31 Days Of Horror (Day 20) – I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

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I know What You Did last Summer was one of the new batches of horror films that came out of the 90’s relaunch of the genre after the 1996 success story Scream film studios came out in force with what they would hope would be the next Scream. I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was based on the US Best-selling novel by Lois Duncan follows four teenagers who accidently hit a man with their car and dispose  the body in the river the make a pact to never speak of this again, but one year later after they have all went their separate ways they are forced back together when Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) receives a note about the accident which makes them think that the man they hit may actually be alive and that he will be coming to seek his revenge on the people who left him for dead.

I Know What You Did Last Summer came from the new breed of slasher films that came from the rebirth of the genre after the release of Scream in December 1996 (US release Date). It was amongst the first of the new relaunch of the genre and was met with a number 1 box office peak in the USA. It still to this day is one of the classic horror films of the 90’s with its main stars being key contributors to the 890’s teen culture era with Sarh Michelle Gellar of course from Buffy the vampire Slayer (which only had its first season at this point) as well as Ryan Phillipe who was a soap star at the time and would go on to star in the thriller Cruel intentions with his co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar. Also in the cast was Freddy Prinze jr who was a massive teen icon in the 90’s.

Despite the cast being of A list standard, the film itself was pretty damn awesome. Not the most goriest of the 90s slashers, in fact, there was only one or two scenes where you actually see blood. It was originally given a Uk 18 rating for the film’s cinema release but by the time the film was released on VHS in 1998 it was downgraded to a 15.

This was due, as I said to the lack of gore, which we saw a lot fo in Scream.

The film plays as more of a cat and mouse thriller than a flat-out horror, mainly because you do not actually see many deaths on camera and it is more the story of these kids and their mental breakdown while trying to find their tormentor.

This was something I really appreciated and respected form the film. It wasn’t trying to be the next scream while trying to be the next scream. That may not make any sense but giving that the film was based on a book which was written I the 70’s it kind of had legs to stand on and it was a story in its own right.

However, I personally feel that the film may not have been given the treatment it got (The cast, studio and budget) if it wasn’t for the release of Scream. This could also be backed up by the fact that many of Lois Duncans novels were mainly starring TV actors and were mainly made for TV or direct to VHS releases.

No matter what I Know What You Did Last Summer is one of my favourite films and is a film I can watch again and again. It is more of a thriller like I said which means that people who are a little more into the psychological horror might enjoy this giving it focuses more often the psychological aspects than the stalk and slash aspect.

Overall I can not rave about this film enough. It does have ts cheesy moment and the acting at the time is a little off but I love it and I know you will too!

| Ross Wilcock

Horror | USA, 1997 | Dir.Jim Gillespie |Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddy Prinze Jr.

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