Released at the height of the slasher renaissance following the runaway success of 1996’s “Scream,” “Urban Legend” doesn’t get any points for logic or consistency, but it’s inventive and entertaining enough to warrant a viewing. The cast is comprised of then-rising stars (like Alicia Witt, Jared Leto and Tara Reid, among many others) and each of them seems to be enjoying themselves, and their chemistry and charisma raises the movie above its rather silly screenplay. There are a number of impressively effective murder scenes that up the ante on slasher kills, and the semi-isolated setting of a secluded college campus adds a certain encroaching claustrophobia to the proceedings. However, all that good will is eroded in the last twenty minutes, which features one of the worst denouements for any modern slasher, not to mention a jaw-droppingly bad performance by the performer who is revealed to be the killer, which ends the movie on a sour note. However, getting there is a lot of fun, and while the ending is ruined by cheesy acting (and one of the most inelegant “talking killer” segments I think I’ve ever seen), getting there is a lot of fun.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)