I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hello horror fans, Slick Dungeon, here. I’m back to review another horror film for you. This time I watched the slasher from the 1990’s with the dream cast of the 1990’s, I Know What You Did Last Summer. This is an old movie but on the off chance you have not seen it, be warned there will be some spoilers below. So, if you haven’t seen it, hop on a boat, grab a chunk of ice with a hook to cool yourself off, and watch the movie. Then come back here to read the review.

Still with me? Great. I Know What You Did Last Summer is a slasher film which has a lot of call backs to an urban legend about a man with a hook for a hand. Think of the original Candyman but not quite as good as that.

The movie stars some actors with major name recognition for the time including, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Anne Heche, Ryan Phillipe, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Johnny Galecki.

It’s the 4th of July and a group of friends is about to finish high school and head off in various directions to start their lives as young adults. But before that, Julie James, Helen Shivers, Barry Cox, and Ray Bronson are going to party it up. These four friends go out to the beach and party down. They hang out with a crowd, then split off to tell campfire stories on the beach. One of the stories has to do with the hook handed killer and none of them can quite agree on the correct version of the story.

Barry, in particular starts drinking fairly heavily. At night, when it’s time to go home, the rest of the group do the responsible thing and don’t allow Barry to drive.

They pile in the car, with Ray at the wheel. But apparently Barry can’t help but be a bit of an idiot as he shouts out of the sunroof of the car and spills alcohol all over everyone else. Ray takes his eyes off the road for a moment due to the distraction and ends up hitting a pedestrian.

Rather than call the police or an ambulance, the group decides to hide the accident and toss the body into the ocean. Before they can do that, their classmate Max drives through but the group is able to send him on his way without too much trouble.

A year later, the group is not at all where they imagined they would be. Julie is failing her classes, Ray has become a fisherman, Helen is working at a retail store and Barry is just kind of existing at home. It’s clear at least some of this group feels guilty over what happened.

Things take a dark turn when Julie receives a simple note which just says, “I know what you did last summer.” It’s a simple but extremely threatening message.

The film plays out with people who were part of the group of four, or people who know them well, being killed or threatened in some way. In all of these instances there is a glimpse of someone wearing a fisherman’s slicker and holding a hook.

There are a few potential killers but no matter who it is, it’s clear this person has the whole story of what happened the summer before. The characters who are able do some research to figure out what is going on.

I don’t want to give away the end here in case anyone hasn’t watched it but there are some twists and turns and the reveal is potentially surprising.

This never quite elevates itself to a great horror movie but it is well acted and believable. One problem with it is it can be hard for the viewer to sympathize with a group who decided to hide an accident rather than own up to their own part in it. These aren’t completely innocent babysitters just trying to make it through Halloween, these are people with a pretty major secret.

That aside, there are some good scares and although there is a bit of gore it’s fairly tame compared to a lot of other horror franchises. The very end certainly leaves it open to sequel potential and I will be reviewing the others in this series.

If you want to watch a good popcorn slasher without having to overthink anything this is a solid watch. But, it’s not quite capable of reaching the greatness some horror franchises achieve.

Horrifically yours,

Slick Dungeon

2 thoughts on “I Know What You Did Last Summer – Movie Review

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