- Actors: Jennifer Morrison, Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner
- Directors: Jamie Blanks, John Ottman
- Writers: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Silvio Horta
- Producers: Amanda Goodpaster, Brad Luff, Brian Leslie Parker
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English, French
- Subtitles: English, French
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Release Date: Feb. 6 2001
- Run Time: 199 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 195 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000053ZIS
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,200 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Urban Legend/Urban Legends: Final Cut (Bilingual)
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(Feb 06, 2001)
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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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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.
It is so important for a film such as this to start off with a real bang, and Urban Legend wastes no time sinking its claws into the audience. A young girl just manages to make it to a gas station in the middle of nowhere when her tank hits empty, finds herself attacked by the strange, revolting attendant there, and manages to escape - only to have her head chopped off by a stranger in the back seat. Why they bother to do a decapitation scene and not show me the head is a question I have to ask, but certainly the opening scene tells the audience to buckle up for a wild ride. The setting for everything that happens here is Pendleton University, voted the safest school in the country by a prominent news magazine (despite the fact its campus security force consists of one lone woman). As we meet our major players in the film, the topic of urban legends comes up in the wake of the murder we already witnessed. Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) does not admit that she knew the victim, but the successive actions taken by the mysterious killer place her right in the middle of things. Not only are the next victims her friends, she basically sees all of them get killed with her own eyes (or hears with her own ears in the case of the classic "Don't turn on the light" murder). Still, it takes time for her to convince anyone of what she is saying. Sure, the decapitated girl was murdered, but Victim #2 is a practical joker who probably went off to party the weekend away, and Victim #3 is ruled a suicide by the tight-lipped school administration. The murders continue, the tension builds up pretty powerfully, and the list of possible suspects dwindles as the body count rises. I have to admit that the big finish took me by surprise; maybe I should have figured out the killer's identity by that time, but I didn't - not by a long shot.
Among the talented cast, Alicia Witt and Rebecca Gayheart give particularly impressive performances. Gayheart in particular really expanded her acting repertoire with this film. The less talented cast members, as it turns out, were pretty much the first to be dispatched, and this works out well. It's always nice when a particularly annoying character you expect to have to deal with until the end gets offed in the first half hour. All told, I actually consider Urban Legend to be a much more original, shocking, effective film than any of the Scream movies it is invariably compared to. The final revelations of this film, as I have already mentioned, took me completely by surprise, and that really doesn't happen all that often. Urban Legend has everything a good slasher film needs, it tells an original story in a highly compelling way that actually makes sense, and it features a real humdinger of an ending. This is the best film in this genre that I have seen in a very long time.
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