Urban Legend (1998) – Review

Urban Legend…contemporary folklore passed on as a true story.

With a blast from the past, the 90’s horror comes back into life, just like urban legends do.

A horror flick from the 90’s featuring a group of rampaging college students trying to get away from a serial killer is always a fun and entertaining way to spend a movie night, as its ominous music and rainy, dark setting of an old college campus foretell amazing adrenaline scenes and endless sexual references.

The story begins with a very appealing and eye-catching way; a murder. Kicking off with a college student driving her car and singing “Total Eclipse of the Heart”out of tune  while the rain is pouring, the suspense levels get dramatically increased as the first victim meets an axe-wielding killer.

The news of the young woman’s murder travels fast and the entire campus of Pendleton University gets shaken by gory and gruesome details. The starring group of six friends, while initially joking around and talking about urban legends, realizes soon enough that there is someone out there bringing urban legends into life.

Paul (a 26-year-old Jared Leto beyond recognition), the ruthless journalist who is working for the university’s newspaper keeps looking for information taking the murders quite seriously, whereas his two friends Parker (Michael Rosenbaum) and Damon (Joshua Jackson) can’t stop provoking him. The girls of the group, shy and mysterious Natalie (Alicia Witt), her best friend Brenda (Rebecca Gayheart) and mischievous, radio hostess Sasha (Tara Reid) play they own unique part in the film and their past will eventually haunt them.

As the story progresses, the group of six – consisting of a very well-known cast – becomes smaller and smaller as one by one they become targeted by the killer on the loose. Only a few days before a campus party commemorating the massacre, a series of bizarre murders indicate that someone is obsessed with urban legends and wants to see them come true with the six fellows as protagonists. Who might that be?

Rumor has it, that 25 years ago, at this very campus, a professor lost his senses and went on a killing spree causing a bloody massacre before turning his knife on himself.

Even though he would clearly be a possible villain, Urban Legend is not about the paranormal realm, so don’t get confused by the mention of Bloody Mary. Director Jamie Blanks offers a number of suspicious characters to keep the interest alive and secure a surprising twist in the end. Is it Professor William Wexler, an expert on urban legends? Or is it a copy-cat of the killer? Some of the protagonists hide dark secrets; could the killer be one of them?

It is absolutely worth waiting until the end when everything becomes clear and meaningful. Try to pass by some plot holes and a few problematic scenes, since Urban Legend is purely entertaining. From metallic lipsticks to spiky hairdo,everything screams 90’s.

It is an absolute must-see and a great reminder of what horror flicks used to be like only a few years back.

This is for you, Krista, since you requested it. Hope you enjoy it.

9 Responses to “Urban Legend (1998) – Review”
  1. Krista Culbertson says:

    This sounds brilliant. I am definitely going to try and hunt this down to watch it.


  2. Laura O says:

    I watched this recently on Youtube (I’d originally seen it in the 90s) and I enjoyed it, mainly because it reminded me of being a kid. It is kind of bad, though! Have you seen part two? So bad!


    • maria kriva says:

      Haha I haven’t seen part two, but I’m sure it’s bad…this is almost always the case with sequels; they are way worse than the first part.

      It’s true…it is not an example of a great horror movie, but as you said, it reminds me of being a kid and 20 years ago horror movies were so different and entertaining. The scene with Joshua Jackson turning off the radio when the Dawson’s Creek theme song came up, was priceless! 😛


  3. thycriticman says:

    Oh yes, I faintly remember watching this one back in the day. It was no Halloween, but sure had its moments of good fun. Glad to see you going retro for a change and I agree that we are losing out these days. In the past a film could be bad, but incredibly entertaining to the point where it is forgiven. Today, a bad film is just well..bad.


  4. Gwen says:

    Urban Legend is one of my favorites! It’s just so entertaining. I love the cast and the urban legends that they used in the film.


    • maria kriva says:

      Yes, Urban Legends is really, really entertaining! 🙂 I love that there are so many different characters and personalities! It can definitely keep your interested from the beginning till the end!

      Thank you for the comment! 🙂


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