I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Hello horror fans, it’s me, Slick Dungeon! I’m back to review another slasher film for ya. This time, it’s the sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer, the cleverly titled, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. We’re back with just half the cast of the first film because… well murder-y reasons from the first film. This time we have Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddy Prinze Jr. reprising their roles but we also get a host of new characters. Before we get too far into this review just a note of warning, there will be spoilers for both the first and second films in this franchise. And oddly enough a spoiler from Scream 5. So if you haven’t seen the movies, grab your rain slicker, bring your hook, and brave the bad weather to see the films and come on back here to read the review.

I Know What You Did Last Summer left us on a jump scare with Julie, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, seeing the words I Still Know written on a fogged up shower window and then the sound of breaking glass as someone or something jumps through the window. It’s actually a rather effective end and leaves the viewer a bit disturbed and wondering what will happen next. Naturally, the makes of the sequel decide to… completely ignore that scene and just start with Julie in college having a nightmare. And the nightmare isn’t even that scene which would have made sense. After that bad choice, the movie gets kind of worse.

Julie is probably the least culpable of the group from the first film so the audience is more or less on her side and it makes sense that she’s the focus of the follow up movie. But Ray, who is the one who was behind the wheel when he hit someone in the first film, is also in this. He’s still dating Julie but the relationship is on the rocks. Julie doesn’t want to go back home for the fourth of July but Ray really wants her to.

Julie invites Ray to stay at her college for the weekend but Ray insists he has to work. And then, in what is almost completely unexplainable behavior, Ray gets really mad that Julie doesn’t want to come back to the town where she and Ray were almost murdered, on the anniversary of the day several of her friends and acquaintances were murdered, during a time she’s clearly having flashbacks and bad dreams about nearly being murdered in the spot Ray wants her to go to. But Ray thinks his anger can be justified because he, “has to work,” and because there is a guy on campus who is being relatively nice and understanding to Julie. I’m not here to give anyone relationship advice but if this is your situation, maybe think twice about who you are spending time with.

Ray goes back to his hometown and Julie and her friend win tickets to go on a vacation to paradise in the Bahamas. Julie promptly invites Ray to go but he won’t because he, “has to work.” And get this… Ray is still mad at her! She just invited him to go on vacation with her but somehow she’s wrong in this situation? What the heck?

Anyway, this is a horror movie, so let’s get into the horror, other than Ray’s weird attitude towards Julie. Long story short, the trip is a setup by someone who wants to kill Julie and maybe a number of her friends and acquaintances. Turns out the island is pretty secluded and no one can get on or off on the fourth of July because it’s the start of typhoon season and the seas will be too rough.

We meet a cast of oddball island characters from a hotel manager who seems to hate guests (this makes no sense considering they would be his only source of income) to a bar tender who can’t stand tourists (I get this a bit more but again shouldn’t she be trying to be nice to them to, you know, earn tips?), and uh.. Jack Black trying to deal weed to everyone. On the plus side, this movie has Jack Black in it so all good.

If you have ever seen a slasher film even once in your life, you know where this is going. Characters start getting picked off one by one, including characters the audience might have suspected were the killer.

Meanwhile, back at home, Ray gets attacked in the same spot as the accident from the first film. He pretty quickly realizes Julie is likely in trouble so he pawns the engagement ring he was going to propose to Julie with so he can get a gun and force someone to take him to this island. I guess we’re supposed to be on Ray’s side because, “he has to work,” so he could buy Julie a wedding ring. But like in the first movie, he does something so awful in the beginning (really getting on Julie’s case for feeling victimized) that it’s nearly impossible to like this dude.

The remainder of the movie is Julie and her friends trying to survive, Ray trying to save Julie, and the audience trying to figure out who the killer is.

**Spoiler warning here for both I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 5.**

If you’ve seen very many horror movies, and slasher horror in particular, you’re going to guess who the killer is immediately. We know it’s not Ray, although he could be a suspect if he was on the same island at the same time most of the murders happen. But he’s not. When I watched this movie this quote from Dewey Riley in Scream 5 immediately popped into my head, “Rule number one. Never trust the love interest. They seem sweet, caring, supportive. Then welcome to act three, where they’re trying to rip your head off.” This quote basically summarizes this whole movie perfectly. Respect for Scream 5.

Some of the deaths are interesting and there is a higher body count and definitely a bit more gore than in the first film. But the plot is not very strong and if a single one of these characters had asked if anyone heard them on the radio when they won this contest, the whole plot never would have happened.

There’s a twist at the end, like all good slashers should have, but it’s not a very inspired twist and it feels kinda lazy. Also, like any good slasher, we end on a scare. But if my guess is right, they will waste this one as well.

I wasn’t overly impressed with the first movie but not because the plot wasn’t believable. For that one, I just found the characters unlikeable. In this one, I find Ray super unlikeable and the plot unbelievable. The newer characters are for the most part fine, although some of them just seem like silly stereotypes of horror characters you might see in any horror movie, the stoner guy, the odd and creepy older man, the sort of angry bar tender etc.

It’s far from the worst horror film I have ever seen but it’s also nowhere near the best. If the franchise went downhill this fast, I can’t imagine what the third one will be like. I will be reviewing it so if you want my take on it, stay tuned.

Knowingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

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