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Writer Kevin Williamson follows up Scream with a serious example of just how effective these movies can be if they're well-written, directed and acted.
Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy, TMNT) and Jenniver Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer) fit perfectly together and are supported by Ryan Phillippe (Crash, Breach, Flags of Our Fathers) and Freddie Prinze Jr. Why does that sentence sound naughty? If I had to watch one film of this type, I'm glad this was it.
I enjoyed the acting performances, though sometimes the screams did get slightly out of hand - near the end, one popped up every other minute or so! Despite this, the characters were portrayed very well, and you could really notice the distinctions between them, and which characters you were likely to prefer. However one drawback to the characters was how obvious it was to spot who was going to bite it - all my sister had to do was look at the characters in a group and guess straight away.
On the whole though, I found it to be a good horror film, done proud by the talents of writer Kevin Williamson and of the cast. If you are looking for a good scare, or simply taste other films after experiencing the wonder that is "Scream", then "IKWYDLS" should be your first choice - with its many 'jumps' making you enjoy the ride all the way!
ENJOY, and most importantly, SCREAM ON!!!
When thinking about it, it is surprising that the writer of this film was the same one who wrote the wildly creative and suspenseful "Scream". In all fairness, "I Know.." is more of an adaption than an original screenplay. It is actually based off the book of the same name. I've read that book, and it was an awkward translation into a horror film, considering the book is actually quite different and more of a morality tale. In the book, the characters are stalked by the mystery man, but none of them are ever killed or even threatened with death. Honestly, this book was not supposed to be made into a horror film. Kevin Williamson is very talented, but I think he cares more about the "Scream" series (especially since "Scream 2" was released the same year as this film) and got lazy.
Another reason why "IKWYDLS" didn't work was the lead actors, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. To be fair, Hewitt isn't the worst actress ever. She's had a few good roles, but is more eye candy than leading heroine. It seems like she's more suited to comedy, because she stumbles at times in this film and doesn't make enough of a emotional connection with the role to make us root for her. While she isn't winning any Oscars soon, she's better at acting than Prinze Jr., who is most of the time very stiff and forced (which ultimately effects he and Hewitt's on-screen chemistry). Every time he came on screen was cringe-worthy, and while he's very good looking, he was unfit to be the lead male.
Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar, however, do a very good job with their supporting roles. As an on-screen couple, they have good chemistry and rapport (which they proved 2 years later in the edgy film "Cruel Intentions"). Also, they stand well on their own. Ray is somewhat of an arrogant asshole, and Phillippe plays him very well. Gellar manages to make her role as beauty queen with the shattered dream Helen also believable, and her chase scene with the killer is arguably the best part of the film. One has to wonder if the film would have been different and more enjoyable if Phillippe and Gellar were cast as the leads, and Hewitt and Prinze were given less screen time.
All in all, it's not the worst horror film I've ever seen(that title belongs to 1999's "The Haunting"). You might even managed to be entertained if you can turn off your brain for awhile, ignore some of the glaring plot holes, and sit through Jennifer and Freddie's awkward acting. However, in terms of horror films, there are plenty of better ones out there.
Four high school friends have graduated and are celebrating the fourth of July. They all have big plans: Julie is planning to go to Harvard, Helen is going to New York to become an actress, Ray is staying in town to help with the business of fishing, and Barry has a wrestling scholarship. They all are just having a big party and while driving home they accidentally hit a man, killing him. Freaked out and scarred for what might happen since alcohol is involved, they dump the body in the river hoping that it'll go away. But a year later when the friends re-unite, they are receiving letters claiming that someone knows what they did. Barry is then hit by a car, Helen's hair is chopped off, and Julie gets bodies put into her car trunk; they all must face the fisherman who is after them with a big hook and it seems like he does not want these kids to live.
I Know What You Did Last Summer has typical Dawson's Creek drama, but it's all good, I mean it was written by Kevin Williamson who wrote the series. But the cast did click very well and as cliché'd as the movie was, it's still good for a scare. Sarah does have one of the best damsel in distress chase scenes ever, that was pretty intense I have to admit. I Know What You Did Last Summer is a fun flick I would recommend to watch at midnight in the dark, you're gonna get jumpy a few times.
