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Urban Legend/Urban Legends: Final Cut

Jared Leto , Alicia Witt , Jamie Blanks , John Ottman    DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)

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Urban Legend
An attractive young woman is driving her car on a dark country road and singing along to the radio. She's running out of gas and so she pulls into a gas station (run by a jittery, stuttering Brad Dourif), but then flees what seems to be an attack, only to find the real threat in her backseat: a hooded killer with an ax who takes her head off with a well-aimed swing. You've heard the story before? Not surprising, given that it's one of the more famous urban legends borrowed for Urban Legend, a post-Scream exercise in self-referential horror. The students at an ivy-covered New England college are turning up dead, the victims of a serial killer who murders in the fashion of the "apocryphal" modern myths. It's all for the benefit of good girl with a dark secret Alicia Witt, the sole witness to most of the killings. Doe-eyed Rebecca Gayheart, as her gullible best friend, and Jared Leto, the ambitious campus journalist who tracks down the secret that hangs over the school, lead a cast of pretty young women, hunky guys, and campus characters, notably the suspicious professor Robert Englund, a genre legend in his own right as the star of seven Nightmare on Elm Street films. Take away the cheeky remarks and self-awareness and it's a throwback to the 1970s' rash of teen slasher movies, where sexually active teens are sliced, diced, and otherwise slaughtered in elaborate and ingenious ways. The increasingly preposterous film is no Scream, but the modestly stylish production has its moments. --Sean Axmaker

Urban Legends: Final Cut
While Urban Legends: Final Cut is not nearly as terrifying or inventive as some of its predecessors, the film does offer up a fairly suspenseful whodunit that fans of the teen horror genre will likely appreciate. Amy Mayfield, the film's heroine (played by fresh-faced Jennifer Morrison), is the daughter of an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker trying to make a name for herself at Alpine University, "the greatest film school that ever existed." Along with several other students she is competing for the coveted Hitchcock award, which virtually guarantees the winner a successful career in Hollywood. When the film school's resident genius and likely winner of the award is found dead, suspicions arise. As other film students are killed off one by one, everyone becomes a suspect. Would someone kill to win the prestigious award? While striving to be Hitchcockian in theme (as evidenced by its multiple references to the director himself), the film never quite moves beyond cliché. Many scenes are a little too reminiscent of other popular teen horror flicks like Scream (the anonymous masked killer, though not nearly as frightening), The Blair Witch Project (Amy is chased through desolate woods by her stalker), and Friday the 13th (Amy hides from the killer in a lake setting eerily similar to the one where Jason died so many years ago). These elements seem just a little worn out. Morrison gives a serviceable performance, and Loretta Devine, from the original Urban Legend, adds humor as a Foxy Brown-worshiping security guard. The film manages to keep you guessing until its conclusion, and a sequence set in an abandoned amusement park is truly creepy. But ultimately Urban Legends: Final Cut lacks the originality to make a name for itself among the many films of its genre. --Mindy Ruehmann


