I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
SEPTEMBER 28, 2022
“What are you waiting for?”— Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt)
While I would imagine most people would say “Scream” loomed largest in their lives when it came to 90s horror films, for me, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” loomed much more prominent. It is one of the most iconic 90s slasher films and still holds up 25 years later. How does it stand the test of time? Most would say it’s because of the stellar cast in Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillippe, and I tend to agree. Not only did they have extensive careers following this film, but they weren’t exactly at the start of their careers either.
Hewitt was in the wildly popular Fox series “Party of Five” at the time, while Gellar was starting in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and would soon star in “Scream 2.” Prinze Jr. had done a few supporting roles, but “I Know What You Did Last Summer” would be the film that launched his mega-successful career to follow. Phillippe was quite similar.
It shouldn’t surprise you which film was writer Kevin Williamson’s first feature: Wes Craven’s “Scream.” Williamson was the heart of some of the most popular 90s horror films. He also wrote “Scream 2,” “The Faculty,” and even wrote and directed “Teaching Mrs. Tingle,” starring Katie Holmes. The man had a knack for creating lasting horror films that generations still admire today.
The story of this film follows four high school kids who inadvertently hit someone with their car on the 4th of July and dispose of the body. A year later, they’re receiving threats reading: “I know what you did last summer.” They must navigate their regret and sorrow while attempting to find some answers before the slicker-wearing, hook-wielding murderer catches up with them. Having now been spoofed for decades by satirical comedies like “Scary Movie,” “I Know What You Did Last Summer” finds a way to cut through the dated-ness and deliver a genuinely thrilling experience.
The picture quality of the new 4K release is well worth the upgrade. The rich blues and deep blacks pop off the screen from the opening credits sequence of the ocean waves rolling into the coast. It doesn’t look like a film released over two decades ago.
When revisiting past films, they don’t live up to what you remembered. However, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” does. Yes, some of the dialogue or situations are dated. However, the thrills are still there, and the excellent performances still captivate. Add to that an image quality fit for the 21st century, and it brings an entirely new dynamic to a film I’ve seen more times than I can count.
October 17, 1997
“I Know What You Did Last Summer”
by Lois Duncan
(for strong horror violence and language)
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Neal H. Moritz
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
4K Ultra HD