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Wednesday
Nov212018

Urban Legend (1998)

Movie nostalgia is like breakup nostalgia. Time and newfound affections sometimes paper over epic missteps. On better days, you might even recall teenage screaming matches as butter-hued stepping stones to the future Better You--until a random supermarket encounter or a Facebook Memory pops the wound afresh like a neck zit. Revisiting Urband Legend, I was struck by gooey memories of baby-faced WB stars snarking their way through 1998’s answer to I Know What You Did Last Summer (i.e. 1997’s answer to Scream). But watching Tara Reid beg for her life in a campus radio station reminded me of my dislike of this movie twenty years ago. A banal cruelty pulsing beneath the “Use By 1999” in-jokes suggests that the filmmakers had run out of stars and steam and anything clever to say about horror. It was back to, “Ain’t murder fun?” and other childish questions best left in the past.

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