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Urban Legend (1998) May 22 2004
Format:DVD
Director: Jamie Blanks
Cast: Alicia Witt, Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Robert Englund.
Running Time: 108 minutes.
Rated R for violence, gore, language, and mild sexual situations.
With the success of "Scream" (1996) and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997), director Jamie Blanks cashes in on this second wave of slasher-hyseria with this slick, innovative angle towards the genre. The opening scene sets the tone for the entire film: a lone traveling college woman stops at a gas station to fill up, only to be harrassed by the sales clerk. Little does she know that the clerk is only struggling to warn her about the murderous maniac wielding an axe is hiding in her back seat.
This, of course, is an urband legend that has been passed down from generation to generation. Alicia Witt stars as a normal student adjusting to college life, only to have her friends being knocked off by a killer in strange fashion--all die similarly to famous urban legends. With the help from the sly journalist Leto, they attempt to track down the killer before it is too late.
Certainly a film that is better than expected, with an intense, smart script and suitable acting. Blanks does a fine job using certain camera angles and shots to portray the killer as mysterious and unknown. Look for Robert Englund, who plays Freddy Krueger in the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films, in a brief cameo as a college professor--he is almost as scary in this flick as his others. Rivals both "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" in style and authenticity.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Predictable and Pointless March 23 2004
By snalen
Format:DVD
It's all set on some leafy college campus in New Hampshire. Professor William Wexler (Robert Englund) lectures on modern folklore and urban legends. The trouble starts when someone begins bumping off the students in the manner of these same urban legends. Can our heroine Natalie (Alicia Witt) figure out who it is before she becomes another victim? Can her friends help her? Or is one of them the killer? Or is it the weird janitor guy? Or maybe the Dean? Or Wexler himself...?
In fact it's extremely difficult, watching this, to give a toss who it is. It's one of the dullest, most mechanical, most derivative, least frightening horror movies I've seen recently. The plot, first of all, is a straight rip-off from the 'Scream' franchise, a plot line Craven has already done so thoroughly to death the last thing anyone needs is a retread anytime soon. The only twist is the urban legend angle which is also of course pinched from assorted other movies, most notably 'Candyman'. And most of the urban legends the film invokes are again just a set of horror movie clichés swiped from films like 'When a Stranger Calls' and 'Candyman' itself.
There are various tricks a director can use to keep an audience on edge during the bits of a movie when nothing genuinely scary is going on. A favourite one is this. Character X is wandering round alone and gets a terrible fright when they meet someone unexpectedly. Stick a sudden loud discordant chord onto the soundtrack and you give the audience a fright too. But then it turns out only to be Character Y and nothing to be frightened of. Many horror films have been known to use this little tease to make us jump. Jamie Blanks, the director of this film uses it very early on. And then he uses it again. And again. And again.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Urban Legends 2: Possibly the worst movie EVER Feb. 26 2004
Format:DVD
It takes a lot to go from being just bad to being painfully inept to the point where you contemplate suicide watching the multi-level banality. Urban Legends: Final Cut made that jump. I can't remember seeing something this poorly directed, acted, written, edited, and just about every other department, in a long while.
Why do all the students at the "best film school ever!" want to make horrible teenie slasher films? Did they sit in their basements dreaming of the day they too could create Scream? My God, the idealistic youth of America just wants to make fake blooded dreck! And why then, the chosen few of the best and brightest for the "best film school ever!" are so BAD at making movies? I'll give this, the girl does draw nice storyboards but then she should have gone to art school and not "the best film school ever!"
And everyone looks like they stepped off a magazine cover including the obligatory cute lesbian, sans Joey Lawerance. You should know trouble's afoot when a Lawerance makes his way into a movie. The acting is phenomenally bad with this cast of characters that are more inclined to be found on the back of a milk carton than deliver a good line or carry a joke well.
This movie just goes from bad to horrible the longer it goes. Yes yes, it's a slasher film you're supposed to have fun with. But what fun is it watching crap you and your friends could make better and funnier in your backyard with your dad's camcorder?
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By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Urban Legend is probably the best teen slasher flick since the early 80's. I know that's not saying much but the acting was surprisingly good in this film. Finally the producers picked young actors and actresses because they had some acting ability and not because of the way they looked. Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Jared Leto and Tara Reid are all familiar faces now though they weren't that familiar then. Witt, Leto and Gayheart all got their starts on television and obviously it trained them well. Urban Legend does follow the slasher-predictable path to the T but it is not at all as corny and sickening as past films. It is very violent and moves fast. I found it ten times more entertaing than Scream which to me was about as scary as a child's fairy tale book. If you don't have the patience I do to sit through films that aren't top, award-winning material, don't waste your time with this. But if you like to just watch movies and take a load off, I suggest you get Urban Legends. It's the best teen horror of the 1990's.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Urban Legend on DVD
Excellent quality, shipped in half the time it said it would and was packaged safe and secure. Would definitely buy from this seller again.
Published on Oct. 14 2011 by Heidi Leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best in the horror genre
this movie,is in my mind,one of the better of the horror genre.it has a clever premise.the characters are well written and strong. Read more
Published on July 24 2007 by falcon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, original movie
I only watched this movie because Jared Leto was in it, I was surprised. I mean, I figured he was the main character, and he was hardly in it! The acting is really good though! Read more
Published on March 29 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars legends that kick ass
this was cool. a killer hackin off people by urban legends..........how original. great slasher movie one of the better ones. and tara reid in it!!!!!
Published on July 8 2004 by "ericswrongturn"
1.0 out of 5 stars eh
I saw this movie on TV the other day and, honestly, the movie has potential to be a kinda good scary movie but the low mentality of these students that we were supposed to believe... Read more
Published on June 12 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Completely and totally mediocre in every sense of the word.
The string of teen horror flicks was revived with the wonderful Scream. It was then followed up with I Know What You Did Last Summer. Then along comes Urban Legend. Read more
Published on April 28 2004 by Ryne Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars DISTURBIN URBAN
URBAN LEGEND is definitely a cookie cutter slasher movie, but Jamie Blanks directs with an intense fervor; the cast plays and/or overplays its roles with thespian gusto. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by Michael Butts
2.0 out of 5 stars Cable viewing only
While not flat-out 'bad', Urban Legend really ammounts to nothing more then an untimately unfulfilling 'Scream' clone. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2003 by Ron Sullivan
3.0 out of 5 stars another money maker- nothing to see here folks move along
ok this is my review, if you want to know what the movie is about than read the description.....
this movie is just like Scream or I know What You Did Last Summer. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by CD-
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