I Saw What You Did (TV Movie 1988) Poster

(1988 TV Movie)

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One of your better made-for-TV re-makes
lazarillo7 January 2012
This is an 80's TV re-make of the late 50's Williamn Castle film "I Saw What You Did", and in some ways it is an improvement on the original. Yes, it is a little hard to believe that by the 80's teenage girls would be so naive and dimwitted that they'd fall in love with a guy they only spoke to once on the phone (while making crank calls)and then conspire to meet him (not knowing that he'd just killed his girlfriend). But if you can leave plausibility at the door, this movie is quite a bit of fun.

The young lead actress is Shawnee Smith in one of her first roles. She didn't appear in that many movies (her most famous was perhaps "The Blob", another 80's re-make of a 50's flick), but she always made an impression (especially if you were an adolescent male in the 80's), and she has mounted a comeback recently with the "Saw" franchise. The killer meanwhile is played by Robert Carradine, the most underrated of the Carradine brothers (his older brother, the late David Carradine, also appears in a supporting role as the character's--uh--older brother). Tammy Lauren plays Smith's more experienced, but alas no smarter, friend, but leaves little impression aside from her 80's-style damaged hair. A young Candace Cameron is just flat-out annoying as Smith's little sister (tragically, nobody kills her and stuffs her body in a trash compactor).

This was directed by none other than Fred Walton, a minor horror auteur responsible for the original "When a Stranger Calls", the fun 80's slasher spoof "April Fool's Day", and the belated but superior 90's sequel "When a Stranger Calls Back". He became a specialist of sorts in low-budget, phone-related thrillers, and though he was obviously hampered somewhat by the limitations of late 80's television here, he directs this as effectively, if not more effectively, than the late William Castle. It's probably easier to FIND the original Castle version these days than this one, but this is still worth checking out.
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Really Great Movie...
Joe-58728 May 2001
For a movie that was made for television, this was really good. I loved it since the first time I saw it at like age 7 or 8. While babysitting for her little sister, Kim has her friend Lisa over. Out of boredom, they play Lisa's suggested game, titled "I Saw What You Did", where they pick a name in the phone book, call the number, and say the phrase "I saw what you did and I know who you are". They game goes well for a while until they call someone who has actually just murdered his girlfriend after she breaks up with him. Thinking he sounds interesting and attractive, the girls decide to pay him a little visit. This movie is very good and entertaining. It is also especially creepy, even though it was made for television. I really hope it gets put on video some day soon. If you happen to come across a copy of this movie, definitely check it out. It stars a very young Shawnee Smith from the television show "Becker" and also Tammy Lauren.
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Effective remake with more fleshed-out characters
krorie14 January 2007
Perhaps more than any other coming-of-age angst film, this made-for-TV gem captures the fad-drenched arrogance and superciliousness of teenagers, pinpointing certain dangers that accompany such an attitude. It is the character of Lisa Harris (brilliantly portrayed by Tammy Lauren)that exudes this smart-ass front the best. Kim Fielding (Shawnee Smith) is putty in Lisa's hands as she is led down the road to perdition for the selfish motive of wanting a place for the night to rendezvous with her profligate boyfriend.

This nifty little film has it all, thrills, chills, suspense...you name it. Obviously much of the credit not only belongs to the superb cast, including the two Carradine brothers who play crazed brothers, but to the script by Cynthia Cidre, since both this TV flick and the earlier Joan Crawford "I Saw What You Did" (1965) are based on the same novel by Ursula Curtiss, not to slight the original William Castle production which itself is a fine addition to the horror genre. Yet this TV version goes beyond mere terror to a more thorough psychological analysis of what makes the main players tick. Even the smaller parts are more fleshed out than is usual for a TV show.

The plot is a familiar one by now. Two bored teenage girls, alone except for one's pesky little sister, decide to make prank phone calls. As expected, they accidentally reach a mad man in the midst of a murder. One bad move leads to another until the mad man is hot on the trail of one of the girls. But director Fred Walton, of "When a Stranger Calls" fame, keeps the show moving at a fast pace and though the ending is not that unusual it still comes as a surprise and as presented is extremely effective.
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I may be crazy...
morpoise13 August 1999
I may be crazy... but I liked this movie!!

