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3.8 out of 5 stars
I Know What You Did Last Summer
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2002
Format: DVD
Yes, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" does seem like some corny teenybopper popcorn flick; but it's not. Believe me, I went into this film with pretty low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised with the level of terror provided! And it's not cheap terror, it's genuine because of the suspense director Jim Gillespie consistently builds.
It's the fourth of July and four friends Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Junior), Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Barry William Cox (Ryan Phillippe) are celebrating their high school graduation and Helen's beauty pageant win. On their way home they hit a man walking down a curved corner in the road. They panic when they learn he's dead and in hopes of saving their futures, decide to dump the body into the ocean. The four friends make a pact to keep it a secret. It was an accident, but it was one they cannot forget.
Their friendships are ruined and they all leave for college and don't talk to each other; they are all depressed and upset. When Julie returns home for summer vacation there is a letter waiting for her. It reads, "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Frightend, Julie goes to find her old friends for help. Was someone else there that night? They think it's only a prank until a man in a slicker with a hook begins to stalk the four friends and torment them in the most vile and disgusting ways imaginable (dead bodies in their trunks, cutting off their hair in sleep, trying to run them over, etc.
Realizing that if they don't find out who's doing this and get rid of him fast, they'll be dead, they search for answers, all the while receiving even more terrifying threats. It sure is a thrilling ride and there are a remarkable number of points in this movie when you jump in fright and scream!
One reason this movie is terrifying is because the situation the characters are in could happen to anybody. Hitting someone with a car could happen to anybody, and what happens after the crash is also believable. The acting by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Phillippe are phenomenal coming from such young actors. These two are now big stars, but they weren't when they did "I Know What You Did Last Summer" so it's interesting to see how they were before they were famous. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Junior aren't quite as convincing as Hewitt and Phillippe, but they are still enjoyable.
The script for "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was adapted from Lois Duncan's best-selling novel by Kevin Williamson, the writer of "Scream". Yes, the script is in good hands! Williamson's script is a very visual one filled with twists, witty dialogue, and plenty of scares.
The DVD for "I Know What You Did" last summer values quality over quantity and provides only a theatrical trailer and commentary. The trailer is terrifying, very enticing and fun to watch. The commentary by director Jim Gillespie is very informative and insightful for fans of the film. It focuses mainly of production design, but has some interesting blurbs about music, casting, and script changes. Gillespie has a wonderful Scottish accent, which makes the commentary even more delightful to listen to.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2005
Format: DVD
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a (loose) adaptation of the childrens book, by Lois Duncan. It focuses primarily on the four main characters... intelligent, level headed, heroin Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), her well intentioned, typical nice guy boyfriend Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr), her best friend the rich and popular beauty queen Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Helens rich, macho, handsome football star boyfriend Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) The four teens have just graduated high school and are prepared to spend a summer of "immature adolescent decadance" as said by Barry. Things didnt go as planned

On July 4th Helen appeats in the Miss Croaker beauty contest and is crowned queen, much to the excitement of her friends and especially Barry. The four kids decide to celebrate by heading down to a secluded beach for a night of scary stories, drinking and sex, your typical teenage summer night. In what is to be their last decent decision of the movie, they agree Ray is to drive drunken Barrys BMW home that night. Barry stands up through the sunroof, spills alcohol and distracts Ray long enough to hit a crossing man head on. At first they disagree on what to do, call the police, or dump the body. Barry argues that if they come clean theyre dreams will be ruined. His as a football star, Helens as a famous actress, Rays as a writer, and Julie's as a lawyer. Much to Julie's dismay, they agree to dispose of the body in the ocean. They vow never to speak of the incident again.

One year later everythings changed. Julie comes home for the summer (after practically failing out of college in Boston) and recieves an anonymous note from someone claiming they know what happened the previous summer. Panicked, Julie turns to her former best friend Helen for help. Helen immediately wonders how now ex boyfriend Barry will react. Barry is skeptical, sure its someone messing around. After hes nearly run down with his own car by a man in an impossibly creepy fishing slicker, his attitude changes. The estranged foursome is forced to come back together to fight for their lives. From then on, the movie is a series of scares and edge of your seat suspense. Especially the famous Helen chase.

