Urban Legend"Urban Legend" is the first decent slasher film since "Scream," a stand-alone (hopefully) genre movie with everything that is basic to a slasher/horror film (brutal deaths, bloodbaths, unexpected killers and one distinguished horror actor or director in the credits). "Urban Legend" starts out as a rip-off of "Scream" or "I Know What You Did Last Summer," but goes on to create its own story.The story is the basic horror movie script: disobedient teens commit a crime, and a parka-clad killer wielding an ax creeps out of the shadows and slays them in horrible ways. The setting is simple: a prestigious college in New England. Students are planning a party to celebrate a massacre that happened twenty-five years ago. Of course, the female lead is responsible for a death in her past and that is the killer's motivation.Some parallels can be made to Clive Barker's "Candyman" because of the talk at the end of being the subject of an urban legend that will scare people for years to come. The dialogue is full of swears and profanity, and there is brief nudity and one reference to the Kama Sutra.The film's uniqueness comes from the way the killer carries out the murders: the killer uses urban legends and makes them come true. The first urban legend is the high-beams, gas-station attendant warning "There's someone in the back seat!" The next come from the "Ahook," where the boyfriend gets out of the car, ends up being hanged on top of the roof and when the young woman drives off, the boyfriend's neck breaks. The premise for the killings harkens back to the beach scene in "I Know What You Did Last Summer." There are only three really mentionable actors that star in this tie-in/remake. Two play bit parts. One is major character John Neville who plays The Well-Manicured Man in the "X-Files." He is the dean at the college. Robert "Freddy Krueger" Englund plays the college professor who teaches the urban legend class and is a main suspect; Joshua Jackson plays Pacey Witter on "Dawson's Creek." John Neville and Robert Englund are only on screen for about twenty lines total and Joshua Jackson ends up hanged on top of his car.Altogether, "Urban Legend" is an enjoyable film to see once. The acting is better than"Disturbing Behavior" or "Halloween H20." The script is above-average for a slasher film without falling into time-honored clich"s This movie is rated R. Those under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.