My First Horror Movie: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997) Review

The first horror movie I ever saw was the classic ’90s slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer at 6 years old.

The film is about a group of friends: Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Barry (Ryan Philippe), and Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) whom on one dark 4th of July night, the summer after graduating high school, decide to go cruising on the open road in their town of Southport. While on this little joy ride they hit a man with their car. The teens panic and are unsure whether to leave the body or call the police. In the end they decide to toss the body into the bay and swear to take the grave what happened that night. One year later, Julie receives an anonymous note saying “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. Julie panics and goes to find her old friends telling them she thinks somebody saw them that night. During the next few days, the friends find themselves being stalked and tortured. But what this psycho has in store for the teens will only take place on one day…July 4th.

I remember watching this film with my mom and my aunt. The whole time my mom and aunt kept on asking me, “aren’t you scared of this?” My response to them was “no.” There were times where they told me to cover my eyes. So in order to be able to finish the movie I covered my eyes, but secretly peaking between my fingers so I could see. After seeing the movie, I loved it and I remember telling my friends at school about it and they were just amazed that I watched it. This was the film that made me love horror movies, especially slashers. Throughout my childhood I always wanted to play horror games. I’d get my cousins to play a game version of I Know What You Did Last Summer with me and I’d chase them around with a clothes hanger. There were even times when I’d have people act out certain parts with me. Especially Helen’s chase scene.

To this day I Know remains not only one of my top 5 favorite horror films, but one of my favorite films of all time. There’s a ton of fun to be had with this great slasher, and I still have fun watching it to this day. Even though I know what happens, I still find myself cheering Helen on in her big scene.

I started getting my younger sister to follow in my footsteps of the horror world at 4 years old, and I Know What You Did Last Summer was one of the first films I showed her. Even at 9 years old she still loves watching this movie.

–Cody Landman

Horror Movies We Love: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1997)

Being that it is the 4th of July, I thought I would talk about the 1997 film, I Know What You Did Last Summer, which is a good film to watch on this day,but also it is one of my personally favorites. It is also one of the first horror films that got me loving the horror genre, and becoming a fan I am today next to John Carpenter’s Halloween and Wes Craven’s Scream.

Basically, the plot surrounds four friends celebrating the fourth of July one night and later on accidently killing a man on the road. The four friends decide to throw the body in the ocean, and hope that body drifts away. But one year later on July 4th, the friends start getting harassed and stalked about someone in a fishermen’s outfit with a hook in one hand. Does this person know what they did or could it just be a complete stranger just wanting to have a little fun on the 4th of July!!

I Know What You Did Last Summer has always been a favorite of mine ever since I rented the movie on VHS when it came out at my local video store/market where they used to have a small video section where you could rent from. Sadly, that market is no more today. But I always have the memories getting to rent this movie, and checking out the latest “Teen Bop” magazine with the “Spice Girls” on the cover. Back to the movie though, when I first watched this film I remember loving the movie so much and just having fun with it. It was one of the first horror films that really got me into becoming the horror fan I am today. I love that Kevin Williamson wrote the screenplay because he also has been involved with writing a lot of 90’s horror films like most of the Scream films, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, and Halloween H20. Williamson is the perfect man to write a slasher film because he knows how to create great character that you like and hate, fun and intense kills, and the guy just knows how to make an audience have fun because he is a horror fan too which shows in the films he has been involved with it. This film also has great music in it, and a great trailer to watch. But another great thing I love about the film is the cast overall because you have two 90’s sweethearts (Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Sarah Michelle Gellar) in the film along with Freddy Prince Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.

I thought the cast was great because you had a mix of personalities in the group of friends. You had a kind good girl, the blonde pageant queen, the good guy that you like, and the jerk in the film that you like,but shouldn’t like. Also, I love that Sarah Michelle Gellar went out to make a cameo in the great sequel, Scream 2, which Williamson wrote as well. Last but not least, I love the killers outfit because like the ghost face killer in Scream and Michael Myers in Halloween. It’s a very simple and kinda creepy outfit. For me, I think now this film doesn’t get much appreciation today and I find it a bit underrated. But I will always love it, and it’s one of the best 90’s slasher films. It’s fun a time to watch on 4th of July, and it’s one to see and have a good drink with it. “Happy 4th of July Julie!”

–Justin Rhine

Slasher Death Scenes We Love: “I Know…”, “Scream 4”, and “My Super Psycho Sweet 16”

Looks like we have some more slasher deaths for you horror fans. Here are three more favorite slasher death scenes submitted by Kevin, Brian, and Cory. Keep those favorite deaths coming at the Slasher Studios Facebook Page. Submit your favorite slasher movie death scenes and why they love them so much and we will feature them here!

Reece Glen Donnell-“I Know What You Did Last Summer”
My favourite slasher death comes from 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer and it is the untimely death of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s lovely Helen Shivers. For me this is the ultimate in slasher death scenes because of the eight minute long chase sequence that precedes it. The character puts up one hell of a good fight for her life and has the audience rooting for her until help is only feet away, but in typically cruel slasher style it’s too late. As an audience member I was willing Helen to survive more and more as the scene went on and could’ve cried when the slicker clad villain appeared behind her….I think purely because I wanted the character to survive SO badly and the fact she didn’t after such an epic struggle, is the reason the scene has stayed with me.

Cody Landman-“Scream 4”
My favorite slasher death is Olivia Morris in Scream 4. I love this death because of not only the bruality of her death but everything that leads up to it. Kirby and Jill talking to Olivia next door over speaker phone. Kirby getting the phone call from Ghostface and having a one-on-one with him. Eventually saying he’s in the closet. With Olivia still on the line Kirby opens Jill’s closet to find…nothing. Ghostface saying he didn’t say he was in Jill’s closet. Ghostface then pops out of Olivia’s closet. Olivia gets tossed around dressers, walls, etc. Receives multiple stab wounds and face smashed in a window. All in front of Jill and Kirby and ultimately guts Olivia in front of them too.

Sean Hogan Wells-“My Super Psycho Sweet 16”
Oh god, my favorite slasher death scene. Such a hard decision, but the first thing that popped into my mind was Chloe’s death in My Super Psycho Sweet 16. Definitely the most brutal of the film, this scene caught my attention as soon as Charlie appeared out of the fog and beat her with the extinguisher. These scene wasn’t taken to the extremes with the gore factor because it is made-for-TV, but I found it to be enough to call itself a good scene, and the slight suspense of Chloe calling for Skye had me a bit intimidated by what was going to happen to that poor girl.

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!