I especially love the cast. Though Jennifer Love Hewitt is no Neve Campbell, she and the rest of her co-stars, Prince Jr., Phillipe and the ever so wonderful and amazingly talented Sarah Michelle Gellar all try their best to make the film work for what it is and accomplish that perfectly. Sarah Michelle Gellar's character Helen actually has a very wide fan base, and I am a considered fan as well. Her character was superb; too bad she was overshadowed by the film's genre by a lot of critics and was ridiculously killed off quite aggrivatingly. Anyway, stopping the drooling and praising over Ms. Gellar, the plot is fun and probably my favorite "we make a pact" plot that I have seen. It has some nice kills, and though Ben Willis is no Ghostface, I make these Scream references for the screenplay was by Kevin Williamson and we all know that is what this film tried to be, he is not a bad killer, just not a memorable one. He is not as memorable as the film itself, for me at least.
Anyway, the movie is just pure fun with characters that you actually care for and hope to live; surprisingly deep characters in fact for such a short running time and the "genre-based" film that it is. It was a box office success and I can see why; definitely one of my all time favorite slashers, even if it's not one of the best, and does not receive the appreciation it deserves at a lot of times. I assume it is mostly criticized because of the genre it is in, like I mentioned, and not many critics and general audiences are open to teen slashers, I can see why with the ones we have nowadays, but this was the 90s; an excellent decade for films of any genre, and many people should acknowledge that. A classic, very underrated slasher that I loved and enjoyed greatly.
This was made once Scream made teen slasher movies cool again. However here there is none of the ironic humour or self-referencing that made Scream good. Rather this is a straight up horror thriller that lacks anything to make it special or standout from the rest. The plot revolves around a murdered fisherman, with several red-herrings thrown into the mix. The red-herrings don't really work and to be honest you pretty much don't care about the ins and outs of who's doing the killing. Really however the plot is a bit of a disappointment and it doesn't really involve you.
The biggest failing of the film is the performances. The murderer is not as effective as ones like Ghostface or Freddy - partly because he lacks screen presence but also because we all feel sorry for him - after all he's not crazy, he's only taking revenge. The teens in question make it worse - with the exception of Love Hewitt and maybe Prinze they are pretty unpleasant people - spoilt brats mainly. From the start onwards you want them to be killed - it makes it even harder to care about what's going on when you don't care if the characters live or die.
Overall this is a rather tame horror movie - low on bodycount and gore, only some action scenes are tense and exciting but most things you can see coming a mile away. The red-herrings are left unexplained at the end (why is Ray the only one not targeted?) and the end is both lazy and insulting - and of course leaves it open for a sequel. Great.
It's the Fourth of July, and Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt, TV's "Party of Five"), Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Barry (Ryan Phillippe) are intent on celebrating their graduation from high school, which, for them, means driving to a secluded beach, getting drunk, telling ghost stories and making out with each other. But later that evening, on the way back to town, they accidentally hit a man with their car, apparently killing him. After thinking things through, the group reluctantly decides to dump the body in the sea, and swear to take the secret of what they did that night to their graves. One year later, a still guilt-ridden Julie returns from college to her hometown, and finds an incriminating message in the mail: somebody knows what they did last summer. After rounding up her circle of former friends, she tries to figure out who alive could have seen them leave a man for dead. But the events surrounding the accident may be more complicated than any of them had originally thought.
Last year, screenwriter Kevin Williamson came out of nowhere with 'Scream, a self-referential satire on the teen slasher oeuvre wrapped warmly in classic Wes Craven thrills. Unexpectedly, but deservedly, a surprise runaway box office success followed. Based on the reception of his feature debut, and before Craven and the folks at Dimension came knocking for a 'Scream' sequel (due out this winter), Williamson took it upon himself to bring author Lois Duncan's novel 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' to the big screen. The end product is a decent teen slasher film, but one can't help feeling that Williamson missed a big chance to send up traditional horror archetypes once more.
