Urban Legends: Bloody Mary
Kate Mara, Robert Vito
Directed By:
Mary Lambert

It must be an unwritten law that when a teen horror flick does moderately well, movie executives MUST continually pump out sequel after sequel until the series can no longer be financially feasible on the big screen and therefor is forced to go "straight to video" status, where even more sequels can be made for far less cost. Such is true for the third entry in the Urban Legends series, which barely has any connection to the first two films outside of a conveniently placed newspaper clipping. In this sequel, we are given the background story behind Bloody Mary (who apparently appears if you chant her name while standing in front of a mirror).

The origin of Bloody Mary begins in 1969 when Mary and two of her friends are tricked by high school jocks - a trick that ends with Mary being accidentally left for dead, locked in a chest in the basement of the school. More than thirty years later, Mary is back to have her revenge on the children of those who harmed her. Unfortunately, Samantha (Kate Mara) is seeing visions of Mary and because of a dark connection, she and her brother (Robert Vito) work to uncover what happened to Mary. As they get deeper into the history of Mary, they find a real-life killer on their hands.

The no-name cast (and I mean no-name as I don't recognize any of the names and faces) manages to rise above the mediocre writing that the script forces them through. I don't know whether this is because of the director or not as the actual cinematography is pretty pedestrian and by-the-numbers. Whether on their own or with some decent direction, the cast manages to rise above their moronic characters to make the film come across as less idiotic than it should be. And, trust me, that takes some effort as there are some scenes that, even for the genre, seem downright stupid.

Bloody Mary obviously borrows a lot from The Ring for inspiration. The ghost is obviously patterned after Samara, and the sequence where Bloody Mary is called upon feels a lot like the opening sequence from the first Ring movie, which is kind of ironic as that scene is played up as a fake schlock horror intro. Unlike The Ring, though, this film is more about traditional scares, with a liberal spraying of gore included for good measure. There are a few good sequences that offer more traditional horror.

The special effects aren't all that bad. It's obvious that the producers didn't have a ton of money to throw around, so the special effects are kept in reserve, only used enough to keep the mood of the movie rolling along. While big budget films obviously shame this feature in terms of schlock, the directors have done well to keep this film from being flooded with fake blood and obvious rubbed appendages.

In terms of being a "straight-to-video" feature, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary is actually not bad. You could rent it and get a night's enjoyment out of the film. Don't expect anything extraordinary and you'll come away moderately entertained without too much annoyance.

- - Vane

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