The basic plot is this: bored high school girls play pranks and meet cute and unusual musician who turns out to be a psychotic killer.

This is a low budget, made for TV movie at its best!!

Robert Carradine does an excellent job of portraying over-the-edge eccentric Adrian Lancer. Quite a nice change of pace from all that "Revenge of the Nerds" nonsense. He makes the story line at least somewhat plausible and shows you convincing traits that would make two high school girls interested in him. Nice touch of having David Carradine play Adrian's brother Stephen.

I was really impressed with performances by Tammy Lauren and Shawnee Smith as a prankster and a prep school do gooder. Plus, Candace Cameron is not nearly as annoying here as she was on Full House.

The movie is slow moving at times. I would imagine that they had a good hour long movie, but then they had to fill up two hours in a Monday night time slot. If you get the chance to see it -- wait -- I don't even know if you CAN rent this anywhere, other than from me, since for some reason I happen to still have it taped on VHS from ten years ago. However, if you come across it, give it a chance. I suppose in some ways it is similar to the recent grouping of movies loosely titled "I Saw What You Did and Who You Were Screaming With Two Summers Ago", except that it is more like a realistic documentary of "here is what happened in one evening", rather than larger-than-life killers in costume targeting anyone in town.

Don't expect too much, and you won't be disappointed.
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Pretty decent for a TV horror movie
Leofwine_draca7 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A TV movie remake of the 1965 William Castle movie of the same name, this is a low-key and subtle film which makes a pleasing change from all the gory slashers and monster-of-the-week flicks which were doing the rounds at the time. The film is fairly slow-paced and set over the course of one fateful night, and benefits from realistically drawn characters and a highly effective score which adds to the tension. In particular, Robert Carradine's killer is not just a clear-cut unstoppable evil type, instead he's portrayed as a flawed man with a psychological defect, so the crimes he commits are not really his fault after all.

The biggest flaw with I SAW WHAT YOU DID is the contrived plot, which is over complicated where it should be straightforward. This is especially true in the set-up, in which Kim and Lisa visit Adrian's house, thinking that he might be a prospective boyfriend, and Kim just happens to leave her handbag there so he can follow her to her home. I'll bet the original Castle film wasn't this unbelievable. The horror isn't graphic and the film is bloodless with the exception of a couple of supernatural "visions" that Carradine has which are shoe-horned into the plot to bolster the horror content, and consist of a woman in bad zombie makeup and that clichéd shot of hands pushing out from the inside of a wall.

Taking the lead role of the teenage victim is Shawnee Smith, who is saddled with an unappealing character and is frankly poor - and was much better in THE BLOB. At least her friend Lisa - played by Tammy Lauren (WISHMASTER) - has spirit and is a more interesting character. Robert Carradine is effective as the multi-layered villain (and arsonist, giving a fun angle to the action) of the piece whilst his brother David is on hand to lend a touch of class to the proceedings as a minor investigative character. The suitably fiery climax also provides a fitting ending to the film's diluted horrors, and then there's another twist that I didn't see coming to finish off..
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Flat remake
The_Void25 February 2009
This film is a remake of the 1965 William Castle classic of the same title. It was made for TV, although that's not such a big problem on paper as the plot is very simple and there's not a lot of room for bloodshed anyway. The film also features a distinctly eighties style, which firmly puts the story in the time in which the film was made. Unfortunately, however, the focus of the film is spread thinly over a lot of different areas and as a result; the central plot suffers as its not fleshed out very well and the characters suffer too as we never really get to know anything about them. The plot focuses on two kids babysitting a younger one. They're bored and decide to get some kicks by making prank phone calls. The game soon gets round to "I know what you did", which involves phoning someone and simply saying that phrase. Unfortunately, however, they decide to call a Mr Adrian Lancer, a disturbed man that happens to have just murdered his wife...