All and all great movie with respectable acting. Jennifer Love Hewitt was actually tolerarble in a sense other than being easy on the eyes. Freddie Prinze was sincere and adorable. However the always beautiful Sarah and the absolutely hunky Ryan stole the show. Both were believable and managed to make their stereotypicaLly vapid characters dimmensional. It hit me how well the acting was done when Helen watched Barry get hooked and I actually cared, felt bad for them. Rent this one for fun, but not in search of meaningful messages. Dont watch it alone ;)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 16, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I absolutely love the I Know series, and had no choice but to buy this Blu Ray when it came out, despite already owning the standard def DVD. This is a very surprisingly great transfer and a substantial improvement over the original. Even if you're not goonie googoo over these films, as I am, you'd be well served to make this purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
Format: DVD
I've watched my fair share of teen horror films, this one, was simply boring. I watched from beginning to end tried my best to get into it and my viewing taste wasn't having it. I'm sure the book was better than the movie (they usually are). The acting was so-so at best, the plot was flat due to the poor execution, and the scare factor was limited. Since I did not watch this movie in 1997 and did not go see it for the star power, my appreciation for the movie won't be there like others. While I like Sarah and Ryan, this movie just missed the cut, in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
this film is really really great. Okay, it might not be the next Silence of the Lambs, but it was never supposed to be. You have to see it for what it is, a great way of spending an evening/afternoon curled up on the sofa with your girl/boyfriend, watching a great fun film. Which is undoubtedly what this film is. It is great, great fun. (sorry, i'll stop re-using that tired old adjective now).
The plot is intriguing, and also fun. It's your typical teen movie, so probably not for the older purveyors of conematic quality. It's not really a classic in the "Star Wars" type way, and wont go down in history as a great film, but it is certainly one of the most enjoyable pictures i've seen in many a while. You are guranteed some superb fun as you try to work out whodunnit, and who'll be the next victim of that hook. It's a melodramatic film, but very suspenseful and spooky.
The killer, clad fisherman's slickers, is haunting, taking on a supernatural like quality, and bringing elements of that supernaturality to the film. Whenever you see his spooky attire gliding along, you know someone's going to get done in, but who?
the plot is, if not original, certainly enjoyable. I have always loved films in this style with a passion, ever since reading Agatha Christie's And then there Were None. They are above all much fun, and a nice way to wile away the time.
The four young actors each play their parts very well, especially the sublime Jennifer Love Hewitt. The directors give us plenty of enjoyable and tantaslising shots of clevage, most of which will remain with me for several days at least. I would watch it all again just to get another nice view.
This is actually quite a scary film, even thought its teen slasher label deems it, by deafuat, to be not. It is atmospheric, and has the wonderful juxtaposition of the little village village being the backdrop for vicious murders. The settings are perfect, as are the characters and plot.
i cant think of much else to say about this film, i was never very good at critiqueing them. All i can say is that i loved it, my girlfriend loved it, my friends loved it. So, if you too are a teen, you probably will too.
