Plot: At Alpine University, a young filmmaker named Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is working hard to complete her thesis work. But her thesis is no normal term paper, instead it is a suspense/thriller picture based around urban legends, quite a hot topic as luck has it. Her production is moving along at a nice pace, but soon enough, strange things begin to happen on the set. Some of the accidents turn into pranks and practical jokes, but some are very serious and soon enough, people begin turning up dead. It seems that someone has issues with the production, as cast and crew members have been under attack, not always from accidental means either. This means the problems begin to build for both the film and the workers, who now face life threatening situations. Can anyone manage to unravel the mysteries around this killer before everyone ends up dead, or will this become yet another urban legend?
Entertainment Value: This sequel to Urban Legend doesn’t build off the original, but it does follow a similar path and of course, weaves in the urban legends theme, so it fits well with the first picture. The narrative isn’t all that creative, as we’ve seen the movie set slasher premise before, but Final Cut shoves in enough twists to keep it mildly fresh and interesting. I think one draw for horror fans will be all the film references and name drops, which cater to film buffs and add some fun. The bulk of Final Cut unfolds on a movie set as well, so most of the kills are woven into that realm and the narrative is steeped in all kinds of movie related elements. This helps balance out an otherwise generic slasher approach and while the focus on urban legends is lessened this time around, some of that influence still creeps in. The tried and true kidney theft comes into play, for example. The cast is solid and camps it up when needed, which is good since the tone leans toward satirical more than serious, though some stretches do take a more serious stride. Jennifer Morrison is a capable, if bland at times lead, while Anthony Anderson provides comic relief and Hart Bochner dials up an over the top turn as a high strung professor. Final Cut isn’t as much fun as the original Urban Legend, but it is a solid slasher and the genre should have a decent time here.
One instance of man ass is present here, but otherwise, Final Cut is sleaze free and the sex is minimal, never revealing in the least. But paranoia does run wild, though I wouldn’t have minded a little nakedness here or there. The violence here is a mix of pranks and kills, which means some humorous moments pop up when the movie magic angle is played to tease character deaths or injuries. A kidney is feasted upon by a dog, a wound is reopened, pick ax madness ensues, a camera lens is used as a weapon, and some slashes are unleashed, but to be honest, most of this violence is off screen and the bloodshed is minimal. I still think the kills work, as most are a little creative and make use of the movie set backdrop, which is fun. Final Cut has a good sense of humor at times and veers into campiness here and there, so the dialogue has some bright spots, though not at a consistent clip. Anthony Anderson has most of the one liners that stick out, but the wackier characters provide some solid moments as well. On the craziness scale, the movie earns a point for the satiric bite it has in some stretches, but overall this is a fairly typical slasher movie.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
The Disc: The Blu-ray release from Scream Factory looks good, but isn’t the kind of eye popping treatment some films are given in high definition. The image is an improved take over the old DVD editions out there, but suffers from some softness and just doesn’t snap off the screen like I’d like. The print is clean, colors are bright and natural, and overall detail is solid, but Final Cut’s presentation here never rises above average, though it is still a good effort. The extras from previous releases are ported over with John Ottman’s director’s commentary track that covers some production stories, while he also provides optional comments over a selection of deleted scenes. A promotional featurette, gag reel, and the film’s trailer round out the archival extras. New to this edition is a selection of interviews with a wealth of cast and crew members, all of whom have stories and memories to share.