The original film featured the same basic plot, so to call this one unlikely and the original not would be unfair. However, the fact that the original is so much better handled means that this version really struggles to get the plot across. The big coincidence of the girls' game and the murder isn't glossed over with any kind of gimmick which makes it stand out like a sore thumb. Furthermore, the girls themselves have very little character and Robert Carradine looks bored in his role as the murderer and so doesn't bring forward any tension or suspense. The plot is played rather straight for most of the film, which means things rather just drone on and it gets tiresome quickly. Tammy Lauren stands out in her role, though that's only because of her awful eighties haircut, while Shawnee Smith is mostly incognito. It soon becomes clear that the film isn't going to present any surprises and indeed the ending is rather typical. We do finish off with a final twist that is both nonsensical and redundant. Overall, I highly recommend giving the original a look if you want a fun lightweight thriller; but don't bother tracking this version down.
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teenage girls make a random prank call to the wrong guy
disdressed124 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
i really enjoyed this movie.it is a remake of a 1965 film,starring Joan Crawford.I haven't seen the original,so i can't compare the two.However as a stand alone film,it is surprisingly entertaining.the premise:two bored teenage girls decide to make random prank calls,saying "I saw what you did,and i know who you are",just to see what kind of reactions they can get.all harmless fun,of course,until they call Adrian,an emotionally unhinged man,who has just murdered his girlfriend.you can guess the rest.the movie is predictable of course,but is entertaining.the two leads,Shawnee Smith,and Tammy Lauren are well played and it is easy to get into the movie.not a lot of suspense,well,no more or less than other movies of the genre.The one disappointing thing is that Candace Cameron is billed as the star of the film.Don't believe it.she has a small role as the young sister of one of the teens.i get the feeling that Shawnee Smith was being groomed to become a big star.That didn't exactly happen,and i'm not sure why.However,she has made comeback of sorts with the "Saw" franchise.anyway...i'm kind of mystified that the original version of this movie has been released,but not this version.This is better than most films of the genre,i think maybe due to the performances.i give it 7/10
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Not near as good as The original
atinder22 May 2013
I Saw What You Did (1988)

This actually a TV remake, The plot some-what the same but there a lot different from movies.

This was felt little more face paced the the older black and white movie but I didn't really find any of these movie that creepy at the whole.

First i just found some of the script in this movie was ever weak, Some lines in this movie don't make sense at all. I Know it TV movie, Come on.

The acting in this movie was not that good at all, I thought everyone acting in this movie very wooden from most of the cast.

I not sure what to think of that cheap ending at all if wanted to get scared of that it was wrong done and it didn't work, I found that last scenes really silly.

Not near as good as The original

As this was TV remake there are rumours of yet another remake of this.

4 out of 10
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The 80's called. They want their vibe back
Coventry22 May 2010
I assumed this was an 80's remake of the modest William Castle sleeper with the same title that came out in 1965, but apparently both movies are just based on one and the same novel by Ursula Curtiss. So, "I Saw What You Did" isn't really a remake, but merely a re-imagining. Or simply another version, if you wish. It's a fun little movie with a very simplistic but effective plot, fresh young actresses' faces and the two coolest Carradine brothers starring as actual brothers. There are some big differences between this version and the aforementioned William Castle film, but the most rudimentary plot concept naturally remained the same. Two teenage girls, whilst babysitting the younger sister of one of them, are bored senseless and decide to entertain themselves by making prank calls to randomly selected names in the phone book. They arrive at the name Adrian Lancer, but he just killed his girlfriend because she didn't want to marry him. When the girls stupidly make up a prank like "I saw what you did and I know who you are", Adrian naturally assumes that somebody witnessed the murder and goes even further out of his mind. Meanwhile the girls stupidly begin to fantasize about Adrian's voice and bizarre music and can't resist driving over to his house to catch a glimpse… "I Saw What You Did" is fun and charming, but also unmemorable, mainly because there's very few action. I personally prefer the Castle version, because there John Ireland depicts the psychopath and there's a terrific sub plot involving the creepy Joan Crawford as his sickly amorous neighbor. In this film, that particular sub plot gets replaced by Adrian Lancer's brother showing up to help keeping his violent tendencies under control. The film is competently directed by Fred Walton. That guy must really like telephone-terror, as he also made the more or less genre classic "When a Stranger Calls". I guess the absolute best thing about watching "I Saw What You Did" now is how it catapults you straight back to the glorious eighties! The girls (Shawnee Smith and Tammy Lauren) are genuine 80's beauties, with typical dress code and hair styles, and back then it was still possible to make a horror movie about ordinary old-fashioned telephones instead of gadgets like mobile phones, Skype, Caller-ID or IPods.
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I saw what they did and I didn't like it.
tvcarsd23 November 2021
Most boring horrors like this one I can forgive if they are brief or have at least an interesting character build out at the start but this one is not like that. To make matters worse I usually expect the action to have started by at least the 1hr mark in a half decent horror but they couldn't do that either. I mean, pfft.

