Hidden Gems; Urban Legends Bloody Mary


Ever make one of those decisions in life, that at first seems like it’s going to be a good call, and then five minutes after you make the choice, you realize what a horrible mistake you made?

Well, that’s pretty much the case when my brother and I stumbled upon the Urban Legends: Bloody Mary film. We picked it out days before we actually got together to watch it, and we were actually pretty excited to see it. Having seen both other Urban Legends films and thoroughly enjoying those two, we really actually thought that this one would be just as good. We were horribly, horribly wrong and I’m here to warn you of our mistake.

So, unlike the other two Urban Legends films which fall more into the slasher genre (which, if you know me, is basically the part of the horror genre that truly means something to me and that I pride myself on being well-versed in) this film doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Do you remember back in high school how so many people wanted desperately to fit in and would try on different identities, just hoping something would stick? Well, that’s kind of how this film is. It tries on a few different genres, but nothing ever sticks.

On the surface (and especially if you watch the trailer), Urban Legends: Bloody Mary seems like your run of the mill teenage-slasher flick. And it does have those elements. But then, not really. It tried to be a who-dunit, a classic ghost story, a supernatural thriller, and a revenge film. It is not successfully any of these things.

So, here’s the deal. Back in the late ‘60s, at the prom, some jocks tried to drug their prom dates so they can have their way with them. Ew, right? That’s enough to make me want to put this film away right then and there. But, okay. Moving on. One of the girls, Mary Banner, escapes from the jocks and gets back inside the school. She is eventually found by one of the boys andthey have a confrontation. The boy hits her, Mary hits her head on the table as she falls down from the blow, and the boy panics that he has killed Mary. So he locks her body up in a box he finds on the floor. And there’s the groundwork for the revenge film.

Over 30 years later, some high school girls are at a sleepover talking about the Bloody Mary urban legend. They also discuss an article that the main girl, Samantha, wrote exposing the antics of the current football players at the same school that Mary Banner attended. After playing Bloody Mary, the three girls disappear, and are found a day later with no memory of what happened. It becomes obvious that it was a horrible prank to get revenge on Samantha for the article she wrote for the school newspaper. The girls don’t know what happened to them; if they were raped or not.

The rest of the film is about those responsible for the disappearance of Samantha being killed in ways of other urban legends. Samantha and her brother David spend the film trying to find out what’s going on, and Samantha, out of nowhere and for no reason at all, starts having visions of what happened to Mary Banner. She also is conveniently able to find one of the other women who were drugged that night (Grace), who helps her try to solve the murders. And that is pretty much all there is to the story.

What was so wrong with it? Let’s start with the horrible acting. All the characters were generic, stereotypical, and had absolutely no depth or point. The film does seem to try to take things from other, better, popular horror films, but it doesn’t play out as well as it does in those films. Some of the plot seemed ripped right from a Final Destination movie. The deaths are so over-the-top elaborate and happen so rapidly following each other that, with so little plot in between, it has the feel of a Final Destination film, for sure. There is one death in particular that is really, really ridiculous and just made me roll my eyes. And the dialogue is trying too hard to sound as “meta” as a Scream movie.


There’s actually a girl defending boys who attacked innocent girls in it. I mean, really?

The film gets confusing because it tries too many methods of killing and makes it unclear who’s responsible for the murders.Why are there so many different killing methods? Death itself? A ghost? An actual, human man?

And the worst is the way the film makes a pathetic attempt at having a twist. A stupid, pointless, excuse for a twist. Anyone could have seen it coming. And I say that as someone who never finds twists predictable.

The verdict? Don’t ever, ever waste any time watching this one. I’ve made this review a little longer, so as to save you the trouble of having to watch it. I usually try to end on a positive note, and find something of value in every film, but this one? It’s not even slightly enjoyable. My brother walked out on me before we even got halfway through it. After seeing this movie, I began to question a little why it is that I love horror films so much. I’m not even kidding.


