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The 100




I Know What You Did Last Summer
(1997)
Reviewed by Chris Bjuland
Rating: 7 Beans

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VHS - DVD
his movie is an enjoyable throwback to early slasher films of the 80s. While more suspense driven, and less splatter driven, then movies of that era, it is not without it's faults.

First and foremost is the script. Relying on cliche "Goosebump" ideas, this story that started with such promise quickly degenerates into stupid people running from a killer with an ice hook.

Jennifer Love Hewitt stars as Julie James and Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Helen Shivers. They, along with their boyfriends, played expertly to forgetfulness by Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze, Jr., spend their last evening together at the beach, telling urban legends, drinking and having sex. On their return to the civilization of their small town, they hit and kill a man. Wishing to avoid trouble and scar their bright futures, they dump the body into the ocean for the currents and the crabs to deal with.

It is at this point that the storyline takes a dive from suspense and scare tactics and insteads begins to focus more and more on Ms. Hewitt's tight V-cut sweaters and cramming Ms. Gellar into equally suggestive tops. Both women are stunningly beautiful and play the part of teen sex starlets to perfection. Both actresses have the wonderful ability to scream relentlessly, and this adds greatly to the atmosphere of the movie.

Dealing with the fatal plot holes in this movie is not an easy task. While it is easy to sit back and predict the upcoming action on the screen ("I'll bet he grabs the fishing net that happens to have been so conviently dropped over the side right before he fell overboard"), one can easily overlook this. What really grates on the nerves is the screenwriter trying to play the audience for stupid, lazy people, incapable of thinking past the popcorn and soda sitting in their arms. The four teens masterminds dream up the idea of disposing of the body in deep waters where the strong currents will carry the body out to sea. And yet, the drive it to the docks, and push it into the shallow weeds near the dock! Hello! Will you listen to yourselves? Think. Characters in horror movies have to be stupid, because if they weren't there would be no movie. But to think that the audience won't notice these things is altogether wrong.

And speaking of stupid characters, why, when confronted with a car about to run you over, do characters in these movies always run along the path of the car rather than perpendicular to it. Is the character of Barry Cox (played by Ryan Phillippe) supposed to be a super track star also? If characters would act a half bit intelligent, maybe the movie wouldn't be as fun. But how much fun is it to want to scream at the characters on screen not to get out of the car, or don't go in there alone, or to just plain shut up.

Other inconsistant moments abound, but please don't let them distract you from enjoying this movie. And for those of you waiting for Sarah Michelle Gellar to switch into Buffy, the Vampire Slayer mode and kick some ass, I'm afraid your hopes have been put on ice. Maybe next time. God only knows if there will be an "I know you what did two summers ago" movie, but if it reunites Jennifer Love Hewitt and those sweaters, I'll be front row on opening day.


Other reviews for this movie:

Randal Chou
Nicholas D'Amico
Scott Murdock
John Perry
Ken M. Wilson




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