I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997

Rating: 18
Length 1h 41
Release 12.12.1997
Director Jim Gillespie
About Four high school teenagers try to cover up a hit-and-run case. A year later, they start receiving anonymous letters and each one is attacked by a mysterious man who knows their deep, dark secret.


The Good

  • The four leads are what make this film; then and now. I like that the film doesn’t have them walking the halls of a high school and instead have them on their own paths.
  • Johnny Galecki was a cool spot back in my teens, having grown up in the Rosanne household. Even now, though, he’s still that guy you know from Big Bang Theory. Man can he do creep well, too.
  • I love the setting that’s Amity but not quite. Its not new, but it does feel refreshing. For me, it also adds to the lack of community I felt watching it. That this isn’t a town that talks to each other.
  • The music! At the time it was perhaps “eh, its cool”, but now it has that hit of nostalgia. This is up there with Scream 2 for awesome credit song choice.
  • The hunting of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Helen is movie perfection. This is the actress I knew as Buffy, so seeing her vulnerable and afraid was beyond disturbing. Then the editing of the whole scene; from the diversion of the cop car that’s taking her home to her almost making it to the crowded streets is phenomenal.

The Bad

  • Johnny Galecki’s Max was killed off too soon. In fact, the most frustrating part is that they spend so long building up suspicion of him, to resolve it so suddenly, its almost anti-climactic.
    There’s also the massive plot blunder of him in the car boot. Yes, I totally get its attempt to build on julie’s unravelling and I guess our sense of smell does not transcend celluloid, but it is improbbable the killer could have cleaned that boot as impeccably as the film wants us to believe.
  • The final showdown reveals the killer’s mood board of the friends. Well, what do you know, the killer has not only managed to do all the damage he has; he’s been able to get candid photographs of the day developed too. Not something I caught the first time around, but it stuck out like a sore thumb this time.
  • I so feel like there’s a lake of interaction between our four targets and the rest of the town. I mean, Barry is the jock but there’s no posse?! Ray is given that loner persona, but there’s no one else for the other’s to hang out with. So, aren’t they loners too? It just makes the whole thing feel superficial and that no one is really going to miss these kids when they meet their maker.

The Ugly

  • I’m not sure I buy the killer’s motivation. In fact, I find the whole thing a little convoluted watching it as an adult. Perhaps I wasn’t distracted by the next “death” as I once was; it certainly wasn’t that I remembered the story.
  • That ending in the showers. Yawn. Made even worse if you’ve seen the sequel.

Final Thoughts

It’s a film that fairs better the less you think about it. Just watch the pretty people make dumb life choices and Gibb’s mentor weild a hook, give Edward Scissorhands a run for him money in the hair department and be an absolute motherfucking hypocrite.

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