You can pretty much sense that by the time of the sequel, the whole urban legends gimmick had just about wore thin. There aren’t too many menacing urban legends that one can weaponize for a horror film. “Final Cut” pretty much feels like a copy of “Scream 2” where it’s all centered on a film school, film students, and a potential killer that may either be mimicking the movies they’ve seen, or have something so much more personal in mind when it comes to the canon fodder here.
This time, we meet Amy, a film student at Alpine University who for her thesis project has decided to make a horror film about urban legends. She and other potential filmmakers are vying for a prize in a competition that could signal stardom for the lucky winner. Suddenly the project begins getting more true to life than she imagined as fellow students begin falling prey to a masked murderer staging their deaths like urban legends. Soon Amy and the survivors scramble to figure out who is behind the killings, and what this film has in common with her fellow classmates, all of whom will do anything to win the coveted prize.
By 2000 the well had just about run dry, especially when you consider the producers went from the giant hooded jacket, to a fencing mask. I’m not one who puts a lot of stock in logic when it comes to slasher films, but a fencing mask has to be one of the worst looks for any slasher I’ve ever seen. In either case, a lot of “Final Cut” feels like a limp “Scream” wannabe that never quite sets itself apart from the other clones, and sure as hell doesn’t make a good argument for why we should watch it. Compared to the novelty of the first film, “Final Cut” feels more like it’s going through the motions. The writers side step the whole urban legend formula for the most part, and rely a lot more on attempted horror film satire that never quite clicks in to the concept of the series.
So much of “Final Cut” is a fuzzy murder mystery with a ton of goofy red herrings, and it dips in to soap opera territory mid-way when the twin brother of a character suddenly shows up. Say what you want about the motive of the killer from the original, but theirs wasn’t as convoluted or confusing as the one we experience here. That said, the deaths are at least interesting and gory, and the cast is filled with a lot of up and comers like Anthony Anderson, and Eva Mendes. “Final Cut” is not a good slasher film and not a very good horror movie either, but if you have a weak spot for the sub-genre like yours truly, it’s worth visiting. But just once.
“Final Cut” is on blu-ray for the first time, thanks to Scream Factory. Featured in the new release from Scream Factory is an audio commentary with director John Ottman. There’s also the seventeen minute “The Legend Continues: Urban Legends: Final Cut.” While not extensive like the previous release, there are interviews with producers Gina Matthews, Michael McDonnell, executive producers Nick Osborne, Brad Luff, chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, writer Silvio Horta, actors Loretta Devine and Rebecca Gayheart. This is as good as it gets for “Final Cut,” but it’s better than the DVD release. There’s an interview with Jessic Cauffiel, who discusses the film’s mood, herself and her career. There are eight minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by director John Ottman. Finally there’s a three minute Making of Featurette, a Gag Reel, and the original theatrical trailer.