Urban Legends: Final Cut


Directed by: John Ottman
Written by:Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson
Starring: Joey Lawrence, Matthew Davis, Jenny Morrison, Loretta Devine, Anson Mount
Released: September 28, 2000
Grade: C-

At 1pm on Monday, February 17, 1997, I went to the Birch Carroll & Coyle cinemas at Maroochydore and saw one hell of a film - Scream.  It was sharp, witty, scary, original and worthy of the praise it received.  However, if I was to know of the utter garbage it would spawn, I feel we’d all be better off if Scream had never been created.

Long ago I’d never heard the term “teen horror film” but now those three words make me cringe in my seat.  I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, Halloween H20, Phantoms, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, Disturbing Behaviour, Idle Hands, Urban Legend, Jawbreaker, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Cut, Final Destination, Scream 3, The Skulls...  That’s a lot of movies in a three-year stretch and a lot of bad memories to go with them.

I have spoken of and written about all of the above films with contempt.  I have used every negative adjective that both my mind and this computer can imagine and I have nothing left.  There are no words that can express my feeling for this film so I feel the best thing is to just leave it at that.  I know it stinks, you know it stinks, end of story.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.  A girl at an exclusive film school comes up with an idea to make a movie - one about a serial killer who kills people based upon urban legends.  So, she makes the movie and one by one, her crew are killed off and you’ll never guess how - by an actual serial killer who kills people based upon urban legends.  Wow!

Now make sure you brace yourself for the big finale.  Like most every other teen film, the ending defies all logic with a ludicrous motive created to make the killer seem like the last person you’d expect.  There’s no thinking involved because the motive is so convoluted, it’s impossible to both predict and substantiate.  I’m tempted to tell you right now who the killer was just to spoil the movie so you can avoid the trauma of having to see it.

If I can say one thing for the film - I enjoyed the interesting twist in the final 20 seconds.  To save you the trouble, the movie ends with the killer being escorted around a hospital in a wheelchair by a nurse who happens to be Rebecca Gayheart (the killer from the first Urban Legend).  A nice touch but it’s the only one.

This is as low as we can go.  There is no coming back from here.  This film has set filmmaking back so far, it must surely lead the demise of this genre.  This is a farce.