‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ is a 1997 slasher film from director Jim Gillespie and writer Kevin Williamson. It is the start of a trilogy from Mandalay Entertainment.
Southport, North Carolina friends Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) are celebrating their last fourth of July as high schoolers. They sit on a beach and tell the story of the Hookman, who slaughters teenagers in love. They drive away from the beach and accidentally hits a pedestrian. Deciding they will keep it a secret, they attempt to dump his body in the ocean, but he wakes up before they throw him in the water. Knowing they committed a murder, the four friends split. One year later, Julie returns home for the fourth of July celebration when she receives the note “I know what you did last summer.” She immediately tells her friends who, at first, suspect town weirdo Max (Johnny Galecki), but later wonders if it is someone related to the victim. They talk to his sister Missy (Anne Heche), but as bodies start to pile up, they begin to wonder if there is something darker wanting revenge for their secret.
This movie is one of the most 90s films I have ever seen. The music, the strange fashion, technology, and even the cast reflect the era that it takes place in. As I was watching, I did not find it the least bit scary except for a few jump scares, but dang, I had a good time watching it.
Seeing Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt when they were at the height of their popularity playing scream queens being chased by a killer was a lot of fun. The guys also did a good job with their roles and the rest of the cast does a good job for the most part. I do think they were the ideal cast for this film and what it turned out to be.
As for the plot, it has those typical horror tropes that we see with a killer seeking revenge, the characters making the dumbest mistakes possible, and gore to fill in the gaps, though I applaud the filmmakers for not going overboard in that regard. What makes it fun is that it is horror stuck in place. It keeps you invested as you watch it and you end having a good time with the film.
Bottom line, I Know What You Did Last Summer definitely has “cult classic” vibes with the era of the movie, the use of a popular urban legend, its homage to classic horror flicks, and just a good ol’ time with the cast.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Drunkenness, Gory violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: A toast… to us, to our last summer of immature, adolescent decadence.
Check out the trailer:
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