Urban Legend is the story of a serial killer that models their murders around Urban Legends. Serial killers were all the rage in the 90’s and while some were absolutely amazing, others were…well, Urban Legend.
“The idea of an urban legend serial killer, it’s a stretch.” – Paul. Don’t make my job that easy, Paul.
The first murder is modeled after the “killer in the backseat” Urban Legend. We all know it, young girl driving along when she feels threatened by a sketchy person only to find out too late that that person was just trying to warn her that a killer was hiding in her backseat. It’s effectively creepy and even I check the backseat, underneath the car, other vehicles near my car and I check to see if anyone follows me when I drive away. Also, if anyone makes the same turn as me more than once then I will make 3 left turns to make sure they aren’t following me. I’m late to a lot of things.
The girl, Michelle, is driving in the rain at night when she pulls into a gas station. The attendant tells her that there is something wrong with her card and she needs to come inside. Inside, the attendant acts strange but he conveniently has a stutter so he can’t explain himself. She freaks out and manages to escape and make it back to her vehicle. As she’s driving away, he is finally able to scream “There’s someone in your back seat!”. She races away from the gas station in complete hysterics when a figure rises up out of the back seat and murders her with an axe.
It’s probably best that they ended the scene there because the killer (who does not have a seat belt on) just murdered the driver of the car while they were probably going over 50 mph. What if the gas station attendant hadn’t seen the killer? Or what if he didn’t have a stutter and was able to warn her? Even more important, what if no one had seen the killer in the backseat? Would they have been forced to just murder Michelle urban legend…lessly?
All of the main characters are in the same Folklore class taught by Professor Wexler (Robert Englund). The class is currently learning about urban legends and somehow this whole concept seems brand new to these characters even though urban legends are literally all they talk about. In fact it seems as though every aspect of their lives have revolved around urban legends. Natalie knew Michelle from high school and one night they drove around with their headlights off and chased the first person that flashed their lights at them. And of course the other driver died. Natalie is the hero of this movie by the way.
The killer wears a hooded winter jacket to keep their anonymity, which I get but does the hood contain a black hole that forever obscures the wearer’s face?
It is a pretty fancy jacket which is why the same exact one is owned by
The problem is that for most of the movie it’s barely light jacket weather. It’s stupid fake outs like these that really make me hate this movie. Also, I wouldn’t worry about a maniac so much as the anemia epidemic that seems to be running rampant at this college.
After the killer cuts a swath of urban legend relevant destruction, our remaining heroes, Paul, Brenda and Natalie band together for one final showdown. That lasts for all of five minutes and they get separated, and Natalie finally comes face to face with the killer and it is none other than-
Brenda decided to theme murder everyone because her boyfriend was in the car that Natalie and Michelle ran off the road. This tiny little woman not only managed this-
But also managed to haul several dead bodies up three flights of stairs into this abandoned dorm.
I am not trying to sound sexist here. I firmly believe that a woman can brutally murder someone just as well as any man. I’m just saying that overpowering someone (without knocking them out) and hanging him a good 8 feet off the ground seems a little far fetched for a woman even if she were PMS-ing pretty hard…I…I apologize for that last part. Also, Brenda planned to frame Professor Wexler for the murders and stage his suicide.
A chase ensues and Brenda ends up falling to her death in the river. We are then treated to an end scene with a bunch of other unlikable college students talking about the Urban Legend murders as though they were an urban legend. So…ok…I can kind of see what the writer was going for here. It’s a take on the old Unreliable Narrator trope. It’s rather cliched but I can see the value from an existential viewpoint. Very profound. Can we really trust anything that we see and hear around us, not necessarily just “urban legends.” I have to say I’m fairly impressed with such a nuanced-
(holding bridge of nose and closing eyes) Never mind. They just didn’t know how else to explain the butt load of plot holes.
If you liked this review be sure to check out Friday the 13th | Distracted Movie Review and The Grudge | Distracted Movie Review.