While it’s important to note that Wes Craven’s 1995 horror entry “Scream” was a very influential horror movie that reinvigorated the slasher sub-genre, it’s also important to chronicle the films that it influenced. After the release of “Scream,” every studio far and wide began releasing their own slasher films, and many of them were whodunits, and or based around some kind of gimmick. While slasher movies are the breakdown of taboos and morality tales with the help of folklore, “Urban Legend” cuts right to the chase creating a slasher who uses urban folklore to dispense of hapless victims in a college. The results are, suffice to say, a mixed bag.
Urban Folklore and Legends have comprised some of the best tall tales and words of warning ever created. Often times they’re based on some grain of fact, and can serve as subtext for the dangers of premarital sex, and not talking to strangers. “Campfire Tales” from 1997 is one of the few anthology films that pulls from the catalog of urban legends and utilizes them to produce a pretty great horror film. Directed by a trio of talented filmmakers, “Campfire Tales” is one of the few anthology films that have shrunk away in to obscurity unfairly. In the gamut of anthology horror, “Campfire Tales” is a strong contender for one of the top ten. It’s shocking that the movie is barely discussed when good anthologies are discussed.
Myths, urban legends, cryptozoology? We love them. We love to read about them. We love the local legends from the Beast of bray Road, to the chupacabra? Do they exist? Who Knows? Every legend is born with some grain of truth, however minuscule. They’re still fun to read about though, and they’re exciting to research, to boot. The world is so vast and still so mysterious, who knows what we have yet to find? Here are five of our favorite myths/urban legends that deserve a great movie. It has to happen, eventually.
There are endless internet memes and faux urban legends out there, but the one that tends to spook me most is the Slender Man. It’s been established long ago it was all made up for a contest, but it’s managed to achieve fame simply because the character is so menacing. Maybe it’s the blank face, the enigmatic origins, or the tweed suit. Who knows? “The Eidolon State” is one of the many indie films tapping in to the fanbase, and directors Dion Cavallaro and Paul Thomas know how to build a very atmospheric horror film.
“Creature Crypt” is a four part weekly column that spotlights two creatures from our childhood that made us in to rabid horror fans. These are the creatures that scared us, wowed us, made us cry, and made us hope they weren’t under our bed.
I never understood why, if “Urban Legend” is set in New England, does the killer wear a heavy winter coat that drapes over their face during what looks like the early Fall season. You figure the killer would opt for something sleeker and more compact, as well as something that doesn’t directly cut off peripheral vision. But that is one of the many irritating aspects of “Urban Legend” that demands a lot from its audience in the way of suspension of disbelief. This is a world where suddenly everyone owns a winter jacket with white fur lining once we’re aware of the killer’s garb. Even swimmers who happen to be wearing swimsuits decide to wear it while walking along an in-door pool. Only in this universe does that make even the slightest bit of sense.