Urban Legend (1998)


Directed by: Jamie Blanks

Written by: Silvio Horta


Jared Leto .... Paul Gardener
Alicia Witt .... Natalie Simon
Rebecca Gayheart .... Brenda Bates
Michael Rosenbaum .... Parker Riley
Loretta Devine .... Reese Wilson
Joshua Jackson .... Damon Brooks
Tara Reid .... Sasha Thomas
John Neville .... Dean Adams
Julian Richings .... Weird Janitor

Special Appearances:

Robert Englund .... Professor William Wexler
Danielle Harris .... Tosh Guaneri
Natasha Gregson Wagner .... Michelle Mancini
Brad Douriff ....
Michael McDonnell, gas station attendant 

Release Dates: Theatrical: September 25, 1998









A group of people at a campus are slaughtered one by one with a killer wearing a hooded winter's jacket and an axe in which they are based on the killings of an urban legend that was once told there.
One of the students named Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) does some investigating with her boyfriend Paul Gardener (Jared Leto) but people surrounding them are possible suspects including one of the teachers there named Professor William Wexler (Robert Englund) and a Weird Janitor (Julian Richings) who seems to be around when these incidents happen and eyes alot of the students there too.


The beginning of the film is supposed to look eerie in which we spot a woman driving to a gas station and spots an eccentric gast station attendant stuttering and asking her to come into the place as her credit card wasn't working in which this was supposed to give you the chills but watching this looked awfully corny. However when we spot where the killer is hiding to attack this victim it looked intense and well done while we watch on what happens here.
Later on we spot some corny discussions with the students at the campus discussing the urban legend as well as talking about on what happened to that woman too. This moment was too hard to be taken seriously. However you could tell that this was intended to be a little tongue in cheek.
Also wew spot a moment with two young women named Natalie Simon and Brenda Bates having a discussion on calling out bloody mary a few times according to the legend on what was told in which this seemed to be impressive on the two of them having fun and then someone catching them by surprise while doing this which seemed to show okay timing within all of this.
There's a real effective scene when a dorky character named Damon Brooks pisses off Natalie Simon in his car showing perfect moments like her hitting him and then he goes out to take a whiz in which this is a perfect key for the killer to come as everything is still and silent which looked very suspenseful to watch after spotting on what happens later on. Plus it looked clever on how the killer plans to do in one of these people which is also creepy to spot here.
We have another clever moment with a goth chick Tosh Guaneri trying to hook up talking to someone on the internet with online chat as she goes away and then comes back plus seeing on what she spots in which this looked spooky to watch too along with the killer yet doing some clever moves so nothing looked out of the ordinary which makes you cringe for sure.
Another good situation when both Paul Gardener and Natalie try to break in Professor William Wexler's office to find some clues and they're caught in the act as by how this was all put together makes out that Wexler is a perfect suspect here.
Things seem to look cheesily entertaining when a party is starting up with good shots on all of this. There's also a good and serious situation between Paul and Natalie as well as nice movements on then kissing and suddenly Brenda catching them in the act and getting all upset which looked strongly done while we spot all of this. It seemed to fit in well with what was going on here.
There's a situation with the killer getting a hold of a campus student doing a radio show along with struggling moments on what happens here with her falling or trying to run away in which this was supposed to be packed with suspense here. However these scene's really lacked big time and needed some improvements.
Of course we have an ignorant party host who happens to be Parker Riley when Paul and Natalie tries to tell him about a killer at the campus and he doesn't believe them as with his cocky attitude you just feel like hitting him. This seemed to show nice timing while we spot one another's reactions to everything here.
More cheesiness added when Parker takes a call and the call is from the killer threatening that he's gonna die and he goes along with it mentioning about the Scream scene in the first flick but yet we spot a perfectly shocking moment when he finds out what's in the microwave as this was a memorable horror moment in the film. Pretty shocking but thankfully we don't spot anything too graphic here.
We do spot an eerie moment with Paul talking to Natalie in a way that he could be another suspect in the film as you keep watching to find out what will happen here. Plus a good shocking moment later on when they go to a gas station with Brenda and what they spot in the back of his trunk which looked well done here.
Great shots on both Natalie and Brenda running away in the dark woods since we always need something like this in a horror flick. After all these situations always look spooky.
Then we spot to the real creepy moments when Natalie tries to search for Brenda in a creepy looking house when we hear her crying for help as we spot dead bodies etc and this gives you an obvious feeling that the crying is a set up. This moment could've been a bit more convincing.
Then the best is yet to come when we spot who the killer is as well as Natalie being tied up as well as some suggested torture and some revealed truths too which looked totally twisted and very powerful to watch here. Plus some great suspenseful struggling moments too which involves a female officer Reese Wilson trying to make sure the killer doesn't make a move while approaching closer and holding a gun in which this seems to leave an impression that this is not a good idea to do.
Bottom line is that the film has been done before so it wasn't original at all. In fact it tried so hard to clone I Know What You Did Last Summer and a touch of Scream but adding alot more cheese to the story and making it unscary for the most part. It had some interesting moments as mentioned which just made it an above average film.

