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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15%
Worth A Look: 7.5%
Average: 11.88%
Pretty Bad: 19.38%
Total Crap46.25%

3 reviews, 142 user ratings

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I Know What You Did Last Summer
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Useless slasher retread."
2 stars

The dark side of the horror genre is that when a horror movie crosses over and makes big money -- 'The Exorcist,' 'Halloween,' 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' -- a wave of inferior rip-offs is never far behind.

Well, once again, studio execs have sat up and taken notice: "Hey! Scream made $100 million! Let's make a slasher movie!" The first one out of the box, I Know What You Did Last Summer, is particularly disappointing because it was written by Kevin Williamson, who scripted Scream, and who, I thought, was much smarter than this. Scream was a clever slasher-film parody that played by the rules of the subgenre while affectionately ribbing those same rules. Last Summer just plays by the rules -- boringly, predictably so.

The film is based on Lois Duncan's dated, poorly written young-adult novel from 1974 (sample dialogue: "Of all the dumb tricks! The guy must be off his nut"). Williamson has altered the plot while keeping the basic premise. Four high-school stereotypes -- beauty queen Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), straight-A student Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), jock Barry (Ryan Phillippe), and working-class outsider Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) -- are out driving when they run over a shadowy figure. The kids panic and dump the body into the nearby ocean, making a pact never to talk about the incident. Then, one year later, Julie gets a mysterious note that reads -- well, check the title.

At this point, Last Summer turns into a depressingly routine slasher film. A figure called the Fisherman, dressed in a black slicker and wielding a hook, goes around terrorizing the kids. Does he want to scare a confession out of them, or does he just want to kill them? The latter, I'm afraid. But while we wait, Williamson tosses in many red herrings -- who just turn out to be Fisherman fodder. The big question on the kids' minds, and on ours, is: Who's doing this and why? The final explanation is disastrously anti-climactic, especially coming from the writer who threw us a few diabolical twists and curves in Scream.

Director Jim Gillespie is no Wes Craven. He doesn't know how to use the wide screen (it's a waste of Panavision), and he gets no help from his actors. Phillippe and Prinze lack the quirkiness of the horror-obsessed geeks in Scream; they're generic Fox-TV hunks. Gellar, the vibrant star of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is bland here; she's too smart and likable to be credible as the snotty, shallow Helen. (Charisma Carpenter, who plays the self-absorbed Cordelia on Buffy, would have been more like it. Gellar was originally up for the role of Cordelia, and here she demonstrates how wrong she would've been for the part.) Hewitt, of Party of Five, fares better with the brooding, guilt-stricken Julie, but she's too obviously being groomed as the next Neve Campbell. Only Anne Heche, stealing her two scenes as a lonely backwoods woman, makes an impression.

Williamson is a native of the North Carolina fishing community, where the movie is set. There are a few atmospheric scenes and touches of local color, but even though the film was shot on location, the place feels like the same suburban wherever I've seen in a hundred slasher movies. Despite the open ending and Columbia's hunger for a franchise, I doubt that the Fisherman will catch on as an enduring icon of fear to match Michael Myers, Freddy, Jason, or even Scream's Munch-faced killer.

The movie could have been a small paranoid classic, a smart teen rendition of Hitchcock, set in a specific locale with living, breathing people we could care about. Instead, it's the kind of anemic gore-fest that killed the genre fifteen years ago. Kevin Williamson, what were you thinking?

