Friday, December 2, 2011

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) - 1.5/5

Although "Scream" was essentially a self-referencing knock off on slasher films, it did reignite the slasher genre in the late 90s. Whether you consider this a good thing or not depends on how much you like rehashed slashers, but films like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" do add enough fodder for the slaughter to keep B-horror film fans gobbling it it. Unfortunately, as with the slasher genre in the 80s, this is one of those films that never adds anything to the mix and doesn't even complete the slasher musts as it should have. It comes off as a watered down mainstream attempt at a slasher film, instead of a remotely decent rehash.

When four teens celebrating the Fourth of July together before they all head their seperate ways after high school accidentally hit a man on the side of the road they have to make a decision that will change their lives forever. Instead of taking responsibility for it, they dump the body in the water and move on with their lives. Now its a year later and our heroine (Hewitt) returns home to find some anonymous threats. It would seem these teens are being hunted down for what they did, but can they figure out who it is before they all find themselves in deep water?

Let's go down the slasher check list: teen/youthful heroes? Check. A masked killer with a unique kill style? Rain slicker and a fisherman's hook count. Check. Gratuitous nudity? Nope. This baddie is deflated for those dating teens - even the uncut version has nothing. Gratuitous gore? Nope. Again, we're shooting for mainstream here. Clever kills? Wrong! Nothing here that we haven't seen before...even with a hook.

What's the score? Two out of five. A measly two out of five. What is this? It isn't even close to the slashers I grew up with. In fact, Kevin Williamson (who also wrote "Scream") seems to be insistent that this film appeal to everyone. They dumb down the story enough that I probably could have written it in an hour as a joke and the dialogue is atrociously cheesy and immature. Not to mention our director Gillespie (who also gave us the 'classic' film "Joyride") is notoriously bad at building tension or giving us a style to the film. It's obvious that it was watered down for mass consumption and the movie significantly suffers from it.

I must also state that despite its very popular cast...errr...very popular for 1997 cast, it has some of the worst acting I've seen in a theatrically released horror film. Hewitt and Geller snore through this film relying on their tight shirts to keep our attentions, Freddie Prinze, Jr. is given nothing to work with as a character, and Ryan Phillipe (who turned out to be a decent actor) is hilariously bad as the jock with anger issues. The writing and directing that these poor guys have to deal with is...well, its fucking funny. I'm sorry but it is.

"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is a horrendous slasher. It's not interesting and it rarely delivers the goods that slashers are known for. The only thing that remotely deserves the point and a half is the killer concept and even that is never utilized to how cool it could have been. Even if you did enjoy "Scream", "Last Summer" fails to deliver on almost all aspects. *Cracks knuckles*...which means that part two is going to be a winner I'm sure.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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