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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Urban Legend, (1998) - Legend of the Dark

Rating: ★★★½☆☆(3.5/5 stars)

Released 09-25-1998

Watched 06-16-2024

Reviewed 06-26-2024

Watched on MAX

"I prefer the term "eccentric". But, yeah, I guess I'm a little "nutty"."

Urban Legend (1998) is a horror film that takes the spine-tingling tales we heard as kids and turns them into a thrilling cinematic experience. Directed by Jamie Blanks, this movie taps into the creepy allure of urban legends and weaves them into a narrative that is both engaging and eerie.

The story revolves around a group of college students who find themselves entangled in a series of gruesome murders that seem to mimic popular urban legends. The film’s protagonist, Natalie (Alicia Witt), becomes increasingly suspicious and terrified as her friends fall victim to these horrifying tales. The setting of a university, with its shadowy corners and isolated locations, provides the perfect backdrop for the unfolding terror.

The performances are solid, with standout roles from Jared Leto as the inquisitive journalist Paul and Rebecca Gayheart as the enigmatic Brenda. The cast does a commendable job of keeping the tension high and the atmosphere charged with suspense.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its clever use of familiar urban legends. The creative kills and how these legends are brought to life on screen are both inventive and chilling. The film also plays with the idea of fear and paranoia, making the audience question what is real and what is merely a terrifying story.

However, Urban Legend isn’t without its flaws. The plot can sometimes be somewhat predictable, and the dialogue occasionally dips into clichéd territory. Some character decisions feel contrived, serving more to advance the plot than staying true to realistic behavior.

Despite these minor shortcomings, Urban Legend delivers a satisfying horror experience. It taps into a primal fear of the unknown and the macabre stories that have been passed down through generations. While somewhat foreseeable, the twist ending still packs a punch and ties the narrative together in a neat, albeit bloody, bow.

Overall, Urban Legend is a fun and frightening film that pays homage to the creepy tales we’ve all heard. It’s not a masterpiece but a solid entry in the slasher genre that horror fans will appreciate for its nostalgic nods and creative scares.

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