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Horror - I Know What You Did Last Summer & I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Buy I Know What You Did Last Summer
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mekhi Phifer.
Director: Jim Gillespie / Danny Cannon
Rated: R Not for sale to persons under age 18. Slasher violence implied sex.
Studio: Columbia Tristar Home Video

I Know What You Did Last Summer was a hit because it had a lot going for it. Jennifer Love Hewitt from Party Of Five, Sarah Michelle Gellar from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and it was written by Kevin Williamson who also penned Scream. As slasher movies go I Know What You Did Last Summer contains all the elements of this classic genre. The absolutely compulsory requirement of gorgeous girls is fulfilled by the presence of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt. These two women also embody the entire pool of acting talent in the movie.

The ominous feeling at the start of this movie – the opening scene which shows a young man perched on the edge of a cliff looking down to the rocky shore below is never realized in the balance of the film. That being said this is still a fun slasher flick with some good scary moments and just the right amount of shocking excess. The use of an ice hook / short gaff as the slasher’s murder weapon of choice is used well but not exploited as well as say Freddy’s glove in the Nightmare movies.

Our killer dresses in a fisherman’s slicker with rain hat and boot. That this attire must be uncomfortable and noteworthy in July heat even in a fishing town never seems to come into play. Suspension of disbelief is something most slasher fans are more than willing to do but it would be nice to have someone on the staff of the movie taking this stuff into consideration. In typical slasher fashion everyone you want to see killed is dispatched by the friendly neighbourhood slasher before moving onto the main event – the main characters.

The key flaw in this slasher flick is that the movie doesn’t play fare with the audience. (SPOILER AHEAD) A whole range of red herring potential slashers are paraded before the viewer as potential identities for the slasher but at the last minute the whole focus of the story shifts into a completely different direction that was never even hinted at earlier in the movie. ARRGH. Things like that detract from the enjoyment of a movie but it doesn’t destroy the movie it just gets your goat a little. Upon finally meeting the slasher many loose threads are pulled together – at least enough to hold the story together. When we finally do meet the slasher the explanation at least covers the bases and explains away some of the erroneous hints to the slasher’s identity from earlier in the movie.

The final fight sequence is rewarding and meets the genre’s requisite to be open ended along with the mad slasher’s explanation for the killings.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is marginally better than the original movie if only for a script which is a little tighter. The rest of the movie takes a cookie cutter approach to creating this slasher flick. Not surprisingly Ben Willis is back – no one really expected that he was dead despite losing a hand and being dropped into the water a good 10 minutes by fishing boat going full steam into the Atlantic ocean, figure at least two miles from shore. Despite this any horror fan will tell you that you cannot kill a killer as simply as lopping off a body part and dumping them at sea. Ben Willis pulls a Jason and returns. At the start of the movie the characters do not know this.

Jennifer Love Hewitt is back to reprise her role as Julie joined by Freddie Prinze who is back as her jealous, fisherman boyfriend Ray. It is inconceivable to have a horror movie with only two potential victims so the stunning Brandy Norwood is added to the cast as is the handsome and gifted Mekhi Phifer as Tyrell. The acting is solid there is nothing to fault the actors for in this movie. Even the supporting cast is solid. The downside is the pedestrian direction though the slaughter of the innocents definitely hits a higher gore scale than the original movie.

There is a nice little twist which reveals itself toward the end of the story that only the very sharp will catch despite the clues given. The wonderful thing about both “I Know What You Did” movies is that there is a decent storyline, good special effects and good acting in the face of pedestrian direction and lackluster cinematography. The first movie doesn’t play fair with the fan but you get over it quickly enough and the second movie is true to form in giving us more of the same in an appropriately isolated location and creepy setting. Cinematic masterpieces they are not – but if you were looking for that what the heck are you doing on this site?

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