The acting is at an average pace. Not too bad but not terrific either. Lead actor Jared Leto (Paul Gardener) seemed to pull off his role not too badly here as the clean cut guy next door type. Was convincing with his sympathetic type of attitude and offering a nice charm to his appeal too. Plus shows off a decent amount of energy for the suspenseful situations that he had to do in the film. Plus was good with his mysterious speaking in a certain part of the film making him a convincing suspect too.
Alicia Witt (Natalie Simon) shows alot of good adrenaline into her part as well showing a good anxious reaction to when the terror strikes plus she does well with her intense speaking while acting terrified too. Also knew on how to speak tough as well as being physical while doing this drawing out some powerful energy within this. Plus was decent with her sobbing on screen while acting upset on a situation. Does a great job reacting in pain or scared out of her head while being tied up in which she focused perfectly by doing all of this.
Rebecca Gayheart (Brenda Bates) showed alot of great spunk as well as having a great bubbly type of personality into what she does here just really drawing it all together. Plus knew on how to act very uplifting too. Also does well in a scene breaking her happiness into an upsetting sob and really letting it out along with her anger. Shows a nice intensity with her anger and rage as well plus showing a perfect wide eyed expression and just going at it with full thrust. I found her to be the best out of the whole cast and proves to be a worthy character here.
Michael Rosenbaum (Parker Riley) showed off a perfect hype with his larger than life type of personality and making himself a convincing partygoer. Does well with his hyperactive speaking especially when he stresses something which was right on the ball here. Also knew on how to act annoying and in your face too making himself a convincing asshole too. Plus does well with his shocked and freaked out reactions near the end of his performance just letting it all out. A good pat on the back for this guy.
Loretta Devine
(Reese Wilson) was a natural ham in her part as an officer in the flick as she does well with her sarcasm as well as not acting serious for the most part offering some good humor into what she does here. She defientely shows a good turnaround when things get serious and showng a good amount of energy while trying to save the day in which she was strong with her words by what she does. Also shows a good weak and painful attitude in a scene while firing her gun.
Joshua Jackson (Damon Brooks) certainly came across as another dorky campus student offering some good timing with his annoying behavior as well as joking around with stuff in which this also looked good as someone who you feel like avoiding. He also does well choking and reacting to a painful situation which he drew in very believeable while doing all of this.
Tara Reid (Sasha Thomas) was lacking in her performance and had only the half good looks to her role to top it all off. She seemed to come across as the bimbo in the film. Her screaming reactions and struggling behavior while the killer is after her needed serious improvments here. No gold star for this actress as it looked like she only had experience in modelling or acting in daytime soaps.
John Neville (Dean Adams) sounded very slick and to the point as one of the teachers at the campus in which he adds a nice prissiness to his behavior and just acts sharp by what he does throught his performance. Also does a great job by acting shocked and in pain when he is attacked drawing it in well here.
Julian Richings (Weird Janitor) was a perfect drawing card to the story with his thinnish looks and wide eyed glaring just making him a perfect suspect to the story. He also had a very good icy speaking into what he did here. Also he was great by acting anxious in a certain scene too coming across as believeably intimidating while doing all of this.
Robert Englund (Professor William Wexler) certainly proves a worthy part instead of Freddy Krueger in which he shows off well with his cold speaking while instructing his class making him a difficult type in the story in which he drew this in perfectly too. He also does a great job showing a sterness too in another scene just coming off as someone who could be a killer in the story. He does this all well even if his role was fairly small in the film.
Danielle Harris (Tosh Guaneri) showed it off impressively as a gothic chick in the flick showing a good nasty attitude by acting snappy in which this looked energetic as well as doing a terrific job acting like she's suffocating and showing off good intensive reactions to all of this.
Brad Douriff (Michael McDonnell, gas station attendant) was uncredited in his role for some silly reason here but yet he was probably embarrassed with his performance here in which he'd have every right to. He tries to pull off his part as someone who stutters and acts eccentric but yet it looked a bit amateurish and too corny. Oh well.

