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043: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Maximilian Rivera January 17, 2017
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By Max Rivera | @MaxRiveraFilm

Premise: After accidentally killing a man with their car, four friends try to figure out who learned their secret — before a hook wielding killer catches up to them. 

​Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36%

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The worst thing about coming home from college is how you and your old friends now don’t really get along or care about each other. That, and the fact that someone knows you committed vehicular manslaughter last year and are looking for revenge. 

If you’re a member of this sleepy-yet-bustling beach town, you may find yourself the victim to a slicker-wearing, hook-wielding killer targeting local teens and their siblings. If you’re Julie Jones (Jennifer Love Hewitt), you try to solve the case on your own. If you’re everyone else, you’re basically set dressing for the weird teen horror that is I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997). 

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While not a great film, I Know What You Did Last Summer at least jumps right into things. We meet some teens, we see they’re all in a liminal stage ready for college, fame, and fortune. However, these aspirations take a backseat to terror as they slam into a man with their car. 

Knowing their futures are at stake, they do what any reasonable person would do. They dump the corpse in the ocean and try to move on. 

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We’re treated to a cat-and-mouse game that takes us all over the town of Croaker and into its recent history. Sure, our heroes are getting chased by a killer, but going to the cops means they have to confess their own guilt. So they set out to solve it. 

​There’s nothing outstanding in this film — other than the beauty of our 90s stars, of course. The whole thing builds up towards a climax that isn’t satisfying. A few of our stars die, and nobody in the town seems to care. Where Scream involves the community buzz of cops and reporters, Summer leaves you in the tender hands of Hewitt’s Julie and crew. Combined with the rather stereotypical tropes of these characters, by the time the picture ends you’re completely underwhelmed. 

​At least there are some entertaining moments in the film — although not intentionally. 

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While we didn’t HATE this film, it was mostly because of Jennifer Love Hewitt. Of course, any credit she bought in the picture is decimated by the time we get to the cheap jump scare at the end. These last second jumps are meant to leave the audience thinking nobody is safe, but after the poor plot, we were just ready for the movie to end. 

Plus, the jump scare gets extra goofy when you realize they went on to make a sequel titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998).  

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Max is a marketing copywriter by day, filmmaker and screenwriter by night. He resides in Charlotte, NC, and loves his dogs, watching movies, building LEGO sets, and eating food. Lots of food.You can find Max at his personal website and twitter.

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