Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

This sequel to 1998’s “Urban Legend,” a guilty pleasure of a slasher if there ever was one, has its moments here and there but it never truly rises above mediocrity. There’s an intriguing set-up and plenty of potent material to work with here: It’s set on a campus with a primary focus on film studies, so it’s cool that the characters are all movie geeks who love horror movies, which has the effect of relaxing its target audience of like-minded viewers. Director John Ottoman is technically proficient, with a number of terrific shots and set-ups along the way, but the suspense scenes are a little on the dull side and he doesn’t seem to know how to flesh out the movie’s potential. Additionally, the characters are barely developed, up to and including lead Jennifer Morrison, which means that the movie is emotionally neutered and doesn’t carry much weight. Ultimately, its abysmal critical reaction upon initial release was over-the-top and undeserved because there are effective elements and some memorable shots (including a neat closing credits insert), it’s just not all that great either.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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