As the world of 'Last Summer' wasn't originally Williamson's own creation, it's to be expected that the film not be strung through with the same knowing streak of humour that was the driving force behind 'Scream'. Or maybe it's just that Williamson had grown tired of the same old jokes, and opted to shun them out of 'Last Summer' altogether. But through opting to stay within the lines for his latest film, Williamson has gutted what made his first so special. Sadly, 'Last Summer' does not stand apart from the crowd of horror films that Kevin Williamson so skilfully mocked ten months ago. That said, this is perhaps the first slasher film to come out since 'Scream', and, against the odds, this serves to the film's advantage, as it's almost quite enjoyable watching the clichés play out in front of you exactly as predicted.
Ironically, British director Jim Gillespie ('Joyride'), in his first Hollywood production, has made a good effort to mimic the works of Wes Craven, specifically with the commanding score by John Debney. Marco Beltrami's work on 'Scream' is the template used by Debney here, and the versatile composer manages to accentuate the tension well, despite signalling some of the scares. However, Gillespie makes the mistake of depicting the death scenes too graphically. Gore could have been used well in 'Last Summer', but Gillespie leaves the camera rolling for too long during the vicious attacks on the killer's victims, which end up more repulsive than anything. Gillespie ain't no Craven, that's for sure.
The cast (or should I say group of attractive teens that are waiting to be offed?) also seem to be taking this project a little too unsmilingly, with actors Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillippe more concerned with trying to see which one of them can ham it up the most than actually developing characters worth caring about. Jennifer Love Hewitt is decent enough here, but her performance never fully convinces. It's up to Sarah Michelle Gellar to strap ably into "damsel in distress" mode (something that the actress should know about, starring on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" week after week), and does more than necessary to make the audience truly feel for Helen Shivers as she laments her shattered dreams. Jamie Lee Curtis, you might want to keep an eye on your Scream Queen coronet.
The final act of the film is hard to resist, as it stages a series of nice set pieces that keep you close to the edge of your seat at all times, right up to the agreeably trite, sequel-friendly ending. But Williamson needs to learn how to wean the parody away from his screenplays without completely robbing them of any innovativeness. I admire the man for not repeating himself, but he seems to have progressed right into a career corner with 'Last Summer'. 'Scream 2' will most likely return him to the top of the pyramid once again, but I'd rather not think about what might happen after that.
~ 7/10 ~
Anyway, IKWDLS is well-crafted, has decent portraying of the two of the female protagonists and their family, a reasonably thorough depiction of a fishing hamlet, good music, a solid base in the 90s adolescent subculture, and atmosphere.
The opening sequence is a beautiful sweeping footage of a seashore in the sunset followed by a number of suspenseful scenes that adds to the atmosphere that I'm talking about. The entry of the killer kind of destroys it, knowing that he will arise from that dead (and the bottom of the sea) quite soon.
The title unfortunately refers to the unbelievable nicely hand written short messages that the killer (after all he's gone through) miraculously succeeds to distribute to the protagonists. I especially dislike the part of 'Missy' (a misplaced cajun type of a woman that lives in the woodlands, a kind of in-breed that appears only in order to prolong the picture) standing in her backyard chopping chicken, and then reveals her brother's alleged suicide note (written by the killer previously to the pertinent plot) from a shed just behind her! Now, why would anyone be expected to accept that someone living in a freakingly huge house would keep such a sensitive document in such a place???
Another disturbingly stupid sequence is when Jennifer Love Hewitt's character discovers a body together with some crabs in the trunk of her car, runs to fetch her friends, and when they all return the trunk is as neat as ever, despite the mess that was in it just a moment ago. Simply, an unnecessary scene that doesn't add to the story a bit.
In spite of the partly severe arguments against this picture, I still like it enough to watch it from time to time, and get nostalgic about the carefree (?) 90s...
Barry is the guy you want to be, Ray is the guy you feel like & the girls remind you of the prettiest girls from school.
Although this movie at times makes little sense something about it feels like magic to me. It could be the superstar cast, it could be the age I was when I first saw it, it could be Kevin Williamson's fairy dust (most likely it's all of these things).
Overall for *most* people this will be an average movie. There isn't much suspense or great death scenes which are key for a good horror movie. For people who are looking for a good teen slasher movie (and David Arquette running around) I suggest you check out the underrated Scream (1).
