I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

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If you’re going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried.

Reviewed by Deep Red

Directed by Jim Gillespie and starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie James, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Helen Shivers, Ryan Phillippe as Barry William Cox and Freddie Prinze Jr. as Ray Bronson. Also stars Johnny Galecki as Max Neurick, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras as Elsa Shivers, Anne Heche as Melissa ‘Missy’ Egan, Jonathan Quint as David Franklin Egan and Muse Watson as Benjamin Willis.

Is it possible that a Fulci fan, Argento fan, Romero fan, amongst others, could find any kind of enjoyment in a film starring, amongst others, Freddie Prinze Jr. and JLo Hewitt? Well, the short answer is, it’s a slasher. The long answer, well, you’ll just have to read on.

Four friends, Julie, Helen, Barry and Ray, accidentally hit a fisherman while driving on a deserted road at night. The owner of the car, Barry, is drunk but not driving the car at the time, his friend Ray is driving, however he thinks if they report the incident no one will believe Ray was driving. They almost get caught by a guy called Max who’s driving on the same road. They decide to dump the body in the sea but at the last minute it turns out the man isn’t dead; he ends up in the drink anyway and the group decide they’ll take their secret to the grave. Anyway, moving forward in time, Julie gets a note in the mail saying ‘I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER!’, that explains the title; I like it when they keep things simple, bit dense you see. Julie lets the others know about the note. Barry thinks it might be Max and threatens him. Someone dressed as a fisherman who carries this hook in his hand starts terrorising the group. That’s probably enough about the plot.

Well, this film certainly looks spectacular on Blu-ray, especially the nighttime scenes, but generally too. The acting’s pretty damn good all round, as you’d expect from the cast, and Hewitt and Gellar in the same film, I mean, no objections from me. This is about as glossy as a horror film can get but I can pretty much watch anything if the film holds up. I read there’s a cut version that runs for 99 mins, whereas uncut, the version I have, thankfully, runs for 100 mins; I guess it isn’t just ‘video nasties’ that get snipped, this certainly doesn’t qualify as a ‘video nasty’. I am somewhat bewildered as to why any cuts at all were deemed necessary, well apart from that old chestnut, hysteria.

Well, I found it interesting, it holds up, it’s pretty story-heavy and fairly slow-paced in places but that’s definitely the way it’s intended to be, these kind of films do tend to spend a lot of time on their pretty characters. The fisherman with his hook makes a creepy antagonist but it’s a pretty mild slasher overall, probably better classed as a thriller really and then you’re not expecting some kind of bloodbath. That said it has a few cool slasher film moments and picks up the pace later on. I really enjoyed it. If you enjoy the Scream films or Urban Legend (1998) and its sequels, you might enjoy this.

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