Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr., Anne Heche
Director: Jim Gillespie
Winning the award for the longest title since “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (IKWYDLS) comes hot on the heels of the horror classic, “Scream”, and pays a price for that. The link is not just down to genre though, as IKWYDLS comes from the same writer as “Scream”.
Four youths are driving along a dark deserted road late at night when they hit and kill a man. In a panic, they decide to dump the body into the sea. They hope to put an end to it and get on with their lives…
But 12 months later, Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) returns to the town on her summer break from college still haunted by the memory of what they did that night. Her shock is compounded when she receives an anonymous note simply stating ‘I know what you did last summer’. She meets up again with her estranged friends, Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Barry (Ryan Phillippe) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jnr), and soon after, a number of terrifying events lead them to deduce that someone knows their dreaded secret and is willing to make them pay. The four turn detective in an attempt to uncover the truth but their discoveries give them more cause for concern and deepen the mystery even further.
IKWYDLS in many ways is a step ahead of teen slashers of the past – it certainly is streets ahead of stuff like “Friday the 13th” series and “April Fools Day”. The storyline is full of twists and turns (as is the buzz-phrase for thrillers in the ninties) and the performances, while not exactly ground-breaking, are certainly not wooden.
But as I mentioned earlier, its release in the aftermath of and intrinsic link to “Scream” mean that, inevitably, it suffers by comparison. The truth is that while it is a very competent chiller, if you have seen “Scream” you are unlikely to be that intrigued by the goings-on.