Review: “Urban Legends Final Cut”

When I first heard of this project I wondered who in the hell greenlighted it? After all the original movie was an OK-good teen horror flick with a great first 2/3 before it sank off into the typical hack and slash fest in the last half hour.

The original also had a good cast with actors who’d made names for themselves in other projects (Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Joshua Jackson, Robert Englund, John Neville, etc.). This sequel though looked like it was done for a lot less budget, contained mostly complete unknowns and used a film production setting which “Scream 3” used up months ago. Going in the expectations weren’t high.

Coming out though it was a sort of surprise. In terms of horror movie sequels this is one of the better recent ones (nowhere near “Scream 2” but better than “I Still Know…”). It lacks the style and cleverness of the original, but does well with what they have.

The young actors are good, especially the women with Mayfield, Cauffiel and the returning Devine easily becoming the most memorable characters of the cast. Most of the guys do OK but are stuck with so-so roles, Lawrence for example is given a one-note character and Davis playing the part of a twin brother who suddenly appears seems almost – well very 80’s.

What’s best with this is the suspense. There’s hardly any laughs, this is a serious horror flick with Ottman’s knowledge of music proving highly useful in creating a good atmosphere and 2-3 good ‘jumps’. On the downside it makes poor use of ‘urban legends’ with only the first murder really taking advantage of a classic legend (the kidney removed and sold on the black market one), the rest may as well just be random killings – and they are really.

The film school setting will prove fascinating for budding directors who love to know all these tricks of the trade, but the plot and reasons for the killings are a bit paper thin. There’s also the standard “explain everything” by the culprit though there’s a great gun face-off bit here too. Stick around for an unusual cameo during the credits.

To sum up this is an OK movie. Ottman and the cast have done a good job with a limited script and budget, but its not worth rushing out to unless your a major fan of teen horror flicks.