so, if you want to watch a movie that is brilliant fun, and suspenseful, atmospheric and spooky too, this one is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
There has been much debate(most of it bashing)on this movie. I Know What You Did Last Summer is not Citizen Kane. It's not supposed to be. What this film is and is supposed to be, is a fun excuse to kill a few hours. There are several holes in this film, sure, but who cares?. It's all about the fun. The first half of the film is deliciously set up in a superb way. It's shot well and looks great. The second half falls into "Friday The 13th" type 80's slasher horror, but that's okay. Why?, because it's fun. That's the whole point. The dialogue isn't half bad, but it is nowhere near as witty, clever, or intelligent as any of the "Scream" movies. Jennifer Love Hewitt is a strong addition to the list of Scream Queens. She is quite good in this. Her performance in the sequel, however, is very questionable. Sarah Michelle gellar looks incredible but isn't given enough to do. Same for Prinze and Philippe. The slicker clad fishermen killer is genuinely creepy. His creepiness is practically non-existent in Part 2. The ending, while not very original, is still fun. It's nice to have a jump ending. That same thing was used for the end of Part 2, but with no effect whatsoever. This isn't grand filmmaking, but it's good enough. I hate it when people don't consider these types of movies as "real horror". Whatever. Those are people who create their own rules in their own head. They don't see what other things are all about. It has a few stupid things(a body and a bunch of crabs disappearing in broad daylight)in it. Nothing is perfect. This is harmless, enjoyable fun. Give it a chance. It achieves what it set out to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2001
Format: DVD
I Know What You Did Last Summer is noted as the 2nd teen horror movie in the new teen phases that started with Scream. Kevin Williamson, the writer of Scream, also wrote I Know. And it shows in the witty dialogue and actions of the characters. But this isn't a bad thing, because there are great differences between the two movies' characters. I Know tells the story of four teens who commit a hit & run, and cover up. Turns out, they didn't cover it up as well as they thought when whoever they hit has come back to kill them. Stellar performances are given by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillipe in this movie. Too bad they're the ones to meet their demise, because I think they would've worked better in the sequel. If they would have agreed to do it. Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr. faired well, but didn't shine as much as Sarah and Ryan. I must comment on the directing. I think it was very good. Especially Helen's (Sarah's character) chase scene. To me, it's one of the most tense chase scenes out of any horror / suspense movie. Jim Gillespie really took the effect of the dark and shadows in I Know. It seemed as if he used them every chance he got, and it worked well. But his commentary on the dvd wasn't that interesting. It had it's good points, but most of it was - in a way - boring. In conclusion, I Know What You Did Last Summer was full of suspense, great acting (especially Sarah & Ryan), and good directing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar star in this film that surprisingly is better than SCREAM. One year ago, four friends accidentally killed a man and threw him into the river and vowed to never mention the tragedy again. But someone now knows and is offing the friends one by one with his handy fishing hook and slicker to hide it in. Excellent performances, extremely suspenseful and scary scenes and a killer soundtrack make this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Although dialogue towards the end may be a tad cheesy, the majority of this film had dialogue of pure intelligence and sense, making for all realism to burst through. It's all very well laid out, and the character development is nice and smooth. One of my favourite slasher flicks, this one might have gotten the overall plot of its story from the 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis slasher, PROM NIGHT. Similarities between the two films do not affect the entertainment values of this incredibly wild roller coaster ride.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2002
Format: DVD
While the makers of I Know What You Did Last Summer certainly won't be collecting any Academy Awards for their work, they will most definitely be known for creating a solid thriller with plenty of scares.
After a 4th of July bash, four North Carolina teens drive to the local beach for some ghost stories and late-night sex. While driving on the winding road home, the group hits a man. They decide to dump the body into the ocean to avoid legal hassles, and swear to never discuss the incident with anyone ever again.
One year later, their secret comes back to haunt them. Literally. Is it the man they thought was dead, or someone else wanting to settle the score?
Now the four are running for their lives, trying to figure out who the man in the slicker is; before he guts them like a swordfish.
I Know What You Did Last Summer features four of today's hottest stars in their "breakthrough" roles. Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Heartbreakers), Ryan Phillippe (Cruel Intentions), and Freddie Prinze Jr. (She's All That) work well together, and brought life to the characters created by Scream writer Kevin Williamson.
While it isn't a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination, I Know What You Did Last Summer is certainly one of the better of the teen horror movies that the late 90's bombarded us with. Even if you're not a horror buff, give it a look, it may surprise you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I know what you did last summer was one of the best films I had seen in a long time. It's based on 4 kids on there graduation night who supposedly murder someone and throw the corpse in the sea. One yr later someone comes after them, a fisherman with a hook for a hand. One by one they are killed. The only mistake with this movie was putting Jennifer Love Hewitt as the main character, Sarah Michelle Gellar would definanently have done a better job. This movie is very scary but to a point where it makes v movie much more enjoyable. The best scenes are Helen's (S.M Gellar) hair cut incident and Julie's (J.L Hewitt) find in her car boot. The main scare is at the end. Watch out for Julie in the bottom of the boat in the ice pit! Finally the cliff hanger. It definanently made me wanna c I still know. But by the sounds of Amazons reviews I'll pass.
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