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  • Writer's pictureMr. Pat

I Know What You Did Last Summer

There was a meme I used to see pop up that went something like, "I used to think that I had a good immune system until I had a child and then kept coughing in my face while trying to tell me a story." Yeah... It's probably for the best that I didn't do video reviews this year because my voice is shot. It's been rough and exhausting. So for today, let's go back to a time before COVID and discuss...

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

A group of four friends are out partying on Fourth of July night. They're all about to go their separate ways and want one last party. The two ladies in the group, Julie, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Helen, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, plan to head to Boston and New York City respectively. After some drinking and sex on the beach, Ryan Phillipe's character Barry is way too drunk to drive so Ray, Freddie Prinze Jr., convinces Barry to let him take over. You may have noticed I just gave the names of all the characters and their names in real life. I don't normally do that, but in this case, I wanted to make an exception to show how 90s this movie is.

During the drive, Barry is causing all kinds of problems because he's drunk and obnoxious. While he distracts Ray they end up hitting something. To their horror, they find out that something is a man. Despite Julie's protests, they all decide to dump the body and never speak of it again. As an aside, remember in Scary Movie when Greg starts beating up Cindy for talking about how they hit a guy the year before? It's played for laughs because it's so over the top and ridiculous, but it's not too far off from what they're parodying. Barry is a raging asshole. Like, every time you see him he seems like one minor inconvenience away from crashing a bus full of children into the ocean. He has the most violent run-ins with the killer, and I think they did that because there's no way he's not suspect #1 with how much of a dickhead he is. It's also a bit chilling when you find out about Philippe's very real domestic issues a decade later.

I'm getting ahead of myself. So, as you may have guessed, a year later "The Fisherman" makes it known that he has a long memory and their bill is overdue. This movie came in the wake of Scream's explosion of success and studios were hungry for slasher scripts involving teenagers. Interestingly enough, the writer, Kevin Williamson, wrote this before he wrote Scream, and it was only after that success did studios greenlight this one. From there, it's a pretty standard slasher where pretty people are getting murdered one by one. Plus it has Johnny Galecki in it which is wild in itself. It was so weird seeing him in this movie because he's really only there to be killed.

It's a solid movie, but I think it would have been better if it centered around Helen instead of Julie. No offense to JLH but SMG is the better actress and she has more of a presence here. Her character is also more fun and she has a really solid chase scene. I've seen so many in my years of watching these movies and it's a testament to her and the crew that they made it memorable. It has everything you want in a chase; a killer brandishing a sharp weapon, close calls, narrow escapes, intense music, an innocent getting caught in the crossfire, inventive ways to get around, a jumpscare and finally ending with a cruel twist of fate. It's easily the best part of the movie.

Reading about the behind-the-scenes stuff for this movie, it seems like the entire cast got along which is nice to read. A lot of times when they make horror movies they try to keep the killer and the cast separate. They even have the baddie be cold to the group to get more believable reactions from the cast. In this movie, they wanted a guy who could play a psycho but was nice in real life. They all got along with the guy too and from all accounts, he had a great time with them too. At one point there's a stunt where the baddie, played by Muse Watson is hanging upside down by a rope in a pretty cool stunt. Once it was over, JLH started screaming for a medic because she thought he was hurt when she noticed he'd popped a bunch of blood vessels in his eye.

It's a fun little slasher but very much a product of its time. Before filming, they asked JLH to shoot a naked shower scene, but she refused. So they said they would make do by putting her in outfits that showed off her cleavage. It's weird to hear people talk that way today but JLH said she liked it because it helped her move into more adult roles. I liked the cast outside of Barry, SMG kills it and I like how people keep calling the killer's outfit a slicker. That word can never not bring a smile to my face.

7 Dr. Chainsaws!

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