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originally posted: 01/23/07 14:38:58
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell well done 4 the kind of movie it is 3 stars
6/02/11 art OVERTONES OF 1980's prom NIGHT,but SO WHAT? THIS is a favorite of mine.> 5 stars
1/30/10 Dane Youssef "I'm not a real writer, I'm a screenwriter" --Kevin Williamson. 'Nuff said. 1 stars
10/29/09 art A WORTHY FOLLOW-UP TO SCREAM! 3 stars
10/29/09 Jeff Wilder Well shot, But lame script with nothing scary at all 1 stars
6/21/08 John Millheim a Scream knockoff, it was not very good 2 stars
4/29/08 beau just a bunch of 25 year olds playing teenagers in a mediocre slasher flick 2 stars
11/13/07 cody a slick modern day horror flick with twist and turns. but no screams 3 stars
1/24/07 Matt So now we know, but do we give a shit? I certainly don't. 2 stars
12/23/06 Indrid Cold Better writing than you might expect, but ultimately just a flimsy Scream ripoff. 3 stars
11/27/06 sirina i loved this movie it was awesomeness 5 stars
2/13/06 Anthony Its good on some levels, little to no effort 3 stars
10/25/05 Eden Interesting cast but film is empty and pointless 2 stars
8/23/05 ES Crappy teenager slasher movie, about as original as Scream= not very original 1 stars
8/04/05 ^podo pretty scary.... 4 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington oooh looks at me i've got a claw ooga booga. spare me. 1 stars
5/26/05 tony Filled with trills and chills. A great movie for people in for a scare 4 stars
2/25/05 Cooper What could have been a great film ruined by a piss poor performance by Love Hewitt's tits 1 stars
6/25/04 Mr Onomius Tis Al right 3 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart not the best film but it does have alot of goey sites and scares 4 stars
3/30/04 American Slasher Goddess Decent stuff,one of the better post-Scream knockoffs. 3 stars
2/04/04 Chad Foster Great 5 stars
2/02/04 Rocko Argh I'm the killer with the hook 1 stars
12/13/03 John the writers put no thought at all on who the killer should be 2 stars
12/13/03 Samuel what was up with the killer, noone had a clue who he was... 2 stars
12/12/03 Doofus This movie was stoopid. the sequel, is even worse!! 1 stars
12/12/03 Captain Spaulding Not scary... 1 stars
12/12/03 Beavis blows donkeys for quarters!! 1 stars
12/10/03 Tommy stupid!! 1 stars
12/10/03 Littlepurch Badly cted but with a few gd actors and a COOL scene where a guy gets hooked in the chin!!! 4 stars
12/08/03 lilcutie it had a few little scares but i still liked the second one better 2 stars
11/04/03 American Slasher Goddess The best of the Scream clones. 4 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Guy with hook idea is very cool. Very cool opening and extremely shitty ending. 4 stars
9/10/03 nr crap 1 stars
7/23/03 Double G ed ed gein as pysco killer who weras his mom's skin, ahahahahahhahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/14/03 Samuel Justus Good Film! Sequel didnt even compare! Very good Story in the1st tho!!!! 4 stars
5/31/03 mee great film 5 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon Nonsensical ending. What's the point? Just end it sooner. And I want titties next time. 1 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby Well-photographed yet absolutely devoid of fun or scares. 1 stars
12/02/02 Jiz I didn't give a shit what anyone did last summer. 1 stars
11/09/02 v-ball angel I thought it was awsome and Alan Smitheeee u r sexest 5 stars
7/27/02 I Can't Swim Apparently the 12yr olds loved it, but that's what makes them stupid fucking morons 1 stars
6/14/02 R.W. Welch Formula harem-scarem teen flick, not too bad for the genre. 3 stars
5/26/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi Stud, was the only reason that JLH ruled was because she had a see thru top on ? 3 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie rulled the screen 5 stars
4/22/02 Film Guy Ok this isnt as good as Scream. But it is still ok 4 stars
4/10/02 Ashley i loved this movie, i thought it was awesome!!! Freddie is just sooo hott!!!! 5 stars