Bad Kids Go To Hell; Hidden Gems #3

imageSo, as any pop culture aficionado knows, this Monday was the 30th anniversary of the date of the detention in The Breakfast Club. Given the fact that that film is my favorite movie of all time, I am always more than willing to pay homage to it. With that thought in mind, I decided to pay tribute to this anniversary by selecting a horror movie that has the same concept as The Breakfast Club (only, of course with murder) and homages that film left and right for my third Hidden Gems segment. That film is: Bad Kids Go To Hell.

Bad Kids Go To Hell is a little horror film about a group of very different teenagers at a fancy prep academy who find themselves in detention together at a time when the school is secluded. Sounding familiar, yet?

The kids are prototypes of a number of different high school stereotypes such as the teen queen, the jock, the nerdy kid, the Goth rebel, a criminal, and one ordinary kid who doesn’t seem to fit any of the high school labels. The story takes off (if you can call it that) when the Goth rebel girl convinces the other kids that the library is haunted because of some kind of murder of an Native American, and so they have a séance so she can try to prove it; and this is where the horror takes over.

So, how does this movie compare to its non-horror ‘80s predecessor? Well, by the end of The Breakfast Club, we’re meant to sympathize with every character. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t at least see a little of themselves in every character in that film. But there is no coming to love the characters in this movie. You will hate all of them from beginning to end. Spoiled brats galore. While the members of the real Breakfast Club actually have real problems, these kids are just bratty and angry for no reason. In a way, almost all of them are a Claire Standish at the beginning of the movie.



The first girl dies due to not being able to breathe (asthma attack after being scared during the séance.) The kids try to go for help, thinking that there is definitely a spirit in the library with them, but their cell phones were collected by their detainee, and they are completely locked and trapped in the library (would a school even be allowed to lock kids in like that? And why would they be having detention over winter break?)

Throughout the film, we see flashbacks of a lunchroom incident about stealing food and trying to kill a bug and tackling a kid in a wheelchair, and you can tell that it’s supposed to be important to understanding the events, but it at best ends up seeming slightly insignificant and confusing.

Part of the plot is the characters trying to figure out what the criminal, Matt Clark’s secret is, and whether or not he is a bad person, but it doesn’t hesitate to let us know that all of these kids are bad people with secrets, as are their parents. Manipulation is a game to them. It does keep the movie at least interesting.

One character disappears, out of nowhere, quite inexplicably, and it takes the other characters a cringeworthy amount of time to notice it. So, yeah, that was strange.

The thing about this film, is that unlike its ‘80s counterpart, we actually get to see the characters in school. We get to see what they are like beyond this one Saturday. And the film does make it clear that this is vitally important, because it gives every hint that there is a story behind the story. The story does try to set this semi-mystery up. But there is very little payoff, and what payoff there is, is almost impossible to understand.

There’s not much else to say about this movie. It kind of just is what it is. There’s really not enough depth to it to form any major criticisms or praises. I will say that the ending to the film is one of those “Look how cool and great this movie is, and how wonderful the writing is, because we think we tricked you and threw in what we think is a clever little twist, but oh wait, it’s the exact same twist and reasoning you’ve seen in at least half of the horror movies you’ve ever seen before this one” type of things. That said, it was at least entertaining. The dialogue wasn’t boring or even cheesy.

Let’s face it; all of these kids are bad people. They all think that their use of foul language, racial slurs, and their supposedly-intimidating demeanors make them badass and cool. It actually serves no purpose other than to make you look forward to their deaths and rejoice when they do bite the dust. And the movie itself isn’t bad. But it definitely isn’t all that worth praising either.

I’d recommend seeing it, definitely, but only because it’s a fun little tribute to one of the greatest films ever made, and it’s a great way to pass a couple of hours if you’re the kind of person who can get past super annoying characters that all make you want to commit murder yourself, and a plot that doesn’t really go anywhere accept to confuse you as many times as possible, and then confuse you all over again just when you think the convoluted “plot developments” are over. So, have fun with it for what it’s worth and appreciate the little nods to a great classic.