that most young people have like deciding on a major, cramming for exams, dealing with pressure to get work in on time and trying to please their demanding professors. We could also get to meet them as individuals and see how they react to one another with personality clashes, romantic entanglements, sexual pressures etc. We could get to know them and follow them through one year of college . . . Oh wait, that doesn’t sell does it?

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1998) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized