The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan

"URBAN LEGENDS: FINAL CUT"

Urban Legends: Final Cut

Two years after Urban Legend became a modest box office hit, the sequel Urban Legends: Final Cut was released. It attempted to put a fresh spin on the idea its predecessor established. Reviews were poor -- it has just 9% at Rotten Tomatoes -- and box office business was impacted by audience fatigue with slashers. As is often the case with horror movies, though, the film gradually found an audience over time, thanks to cable TV airings and a DVD release. Scream Factory gives UL:FC another shot at expanding its reach with a first-rate new Blu-ray release.

The movie is set at a prestigious film school where a bunch of students are all trying to win the prestigious Hitchcock Award. Someone wants it bad enough that they're willing to kill the competition. Jennifer Morrison (before she found fame on the TV show House) plays Amy Mayfield, the aspiring director who finds herself at the center of all these murders. Eva Mendes, Anthony Anderson, and Jessica Cauffiel co-star, and Loretta Devine reprises her role as a Pam Grier-obsessed security guard.

Urban Legends: Final Cut maintains the basic premise of the original by having Amy express an interest in making a movie about a serial killer who murders according to -- you guessed it -- urban legends. The twist here is setting the story at a film school rather than a regular university. There are a couple of fake-out scenes in which we're made to think something scary is happening when, in reality, it's just one of the students making a movie. The locale also allows the story to indulge in a sort of "meta" humor, as scenes take place around cinematic equipment and the characters engage in film-speak.

That's not a bad idea, except that the characters are one-dimensional and the mystery isn't quite as clever as it thinks it is. In fact, it feels implausible even for the genre. Once the villain is revealed, that person commits the most annoying of movie-related sins -- delivering a big monologue about the motivation behind the murders. These issues detract from any inventiveness the film tries to establish.

Nevertheless, the cast is energetic and there are several skillfully-staged death scenes that give you a jolt. Urban Legends: Final Cut isn't one of the better slasher flicks of its era, but you can at least see that it attempted to do something unique.

Blu-ray Features:

Scream Factory assembles a nice collection of bonus features for its Blu-ray, starting off with audio commentary from director John Ottman.

"The Legend Continues" is a retrospective documentary that includes interviews with producers Gina Matthews and Michael McDonnell, Executive Producers Nick Osborne and Brad Luff, Chairman/CEO of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, writer Silvio Horta, and actors Loretta Devine and Rebecca Gayheart. The making of the movie and the pressure to follow-up the original are examined. Whereas a similar feature on the Urban Legend Collector's Edition disc runs 147 minutes, this one only runs eighteen. You'll still get some enjoyable information about the film, even if it's not as thorough.

A 17-minute interview with actress Jessica Cauffiel is here, as well. She hasn't made a movie since 2009, so it's nice to see her again. She offers up some entertaining anecdotes about making UL:FC.

A few deleted scenes, a vintage making-of featurette, a gag reel, and the theatrical trailer round out the package.

Urban Legends: Final Cut marks another fine Scream Factory release.

For more information on this and other great titles, please visit the Scream Factory website.


Urban Legends: Final Cut is rated R for violence/gore, language and some sexuality. The running time is 1 hour and 37 minutes.


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