3/17/02 heather stilwell I think Muse Watson is SEXY! 5 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee Not quite as dumb as the sequel, but it comes close. When is JLH going to show us her tits? 1 stars
2/04/02 April This movie eats dog turds. 2 stars
1/12/02 hd the best ever 5 stars
12/29/01 Andrew Carden Cheesy and Dull Teen Movie. 2 stars
12/28/01 Jake I'm tired now. Can I turn it off? Or do I have to wait till it ends :P 1 stars
12/10/01 Tam Dumbed-down, ludicrous & unscary. Only worth watching for the sexy cast. 2 stars
12/01/01 Scottish Kilt Better than scream, although pretty dull, although Jenifer Love Hewitt is very hot. 3 stars
11/04/01 E-Funk A slasher flic' with a pretty cool monster--Gorton the Fisherman. Hooks are cool. 4 stars
10/26/01 Sthenno I loved the book when I was 10 but this movie was pathetic! 1 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith Stupid "teenie" movie ..... S.M.G. always looks good! 2 stars
8/23/01 IP_Freely I've had bowel movements that were more entertaining 1 stars
8/19/01 Mike L movie sucked....but JLH and SMG are pretty damn fine! 2 stars
6/26/01 scarymovieguy you all take movies for granted now. if its not perfect its not good. this movie was good!! 5 stars
6/15/01 zombie a bowel movement is more interesting than this. more stupid teenie bopper shit. 1 stars
6/02/01 Thrillhouse Ryan-whatever-your-name-is, screw you, bubba! And the real Ryan Philippe can't act shit! 1 stars
5/19/01 Ryan Phillippe gets hit by a car and it rules! You guys are insane, this movie rules the world with a huge mug of fuck you. 5 stars
5/04/01 Gracy Lionheart I hated this movie!!! It was BORING!!! (I usually love horror movies too) 1 stars
4/14/01 LiL Did you say something? 2 stars
4/10/01 Gary This is the biggest disappointment in a long while. 2 stars
3/30/01 Rampage 3D shooters like Unreal are fun than watching some stupid teen horror flick 1 stars
2/21/01 Rocket Boy Teens loved it, says a lot about the youth of today. 1 stars
2/10/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Ouch. 2 stars
2/01/01 BASSee Tits to draw a crowd, it always works! (MIKE and TIM, get a room) 2 stars
12/06/00 Cristopher Revilla fuck!! I've seen worser movies, but this ones worser!!! 1 stars
11/24/00 The Evil Penguin Another person who finds this movie horrible 1 stars
9/23/00 Jacques Strap Sloppy. Very sloppy movie. 1 stars
9/15/00 Elvisfan You saw this a thousand times before 2 stars
9/12/00 Ground Zero Put it that way, as soon as Buffy got killed, I laughed. Great hooters, girls!!! 1 stars
8/26/00 Stuntman after 15 minutes, I left 1 stars
7/18/00 Digitalus Somebody get rid of TIGGER and Van Sant off this site! This movie sucked! 1 stars
5/02/00 Gus Van Sant Heard of "Pure Moods"?Well this is pure S**t! 1 stars
5/01/00 Gus Van Sant sarah Michelle Gellar has nice big juicy breasts and pert nipples I could suck on all day! 1 stars
4/29/00 Negative Norm Piece of phat shite,yo dog! 1 stars
4/26/00 Pansy Absolute garbage. Sarah Michelle Gellar is crap. 1 stars
4/22/00 TOM wonderfully crappy!Nice breats girls! 1 stars
2/22/00 Mr. Kramitall King of the Bros, screw you. Your review sucks and so does this movie. Period. 1 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski had its moments. 3 stars
1/30/00 Steven Marshall Special, in the same way Joe Estrazavas movies are special. So bad it's good. 3 stars
1/19/00 Jedi15 An okay horror movie, but nowhere near as good as Scream. The sequel is horse shit! 3 stars
12/07/99 Ryan Phillipe gets hit by a car and it rules! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get an erection. "Oh my god, No don't kill me" Yes 5 stars
12/03/99 perpetual loser it's the first friday the thirteenth. done badly. 1 stars
10/31/99 Lame-Oh yeah, the problem here is the timing with Halloween... 1 stars
10/25/99 focus Right up there with Scream 2 and Urban Legend 1 stars
10/10/99 Viral Messiah Teen horror movies blows! This movie is a illogical waste of time. 1 stars
10/07/99 strike Oh, come on people! It had some very good scares.After Scream,the best of 90s teenhorror. 4 stars
