90’s Slasher Throwback: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”

Most hard core horror fans are not exactly big fans of the meta, self aware, late 90’s style of horror movie that “Scream” so successfully ushered in. Movies like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Urban Legend” were huge hits with the general public but less so with horror fans and critics alike. How dare they create a fun, knowingly mocking type of horror movie? Looking back more than a decade later, it’s easier to see the appeal of these films. They are cheeky, tongue-in-cheek slasher films with hot WB casts gets butchered in interesting ways. Are these great films? Not really. Are they a hell of a lot of fun? You bet. So it is without further ado that I give you our first 90’s Slasher Throwback title…”I Know What You Did Last Summer”.

The plot of “I Know” is strictly 80’s slasher fodder. When four friends accidentally hit and kill a man on a road at night, they start to panic and decide to dump the body into the sea. A year later, they all try to settle down again, but one of the friends receives a note in the post, with the words ‘I know what you did last summer’. As each of the friends gains their own reminder, they finally accept the one thing they feared the most; someone knows what happened that night, and now they’re out for revenge.

Tell me you didn’t see THAT coming? “I Know” is silly and the ending has more holes in it than most of the bodies but it’s pleasant enough. This is the kind of old fashioned slasher that we just don’t see today. More emphasis on character and setting (believe me North Carolina has never looked more beautiful) than blood and gore really help this film succeed. Though both male characters played by Phillippe and Prinze Jr. are played as bores, the female characters of Julie and Helen, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar respectively, shine. These girls actually feel like real friends and behave as though real friends would behave. Helen’s chase scene is one of the best I’ve seen committed to film and Gellar screams like a champ. I can’t say “I Know” is groundbreaking or revolutionary but it’s more fun than most horror movies that routinely open today. Plus, the best news? It’s not a sequel OR a remake!

6 thoughts on “90’s Slasher Throwback: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”

  1. I love this movie I didn’t find anything wrong with it I loved it more then scream and I was so looking forward to last summer the 4th movie until it got cancelled due to its script being leaked to the internet anyways love this movie and glad Sarah Michelle Gellar my favorite actress stared in it plus as a horror fan she did have the best chase scene ever all in all I know what you did last summer kicked ass

  2. thanks i agree this is a really fun movie its a 90’s classic and one of the movie’s that got me into horror and slasher films, i saw it when i was just a kid when it first came out for rental my grandmother rented it for me and i never really understood why somany people were down on it, i love the plot, the characters, the acting and the atmosphere, unlike most slashers it cares about its story and characters, one thing i do disagree on is saying there were plot holes i really didn’t see that but maybe thats just me but overall i think you summed it up really well very fun flick.

  3. 🙂 To be fair, if a movie features both Sarah Michelle Gellar AND Jennifer Love Hewitt, it’s worth watching whether it has a plot or not.

  4. I can definitely understand where you are coming from. The movie has a TON of problems but I did find the girls rather likeable and thought the death scenes were well staged. Also, Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has one of the best chase scenes to come out of the 90’s. The sequel though, oh god, words can not describe…

  5. OMG, I hated “IKWYDLS.” And I wanted so badly to like it, because the original book by Lois Duncan was actually a good read.

    So this group of kids hits a guy with their car and dumps the corpse into the ocean, and we’re supposed to feel bad for them when someone wants revenge? Even Julie, the one who felt conflicted about the crime and the cover-up, was offended and outraged that someone would want to get even with her… when really they all pretty much deserved what they got. The movie made no moral sense.

    …climbing off my soapbox now…

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