I'll admit, thankfully I did not and am not going to sit through every minute of this movie without pushing on the accelerator. Even just jumping through an entire 1/2hr of this movies mid point left me feeling like watching it was complete waste of time.

I really don't like it when they use stock daytime tv canned music it does next to nothing for the horror or thriller element. It was also too long and has overly thought through plot. A terrible waste of acting talent really and I can't say much for the direction either. A real snoozer.
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I loved this movie- i wish it would be on tv again!
barefooter797 January 2001
I hated the original- i thought it was cheesy and corny, and it wasnt scary at all! But this one came out when i was about nine years old, and it scared me half to death. i loved it, and i have been looking for it ever since i saw it, way back then. i always try to tell people about it, but no one i know has ever heard of it. but my sister and i loved it...
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Think of this as Romy and Michelle's big prank.
mark.waltz3 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Okay so Shawnee Smith and Tammy Lauren (along with the much younger Candace Cameron Bure) aren't exactly playing the wacky duo who "invented" post-its, but their characters are nearly the same, dizzy yet likeable, making prank calls on struggling composer Robert Carradine. He has just killed the girlfriend trying to break up with him, so they pick the wrong time to prank him. He's spotted trying to bury her so his tension is very noticeable when they keep calling him up. He is also dealing with an older brother who is trying to worm out a place to stay, and they deal not only with Smith's annoying little sister, but "mango man", a spooky looking neighbor who sells fruit door to door. David Carradine joins his brother here as the opportunistic older brother, but I think he would have been better cast as "mango man".

A much better version of the story than the 1965 original, this basically cut out the Joan Crawford character from the original, so the camp element is missing, but in this case, that's a good thing. Smith and Lauren are much better than the two girls from the original, playing an immature joke which puts them in jeopardy. Robert Carradine, as far from "Revenge of the Nerds" as he can possibly be, rather dour as a character but quietly sinister which is a subtle way of making the character much more dangerous. By changing much of the plot and the way it is developed, this becomes a much more traditional thriller, moving at a very fast pace and never lacking in the tension. I wasn't expecting much having disliked the original so I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed it. No award winner, it's a pleasant and intense time filler that puts a different swing on a story that has been redone in many different ways.
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Surprisingly good for what it is
Gator666 February 2007
I had seen this 1988 made-for-TV remake of a 1960s feature--the earlier having featured Joan Crawford in one of her last film roles--in my last year of college and had pretty much forgotten it. Last night, however, I happened to catch it on the cable network Sleuth and was surprised at how effective it was. I think the low budget and bare bones script combine to give the film a stark feeling missing in most TV movies of the day. None of the performances is much above average, except for an all too brief turn by a young Jo Anderson as the distressed girlfriend of the male lead, but the ensemble merges its talents well enough to keep us at least interested. All in all, it kind of reminded me of those shoestring budget ABC movie-of-the-week gems from the early 70s where actresses like eventual Emmy winner Kay Lenz got their start. Good diversion from the ordinary, especially if you're not expecting much.
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I liked it
Raven-91 August 1999
Was this like really way worse than the original? I had this one on video beta so I'll probably never see it again unless it either comes on again or i find a beta that works. Anyway when i saw it I thought it was pretty cool, my friend and i saw it several times over cherry Kool-aid and popcorn. One Sunday afternoon the original came on but darn it I had to go out and missed it. Anyway if it happens to come on cable or tv again watch it, its a way to pass time. And I was scared to make prank calls after this movie.
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