Kevin Williamson's script suggests nothing so much as a man trying, and failing, to capture the charm of the first couple of seasons of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" - this is more obviously a good description of "Scream", but "Scream", and this may surprise some people who've seen it, is better. -Or maybe he wasn't even trying. I'm not sure which is worse. I think Williamson WAS trying for a quality we might term "cred", by having his central characters bitch and squabble all the time. Friends in "Buffy", on the other hand, genuinely support one another. That's a large part of the show's charm. It's a charm that could only have helped Williamson's script, if only by making it more realistic: however much his central characters might have fought amongst themselves in the ordinary course of events, faced with a powerful EXTERNAL threat, they would surely have closed ranks.
Neither this nor "Scream" is particularly bad. The main trouble is that "I Know What You Did Last Summer", as well as wasting a good title, also wastes a good premise. Some teenagers feel guilty after their car accidentally knocks someone down; they hide the body and then they THINK they can just safely sneak back to their old lives ... the story could have gone in many good directions from here, and it's a pity all that occurred to Williamson was to head for regions slasher-horror so well travelled I'm surprised they don't sell souvenirs.
It's a fairly typical teen slasher flick, beautiful girls, shallow plot, cheesy dialogue; you know the usual stuff. It's formulaic and clichéd, but who cares it's great fun, it has plenty of action and thrills; and the cast are pretty good.
Not as good as some films in the genre, but it certainly entertains.
*** (out of 4) Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze, Jr. play a group of friends who are drinking and having a good time but on the way home they accidentally run over a man and kill him. They decide it's best not to go to the police fearing murder charges so they dump his body but a year later they begin getting harassed.
Thanks to the success of Wes Craven's SCREAM the horror genre got a boost and soon after one slasher after another was being released. Out of all of them this one here is the best in my opinion because Kevin Williamson's screenplay goes away from all the self-mocking and instead delivers a very good story that works perfect as a drama but it also features the horror elements that slasher fans would come to expect. Throw in a very good cast and some likable characters and we're left with one of the better horror films to come out of this period. If SCREAM was a classic like HALLOWEEN then this here is more like a good stepchild in the same vein as a Friday THE 13TH.
The thing I enjoyed most about this was the actual personal story of these four people who find their lives changed over a bad decision. The set up itself is pretty simple but it works extremely well because we've all been young and made foolish decisions and one of the best moments in the film comes when the four teens must decide whether or not to go to the cops. Their reasoning behind it is interesting and their thought process is something you don't typically see in a slasher. The damage that their decision has on their lives is something else brought up in the screenplay that works extremely well. All of this happens before we even get to the horror elements. The mystery surrounding the killer keeps you guessing for certain.
The horror elements are all extremely good. I know some make fun of the "Captain Gordon" outfit but I thought it was rather effective and brought back memories from the giallo days of the 70s when killers wore nothing but black. Another thing that works are the actual chase scenes, which director Jim Gillespie manages to build up some nice tension. It also doesn't hurt that you actually like the characters, can connect with them and you don't want to see them killed. Hewitt, Gellar and Phillippe are all extremely good and believable in their roles as is Anne Heche in her supporting bit. Prinze Jr. is probably better here than anytime in his career, although that's not too much support I'm giving him.
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER certainly has a few flaws including the movie getting dragged out in the third party but overall it's a highlight of what the genre had to offer after the success of SCREAM.
This film bears little resemblance to the book upon which it was based, which is a shame because the book was really quite good. The book was about four teens who strike a young boy with their car, accidentally killing him. The boys' older brother tracks them down when one of the girls sends flowers to the funeral. It was a story about taking responsibility for your actions, and about the different (and extreme) ways that guilt and grief affect us all. The movie version, however, scraps all that and gives us a hook-handed slasher who cannot be stopped and will not die. It's Jason Voorhees on the beach.
