Day #42: Urban Legend (1998)

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Urban Legend (1998) IMDB

Synopsis:

When Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) realises that a string of murders resemble urban legends, she must try to convince her friends that they’re all in danger – before they become urban legends themselves.

My take:

This movie copped a lot of flak for being corny, and – more importantly – for not being scary. Both claims are entirely true, but I can’t help but think that its judging this movie by its scare factor (or lack thereof) is a sign that you’re applying the wrong standards to it.

I kind of see Urban Legend as being a less intelligent spiritual successor to Scream. It lacks the finesse of Scream, and is obviously less than capable of delivering any genuine scares, but it comes at its material with a certain degree of irreverent playfulness that I can’t bring myself to get annoyed by. It’s just too obviously cheeky.

And so, with this cheekiness in mind, I feel that Rebecca Gayheart (who is clearly a vampire, because she’s barely aged) deserves a pat on the back for her performance. In a movie that is already overly camp, she manages to pull out a performance that’s just breathtakingly over the top. It’s truly a marvel to see.

I’m starting to worry that I might be accused of giving a pass to bad slashers too often (although I have slammed some, too), but I can’t help it. There are just some movies that fall into the ‘popcorn and friends’ category for me, even though they might fail to adhere to even the most basic requirements of the genre. I guess that sometimes, even with horror movies, I just feel like entertainment value trumps effectiveness.

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