Volume 92, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 29, 1998
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Horror legends hit suburbia
Photo by Bruce Macaulay
By Nina Chiarelli
So you heard about the girl who kept getting crank calls while she was babysitting, right? When she went to investigate, she realized the calls were coming from a room upstairs, inside the house. She was from my hometown.
She was from your hometown too?
Just when you thought all the creepy stories your older brother always told you were only myths to be repeated at adolescent slumber parties, director Jamie Blanks brings them to life.
Urban Legend is the intelligently written story of a serial killer brutally offing students at Pendleton University and following the plot lines of urban legends. Although this movie follows the unwritten traditional rules of all teen horror flicks, it's so skillfully done it is impossible not to get sucked in. A familiar and gorgeous cast of '90s brat-packers eases the transition into this horror slasher hell.
The movie finds Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) and her friends enrolled in the folklore class at Pendleton, taught by none other than the actor who portrayed Freddy Kreuger, Robert Englund. As the kids are reeling from the death of a fellow student and wondering if there really is a psycho on the loose, Natalie, not knowing who to trust, must solve the mystery before the killer can get to her.
Great performances are turned in by all, with honourable mentions to Canadian Joshua Jackson as the enjoyably funny frat-boy type, Robert Englund as the typical weirdo professor and Noxzema-girl Rebecca Gayheart who finally gets to showcase her acting talents.
Still, having these young but highly reputed actors doesn't seem to be enough. The movie draws attention to their other known roles by adding subtle plugs for Jackson's Dawson's Creek and Gayheart's Noxzema careers.
In the I Know What You Did Last Summer tradition of horrors, this movie packs a major punch, with thrills, chills and enough gore to effectively turn your stomach. But there is one thing Urban Legend can boast that most other teen horror/slasher flicks can't the reality aspect.
Everyone checks their back seat before getting into a dark car and most people get a chill when alone at night in the middle of woods with nothing to protect them. This movie not only brings your worst fears into reality, but does so with enough of a scare-factor that the actual origin of the urban legends begins to weigh heavy on the mind.
Without a doubt this movie is no Scream, but it does have enough red herrings to keep you guessing and an action-packed story line that's sure to interest.
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