URBAN LEGEND (1998)

urban-legend-backseat

Directed By: Jamie Blanks
Written By: Silvio Horta
Cinematography: James Chressanthis
Editor: Jay Cassidy 


Cast: Alicia Witt, Tara Reid, Rebecca Gayheart, Jared Leto, Joshua Jackson, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, John Neville, Robert Englund, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Danny Comden 


 A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.

I remember seeing this film at a secret sneak preview and even though I didn’t have to pay. still left this movie defeated and enormous disappointed. After looking forward to it for months. As this was one of the films that I kept my eye on when the internet was still new and movie news was plentiful in the headlines and details.

This is one of those films that was clearly influenced by SCREAM and is obviously trying to be for the same type of audience. Except that scream was actually well aloe this seems more haphazard and eventually comes across almost as an unintentional inspired spoof.

The film is surprisingly disappointing. As it seems at every turn to go the wrong way. Never quite settling on a tone and generally all over the place. Yet never quite achieving over the top.

The producers Got an all star cast of up and comers together mainly to just be victims in this film. Though they do help attract an audience. As they were known enough to be more high profile victims or suspects. Even though the death of the main characters roommate, her goth roommate seems especially cruel. When the film seems to be trying to make her deeper or have the audience have some sympathy for her. Where the film offers great kills and even a premise that could easily work if done the right way. Yet comes across as trying to give the audience what they want by pandering rather then being inventive which is what the audience for this film might actually be seeking.

Once the killer is revealed the reasoning given is so ridiculous. As this film is supposed to be a comedy so it does come off as ridiculous. Though it seems to want us to take this seriously.

The performances aren’t that good either. While the cast is nice to look at it does just feel like some teens trying to actually more adult in a film that asks them more to act their age.

Jared Leto as always Is heavily featured but his role doesn’t amount to much other than as a love interest and in his role as a campus reporter he more comes across as trying too hard in a role clearly not for him.

For a film about urban legends though the killings would be more original or inspired as every character more plays a cliche and goes down in gory ways but the film Never feels that smart. Where most of the characters are surface and offer little to no depth.

The film has the opening kill that eventually comes back around to the other characters and introduces the killer and their methods. Though wittily the kind of celebrity cameo (at least for horror fans) isn’t the victim but an actor in the scene who goes uncredited.

The film comes off more as ridiculous unintentionally. Though at times wants us to go with it as tongue in cheek. As some scenes and performances we are supposed to take seriously are funny and the ones that are funny just seem more corny. It just doesn’t have the fun that it seems to want to have.

 

The only effective scenes is the killing of her roommate which also seems a little cruel and a moralistic choice if the film to kind of throw down a punishment for sexual freedom. As it feels a bit like slut shaming. As her character actively seeks, enjoys and revels in it.

The film just feels rushed and like they invented scenes at the last minute as they went along.

Grade: F

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