Urban Legend

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Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Students + serial killer = Scream 3? Welcome to your last first day of Semester. This is the latest teenysomething slasher flick, following I Know What You Did Last Summer. It is beginning to look like FormulaCity. Or a virus.

Twenty-six-year-old Australian director, Jamie Blanks, and 24-year-old scriptwriter, Silvio Horta, have come up with a straight-as-a-blade, who's-next-for-the-chop murder mystery. The gimmick is modern mythology. The killer reproduces folksy horror stories for real. A group of friends at college are targeted. Scary? Or Samey?

There is an energy about Blanks' approach, enthusing his actors into forgetting they're not the first to have their throats opened on campus. Alicia Witt especially, as the redhead who witnesses her friends being diced, is convincing. Jared Leto, as the budding student reporter who attempts to keep up, is equally sympathetic. Robert "Freddy" Englund is on hand, as a sinister prof, to remind horror buffs where they're coming from.

It doesn't matter who did it. What matters is how. And whether you care less. At least, there are no nymphettes being offed in the shower. Or decapitated heads bumping down the stairs. It is hokum, pure and not-so-simple, executed with youthful zest. Old fashioned and fun? Of course. A credible killer? You can't have everything.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Urban Legend packshot
A killer on campus draws on modern myths for his modus operandii.
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Director: Jamie Blanks

Writer: Silvio Horta

Starring: Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, John Neville, Julian Richings, Robert Englund, Danielle Harris

Year: 1998

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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Scream 3