Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

I love the first Urban Legend film and always wondered if the two sequels were worth a look, and after checking the third one last night I can say with resounding conviction that no, they are fucking not worth a look. At least not this piss poor Bloody Mary one, which barely registers as a passable motion picture at all, let alone a near half decent horror flick. A very young Kate Mara heads up a group of college friends who are stupid enough to invoke the wrath of Bloody Mary, a vengeful mirror dwelling ghost who was once the victim of date rape at the hands of leering frat boys which we get to see in a cheap, sleazy prologue. That’s really about it, the story barely exists, the ghost looks nothing close to as terrifying as she does on the poster and resembles a hungover Spirit Halloween employee in the film itself. The acting is beyond amateur except for Mara, and although I’m a sucker for her in anything, not even she can do anything for this dollar store mess. It looks like it was shot with a bleeping fax machine, the horror effects are painfully cheap and just… everything, *everything* about it is lame, ridiculous and underproduced. The thing is, the first Urban Legend film is really good, it’s got a huge prolific cast, well written script and high production value for a horror of its caliber, and yeah I mean sequels in this kind of franchise are never as good as the first but like, I didn’t expect *that* much of a drastic drop in quality, this thing is just hurtin, man. I’ll thank Kate Mara for being the literal only reason I could sit through the entire thing.

-Nate Hill

Urban Legend

Urban Legend is pretty much like Scream, but a lot less meta and a bit more atmosphere, unfolding as you’d expect it to, with a group of college kids getting killed in bizarre circumstances that all relate to half whispered local myths. One of their professors is Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, and who better to lay down the tongue in cheek groundwork than such a familiar face and expressive, dynamic presence like him. Looking back on this it’s fairly shocking how terrific of a cast it has and how it’s been mostly forgotten in the annals of slasher archives. Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Natasha Gregson Warner and Danielle Harris headline as the varied campus rats, with Harris a standout as the obnoxious bitchy goth stereotype, far from her timid Jamie Lloyd in the Halloween films. There’s a prologue cameo from horror vet Brad Dourif as well as appearances from Loretta Devine, Julian Richings, Michael Rosenbaum and a priceless John Neville, getting all the best lines as the college’s salty Dean. The kills are all done in high 90’s style, the story takes a Scream-esque twisty turn in the third act and as far as atmosphere goes, it pretty much outdoes the ol’ ghostface franchise. Spooky good time. 

-Nate Hill