The teens are all flawlessly beautiful and perfectly one-dimensional, although Jennifer Love-Hewitt does try to convey a severe case of guilty conscience and mostly succeeds. The story quickly becomes ridiculous as crabs are stuffed into the trunk of a car and then inexplicably disappear (I suppose if you were H. P. Lovecraft, this might be considered scary) and one girl is subjected to the spine- tingling terror of a professional haircut while she sleeps! Oh god, the horror! The Fisherman (wow, what a terror inspiring nickname - next we'll have the Mailman or the Burger Chef, I guess) stalks silently through the film in his yellow rain slicker and floppy hat, impaling people on his silver steel hook. And I didn't care about any of the victims. Granted, you're not really supposed to care much about the characters in a film like this, but this is far from innovative stuff here; there's just nothing to appreciate. I was bored silly with this one. Give me Friday the 13th any day.
What a Dull Film. I Know What You Did Last Summer had a good idea. 4 teenagers run over a person one fateful summer night. They dump the body and vow to never speak of it again.
One year later, they break the promise - for a good reason. It seems that someone knew what they did last summer and is out to get them. So they all get killed off, one by one. It's formulatic stuff, poorly executed formulatic stuff.
There is no thrills, I'm not scared at any point in the movie, for a horror - that is sad. No one in the cast gave a truly memorable performance, so it is truly a poor film. I'll admit that I liked the ending, the only true saving grace of this movie.
I'm surprised that I actually watched to the end. 3/10
Plot: Four teens are driving down the road and accidentally hit a man and fearing manslaughter charges they dump the body in the nearby ocean. A year later each one of them receive notes stating the somebody knows what they did last summer and as seemingly harmless jokes turn into bloody murder they have to figure out who could've seen them that night and maybe the man they hit didn't die and he's back for bloody revenge.
What a film! I remember I was at Hollywood and I had to chose between this movie and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter so I picked this movie and as I pulled out of the parking lot I felt I had picked a dud so I put off watching this for a while and then one morning I decided to check it out and stuck it into by DVD player. From the first shot to the last shot this film is beautifully shot and directed. You get to know the characters and feel like you want to reach into your T.V. set and pluck the characters out of harms way and a lot of that is due the performances of the actors. Jennifer Love Hewitt was the perfect choice to play the heroin and Sarah Michelle Gellar delivers a heart wrenching performance and the audience really gets to know her more than the rest of the cast mostly to Mrs. Gellar's talent. Which brings up Sarah's chase scene. Words cannot describe the shear terror eating away at your body as Mrs. Gellar runs for her life from the killer. The director did an outstanding job with this sequence and it goes down in Chase Scene Hall as number 1. Remember the chase scene in Prom Night? Expect that and much, much more and you will be no doubt satisfied. Freddie Prinze Jr. is likable as Jennifer Love Hewitt's character's boyfriend and serves as a great red herring twisted around into s great fake reveal and Ryan Phillipe proves he can make the most unlikeable character likable and you can feel for him when he meets his demise. The rest of the cast are great and are there for fodder or red herrings. The only thing I have to say now is if you haven't seen this go check it out and you will now be disappointed. IKWYDLS gets 10/10
The foursome is made up of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillippe. As far as acting ability goes Hewitt and Prinze showed their potential for bigger things. Anne Heche plays one of her most strangest roles and does so with conviction. Muse Watson plays the fisherman swinging a mean hook. This scary enough to keep you happy, slasher fiends.
What? There was no such thing as cell phones just 3 years ago in 1997? Obviously, these are public school kids, because no one taught them what to do in case of an emergency.
Dial 911. Movie over.
My big problem with this movie was the story. It starts very well, but after the car crash it just gets worst and worst every minute. The murders (which are very few) are slow, laughable and very un-intense. And the murderers outfit!!!!!! They really have ran out of ideas after the plain white mask, hockey mask, scarred face, fencing mask, death costume and scream mask there ideas were now a........fisherman's outfit. Truly awful!
As the movie drags on to the final scenes we find ourselves watching a fishing boat for the finale with the killer. After being apparently 'killed' in laughable fashion, (shock shock- his hand comes off!'
And the last scene is just annoying because unlike how this is used successfully in other films (Halloween) by telling us the killer isnt really dead it just leaves us confused and dreading a sequel. I'm a huge horror fan but this really was awful viewing and reached my top 5 worst horror movies. Although maybe I'm wrong because the girls loved it. This is probably the ideal movie for a girly sleep-over but for real horror fans- avoid! Thats my opinion anyway- I'd give it 2/10