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When I first watched this movie I only watched it for Sarah Michelle Gellar. But after seeing it I loved everything about it. And I came on here expecting at least a 6.5. But a 5.2? The story is original. Four teens are in great danger one year after their car hits a stranger whose body they dump in the sea. Everyone gave great performances, esp. Sarah Michelle Gellar. On top of that, this movie was frightening. This movie is great and I definitely recommend it. It is definitely a movie you should watch for both entertainment and originality purposes. It is definitely one to see if you enjoyed 'Scream'. The many plot twists and the many scares it will give you makes it an excellent movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
WARNING: I advise anyone who has not seen the film yet to not read this
When the era of teen slashers started to arise from the incredible success of Scream, it seemed a lot of them were just so not up to par as Scream was, and still are not to this day. Scream was a fast paced, amazingly well crafted classic with excellent characters and acting, and a wonderful plot. However, there are quite a few slashers in that time that have cult followings from horror lovers for they are very enjoyable slashers, that tried their best to conquer Scream implacably. I Know What You Did Last Summer falls under that category for me. True, this movie did also help in the creation of the disastrous string of teen horrors we have nowadays, with cliché plot twists and face-palming character actions at every turn, but it is arguably the most successful and recognized Scream cash-in, and there is a reason for that.
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.
Exactly, everyone should - but why? Because it is an excellent film,
containing a good storyline (though not one of the best) and some promising
new actors and actresses. In regards to the storyline, not many viewers
realise that the film was actually based on a novel written before Kevin
Williamson even thought up the idea to create another horror flick -
therefore the general outline is not his, and so some people's comparisons
between this and Scream can be considered as wrong. However, they are right
in the sense that the typical horror elements are all there, and some are
similar to Scream. I feel that the statement on the video cover "scarier
than Scream" is to some extent true, especially the climatic ending (I won't
spoil it for any of you left to see the film)!
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!!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Four teenagers celebrate their last days in a small fishing town and end up
on a beach, drinking heavily. When driving back into town they hit a man
crossing the road and decide to dump the body in the sea rather than risking
their futures on a manslaughter charge. However when dumping the body the
man turns out to be still alive. They drown him and vow never to speak of it
However one year on someone is stalking the four and begins to take revenge
for the previous summer's actions.
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.
In the late 90's, there had seemed to be a trend of the Dawson's Creek
meets Halloween slasher flicks, some had big hits like Scream, and some
kinda missed like Urban Legend, then right in between came I Know What
You Did Last Summer based off the book of the same name and I do mean
just based on the book because the book and the movie are two entirely
different tales. The book was more of a moral story while this was just
a plain slasher teen flick, but over all I would say that I Know What
You Did Last Summer was a decent horror flick. It starred the biggest
stars of it's time: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze, Jr.,
Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Ryan Phillipe, and surprisingly they clicked
pretty well, but I think that's because they just all have to play
pretty white kids with problems, lol. But it's all good, this was a fun
little horror flick.
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 haven't seen a whole lot of teen slasher movies. In fact this may be
the only one I have seen, and it is a fitting tribute of the genre for
our birthday girl, Sarah Michelle Geller.
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 Know What You Did Last Summer is an obvious attempt to cash in on the big success of the Scream movies. Compared to them and many of the other horror classics (Halloween most notably), this movie just does not measure up, but it is still entertaining. There is a sense of mystery here that really hasn't existed in slasher movies since the first Nightmare on Elm Street. You don't know who the killer is and he's always hiding in the shadows until... you know. This movie is far from perfect but entertaining.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
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 ~
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the wake of the incredible success of "Scream", writer Kevin
Williamson decided to craft another teen slasher film, this one called
"I Know What You Did Last Summer". The film revolves around four teen
best friends Julie, Ray, Barry, and Helen (Jennifer Love Hewitt,
Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar) who are
involved in a hit-and-run on the 4th of July. When they run over the
pedestrian on the road, they ditch the body to protect their futures. A
year later, when they reunite over the summer, they all must face the
secret they hid last year. Because someone knows what they did and is
out for revenge.
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.
This movie is completely brilliant! Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Phillipe are great in this movie! It did have it's share of blood and gore, but it was very enjoyable! I highly reccomend this movie! If I had to grade it, I'd give it a A+!
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