I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10


Not great but not bad

Movie Info

Movie Name:  I Know What You Did Last Summer

Studio:  Mandalay Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  October 17, 1997

MPAA Rating:  R


Thank God no one ever seems to use this road!

Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Barry (Ryan Phillipe), and Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) have just graduated high school and have their whole lives ahead of them. After a night of partying, an accident on a deserted road changes everything. Striking a man with a car, they decide to cover up the murder by disposing of the body in the ocean…without realizing the man was still alive. One year later, their lives have been changed forever. Someone knows their secret, and their crime isn’t going to go unpunished.

Directed by Jim Gillespie, I Know What You Did Last Summer was an adaptation of Louis Duncan’s teen book from 1973. It was adapted by Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson and was hot on the heels of his success with Scream. The movie was relatively well received and was a success in the box office.


We’re so tragically hip that sometimes it physically hurts

Kevin Williamson has a format much like Joss Whedon. He casts young hip actors/actresses (even casting Whedon’s Buffy as one of the major players) and has a script that is smartly written with a lot of witty dialogue and introspection that really doesn’t fit the characters. It does, however, often make for a good movie

When compared to Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer just doesn’t quite have the same bite. The killer just isn’t as intimidating as Ghost-Face and the story just isn’t as smart. Much of the things that Scream made fun of in the horror genre are done here. It is obvious why Scream and this movie were so easy to mock in the Scary Movie films. They both try way too hard to be hip.


Ok…who ordered the Gordon’s Fisherman?

Still, it is a fun movie if you don’t go into expecting much. It is good enough that you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time, but not great enough that it remains memorable (I had been about ten years since I last saw it…I remembered the crime, the fisherman, and that a beauty pageant was involved). It was still fun to watch again so if you haven’t seen it in a while, you might want to check it out. I Know What You Did Last Summer was followed by the much less impressive (but with a fun title) I Still Know What You Did Last Summer in 1998.

Related Links:

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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