Monday, June 23, 2014

Film Review: Urban Legends: The Final Cut (2000)

Urban Legends: The Final Cut (Review)
United States/2000
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the bigger mistake was the lack of decent urban legends."

At a prestigious film academy, Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) begins shooting a film about a serial killer who uses urban legends to murder. All is well until her crew beginning suffering similar fates...

Urban Legends: The Final Cut follows Amy and her crew as they begin shooting this film. At first, the members of the crew mysteriously disappear; there's an explanation for their disappearance, but Amy feels something sinister may be afoot. Eventually, a close friend passes away, and Amy teams up with his brother as they suspect murder. Unfortunately, many of the urban legends used to kill are lackluster. Furthermore, the story becomes more and more laughable as it progresses. Eventually, Urban Legends 2 reaches an unintentionally hilarious climax; you likely won't see the twist coming because it has zero hints and no build-up.

Urban Legends: The Final Cut is a bad slasher. The film follows a set of stupid characters as they die, often due to their stupid actions. One scene has a character trying to escape from her captor through a window; I must've missed something, though, cause it's impossible to get stuck on a WIDE-OPEN WINDOW! Another scene has a character climb down a ladder as the killer climbs down with him; if the killer is climbing down, why didn't you just pull him of the ladder and throw him downwards instead of heading towards a dead end? These are just off the top of the head, too, there are plenty of odd, illogical scenes.

I think the bigger mistake was the lack of decent urban legends. I love urban legends, that's why I gave the first a 6/10, despite its flaws. But, this film really falls flat in the department. There are only a few urban legends, and they're very, very weak. In fact, the concept of urban legends really takes the backseat; the killer doesn't really use the urban legend to kill his victims, instead he just seems to kill them when they're shooting the scene about the urban legend. So, the concept is a complete loss. However, not all is lost, there are some scenes with decent suspense and a few gory kills; not nearly enough to redeem the film, but it's something.

Oh, yeah, and the story is just bad. It starts of decently with the film-within-a-film and its urban legend concept, but it becomes more and more ridiculous towards the end. It took itself too seriously which made the film unintentionally hilarious. The twin brother scene, the reasoning for the serial killing, the campus cop... Everything about the story is lazy, sloppy, and cliché.

The acting was competent from the cast. Jennifer Morrison is good through most of her performance. Jessica Cauffiel was supposed to be intentionally terrible during some scenes, but she ends up mediocre during her entire performance anyway. Some of the gore and makeup effects were good. The music really didn't fit the genre; it felt to mystical, had too much adventure. This is written by Paul Harris Boardman and, surprisingly, Scott Derrickson, and they deliver a mediocre story with terribly laughable dialogue. Director John Ottman has competent direction but lacks vision; the film is a generic slasher with minimal suspense.

Overall, Urban Legends: The Final Cut is a bad sequel to a decent film. The urban legend concept is severely underutilized, the characters are stupid and have laughable dialogue, and the horror is minimal. This sequel offers very little for fans of the genre or concept, stick with the original.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, some gore, some partial nudity.

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