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Some things can't be forgotten!
I Know What You Did Last Summer (DVD)
Member Name: GentleGenius
I Know What You Did Last Summer (DVD)
Advantages: Fairly well-acted, quite exciting, atmospheric
Disadvantages: Dubious storyline, way over the top in parts
RELEASED: 1997, Cert.15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 96 mins
DIRECTOR: Jim Gilespie
PRODUCER: Neal H Mortiz
SCREENPLAY: Kevin Williamson
MUSIC: John Debney
Ryan Phillippe as Barry (the aggressive drunk one)
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie (the dark-haired girl)
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Helen (the beauty queen blonde girl)
Freddie Prinze Jr.as Ray (the dark-haired guy, well-behaved one)
FILM ONLY REVIEW
The setting is North Carolina, and four teens, Barry, Julie, Ray and Helen go for a late night drive to celebrate the evening's event of Helen winning a local beauty queen contest.
Ray is driving the four of them around in Barry's car, as Barry is very drunk...aggressive with it too. On a lonely, winding, seaside road whilst Barry is fooling around and distracting Ray from concentrating on his driving, a man runs out in front of the car and gets hit....when Ray goes to feel the man's pulse, he discovers he is dead.
Panic-stricken and after much heated arguing about what they are going to do, the teenagers dump the dead body into the sea.
A year later and after having had no contact with the other three, Julie returns home from college in New York. Shortly after her arrival, she receives an anonymous letter stating that the author knows what she did last summer.
Julie gets back into contact with Barry, Ray and Helen, and before long it appears somebody is out to exact revenge for what happened on that fateful night one year earlier.
All four teens are now in danger, and who is the cloaked, masked, meat-hook brandishing figure who appears at the most inopportune moments?
Watch it yourself to find out more.
I Know What You Did Last Summer is pretty typical of a glut of this sort of films that began to invade the market from about the mid-1990s to date. It runs pretty much to format in the sense of there being at least one member of the group who is an antagonistic jerk, and in this case it happens to be Barry.
I found the first part of I Know What You Did Last Summer rather dreary, but luckily such was short-lived and it wasn't long before things started to hot up, evolving into quite a watchable slasher/thriller film.
My own interest was grabbed once the group of teens had driven off on their own, accidentally mowing down and killing an unknown man. By that time I was gripped, but I found the character of Barry intensely unpleasant and I wanted to inform him (if such were possible) in no uncertain terms as to what a distinctly odious scumbag he was.
The excitement levels in this film run quite high and there is a definite air of mystery present, but there are some scenes which are rather over the top, especially in the area of victims of physical injury and violence pulling themselves together, recovering far too quickly from their plights.
As far as the acting is concerned, it is at least average from all the main characters. I personally feel the accolade for best actor here should go to Ryan Phillippe as the obnoxious, temperamental, really up himself Barry. Jennifer Love Hewitt's role as Julie was probably the most involved, but although she did play the part well, I feel it quite likely that any halfway decent actress would have made an equally good job of it.
The music to I Know What You Did Last Summer is somewhat myriad....initially a mish-mash of what I call pseudo heavy-metal, and a peculiar cover version of The Isley Brothers' Summer Breeze which in my opinion emerged from some kind of musical slaughter-house, but as the film wore on, the score became more orchestrated and bore a distinct resemblance to the music from both Silence Of The Lambs, and the Martin Scorsee version of Cape Fear.
On the topic of Martin Scorsee's Cape Fear, I did feel that I Know What You Did Last Summer bore more than a slight similarity, in mood perhaps rather than storyline. Also, both films are set in North Carolina and that bears credence to them having a similar atmosphere.
There is a twist right at the very end of I Know What You Did Last Summer, but it isn't original....I'd hazard a guess that at least 50% of people who watch this film will see that twist coming and be able to predict what it will be.
All in all, this film to me seemed like an excuse to go outrageously over the top during the finale, and although I did enjoy the build-up to that finale quite a lot, it somehow lost me as there was too much going on at once, thereby erasing all previous levels of credibility.
There are a few slasher scenes within this film, but they aren't as gut-churning or gory as one would expect from something with an 18 certificate....however, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with any kind of extreme violence being issued with a 15 rating, as I Know What You Did Last Summer has been.
I can't say that this film is going to creep into my all-time favourites or that I have any desire to watch it again, but it is true to say that I was for the most part entertained, and I have seen far worse creations of the type where teens get into trouble then have to contend with the outcome of their antics.
I'd recommend I Know What You Did Last Summer to anyone who simply wants to be entertained for an hour and a half, who doesn't necessarily expect Oscar standard acting and bearing in mind the film's genre, doesn't mind it not being all that scary. The only part which made me jump out of my skin was when somebody innocently shouted at somebody else through their car window! This definitely is a watchable, entertaining film, but don't expect to have your mind blown from one end of the universe to the other.
At the time of writing, I Know What You Did Last Summer can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £7.00 to £39.99
Used: from £1.59 to £9.99
Collectible: One copy currently available @ £7.89
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Summary: A mediocre, but nonetheless very entertaining slasher film