Urban Legend (1998)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Some creative deaths

Rebecca Gayheart, tired genre

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Urban Legend

Studio:  Original Film

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  September 25, 1998

MPAA Rating:  R


They’re coming to get you, Natalie!

A series of murders are occurring at Pendleton University, and they seemed to be tied to urban legends.  Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) notices that all the murders seem to be happening around her, but she cannot convince the dean (John Neville), her professor (Robert Englund), and the security guard Reese (Loretta Devine) that it is happening.  Now Natalie and her friends are being picked off one-by-one and the real killer will be revealed!

Directed by Jamie Blanks, Urban Legend is a teen horror slasher thriller.  The movie was not well received but did well at the box office.


Enjoy this scene early in the movie…it is about as good as it’s going to get

Urban Legend was released after the Scream boom which encourage smart, sassy, horror self-aware kids fighting for their lives.  The movie feels redundant of movies that were being released at the time and despite the fun hook of urban legends, the movie falls flat.

Scream was really inventive.  It was exciting, new, and still a horror film.  By this point, the horror is falling farther and farther away and the movies like Urban Legend just try to be clever.  A movie like April Fool’s Day did similar things in the ’80s, but did it much better.  It was fun and still a horror movie…Urban Legend just tries too hard.

Like the Scream movies, the film hires a young, hip cast.  Alicia Witt stars as the tortured lead, but now rising star/musician Jared Leto is more remembered for the movie.  Smallville’s Lex Luthor Michael Rosenbaum is a victim along with Dawson’s Creek’s Joshua Jackson (who pokes fun at his Pacey character with Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait” blaring on his radio).  The death toll is added to by Tara Reid and horror vet Danielle Harris, and Freddy Krueger aka Robert Englund plays a professor.  The cast is rounded out by John Neville as the dean of the college and Loretta Devine who does return in the sequel.


Over act much, Rebecca?

*****Spoiler Alert***** The real acting failure has to be Rebecca Gayheart who is revealed to be the killer.  The whole final sequence of the movie is laughable when she becomes this howling maniac who instead of being scary is comparable to Amanda Plummer in So I Married an Axe Murderer.  It makes a bad movie even worse.

The movie does have a couple clever deaths but not clever enough for the concept.  With the rise of movies like Saw, Urban Legend’s deaths are pretty weak.  As a result, the movie looks a bit cheap.

Urban Legend isn’t a good movie and is was based on a format that was already tiring by the time Urban Legend was released.  The clever kids/clever deaths that were initiated by Scream just have lost their cleverness…leaving Urban Legend a rather dull horror film.  Urban Legend was followed by Urban Legends:  Final Cut in 2000.

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Related Links:

Urban Legends:  Final Cut (2000)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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