Gobs of gore is briefly revealed in a microwave
The odd bloody stabbing is shown here and there but nothing too gruesome

Terrific screeching noises and banging sounds for the jumping moments which works every time. Also great metal clanging too along with perfect loud trombone playing along with terrific powerful drumbeats too. Plus nice loud cymbals clanging as well as the odd chiming sounds too which had a nice brief effect during a silent moment before the killer is ready to do the next victim. Of course there's the odd strong violin and flute playing too which was well orchestrated. All of this was nicely put together by Christopher Young.

There's some nice songtracks for the film such as "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler when it shows during the beginning of the story with someone driving in a quiet night which really adds a nice touch to everything having a love ballad when we have a feeling something terrible is going to happen here.
Also we have a great stomping songtrack with "Spookshow Baby" by Rob Zombie during a lustful scene with a gothic campus girl in her dorm which is suitable here. Also a perfect horror song for a horror film too.

Michael McDonnell, gas station attendant: Someone's in the back... SEAT! 

Professor William Wexler: Had those before? 
Brenda: Yeah. They're Pop Rocks; they crackle in your mouth. 
Professor William Wexler: Eat some... thirsty?... What's wrong? Something you might have heard about mixing Pop Rocks and Soda? 
Brenda: Well, supposedly, your stomach and your intestines and everything bursts. 

Damon: Are you sure you don't wanna think this over? Cos, I'm all about you, Natalie. 
Natalie: One black eye or two Damon. You decide. 
Damon: Fine. I'm gonna go take a piss. 

Paul Gardener: How long have you been working here? 
Weird Janitor: Too damn long. 

Parker: [into a phone] Hello? Hello? 
Killer: [distorted voice] You're gonna die tonight. 
Parker: [into the phone] Oh, really? Let's see... this call is coming from inside this house. Could it be... an urban legend? Am I right? 
Parker: Hello? Hey, don't get shy on me all of a sudden fuck-face. This is the one about the babysitter, right? She's getting those scary and harassing phone calls and when she traces them back, they are coming from inside the house. But asswipe, aren't you forgetting something? I'm not babysitting any kids! 
Killer: [voice] Wrong legend! This is the one about the old lady who dries her wet dog in the microwave oven. 
[Parker suddenly turns back and looks towards the microwave oven that he doesn't remember being on

Brenda: I must say, Natalie, you have proven your friendship to me. Coming all the way out here without even a little pepper spray to defend yourself with. 

Natalie: You're fucking crazy! 
Brenda: I prefer the term "eccentric". But, yeah, I guess I'm a little "nutty".

Natalie: Brenda, you need help. 
Brenda: I have already tried therapy! Obviously, it did me no good, Natalie. 

Brenda: [stabbing Natalie with the scalpel] Is this the kidney? Or is that the Liver? Oh, well. First organ I see, I'm just gonna grab it! 
[Brenda digs the scalpel in deeper, but Reese bursts through the door with her gun aimed at Brenda
Reese Wilson: Drop the weapon! 
Brenda: [turns around and sees Reese] Oh great! Rent-a-cop to the rescue. 
Reese Wilson: Move over the the window, now, you loony psycho bitch!