10/03/99 Joe Schmoe Right on with the review, Ryan_A. 1 stars
9/20/99 Admiral Crunch I Still Know was even worse than this one. Love, Buffy and Ryan Phillipe are shit. 1 stars
9/16/99 elizaveta I was never less scared in my whole life... 1 stars
6/15/99 Dylan Absolute garbage. Brandy is shit. 1 stars
5/10/99 Ah Dooey Horrible movie and awful cast. Everything about this movie blows! 1 stars
4/16/99 Mr. Kramitall When the only good comments are about Love's headlights, I know this movie is shit! :) 1 stars
4/11/99 Tristynn Does Jennifer have a brain??? if so, its MIA then... 1 stars
4/06/99 Caca Sucks ending!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/20/99 Dee Dee Hey Amanda, you just answered your own comment. Bitch. 1 stars
3/18/99 AMANDA Why does everyone hate this movie? Ryan and Sarah are a great pair:) 5 stars
3/11/99 haden lawyer Maybe the worst movie ever 1 stars
3/10/99 Oggy I agree with Rachel's (below) comments and Ryan_A's review. 1 stars
3/06/99 Mike Rotch Oh my God, they killed Buffy! You bastards! 1 stars
3/02/99 Rachel I have the sinking suspicion that Wonderbra backed this movie. Bad bad bad bad 1 stars
2/25/99 Viral Messiah Haha, Buffy died. 1 stars
2/19/99 Piz Put it this way, as soon as Buffy was killed i turned it off. 2 stars
2/02/99 Jacques Strap Hey biatch, the movie made crap! Cleavage totally sucks ass! 1 stars
1/31/99 El Dorko Williamson's a goddam prick! He can't even write shit! 1 stars
1/30/99 Melissa Not THAT bad. Worth it just to see how many fucking times they can show cleavage. Jesus 3 stars
1/28/99 Whiplash F**k you and your wussy movie, too. Including you Buffy and Love! 1 stars
1/26/99 Kevin Williamson YO BIATCH, THE MOVIE MADE MONEY! don't give a fuck what you think. the masses of spoken. 4 stars
1/07/99 Jo Mama i love hewitt and buffy. no movie can go wrong with those two 4 stars
1/03/99 Dasha Sometimes scary, but still mediocre. 3 stars
12/15/98 Binky Mr Shadow Raider, multiple ratings are not cool. Yours will be deleted shortly. 2 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink Dumb, but fun! 3 stars
11/24/98 Fred FUCK YOU and your movie too. Jenny hurry back to Party of Five while you still have a job. 1 stars
11/05/98 Nate Dogg Remember back in the old days when people would die in horror flicks? Me too. 1 stars
11/02/98 Darkhero1 Such a fun movie. The scares come at such a great pace and it's funny too. 5 stars
10/29/98 Bad Kosh D.O.A., AAAARRRRGGGH! I can't stand it any longer! 1 stars
10/28/98 cyanide rush not only did scream and scream2 suck ass but this movie ate it too 1 stars
10/24/98 Ash BEST HORROR FLICK EVER YA FUCKING IDIOTZ! Better than Scream! SCARY AND FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/09/98 Bluntman Very painful to watch. It makes every possible bad move. One of the worst movies I've seen 1 stars
10/01/98 Paul I know what I did last summer when I watched this movie. 2 stars
9/29/98 katherine i luved it the 1st time i saw it...... but not good enough 2 buy. 3 stars
9/12/98 kanatcha my patience ran out after 15 minutes of watching it i think. 1 stars
9/05/98 PyThomas I liked this better the first time around... WHEN IT WAS CALLED ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE. 2 stars
8/25/98 Miss Stress run buffy run! oh well guess not 2 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball Formula. Take Love Hewitt, show cleavage, make people die. Count the cash. 2 stars
8/24/98 JenniferLorraine More clevage.. more reviews. Not that great of a movie. 1 hour 22 mins lost. 2 stars
8/23/98 Superfly In the theater I loved it, on video it sucks ass. 3 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet Oooh. We're being chased by The Fisherman's Friend. Scary. Fuck off. 2 stars
8/18/98 zubilicious horrible, horrible flick. the acting sucked, plot was unoriginal, not my cup of tea. 1 stars
8/17/98 {{{OZ}}} It's got Love and Buffy in it. It's no epic, but theirs lot's of headlights. 3 stars
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  17-Oct-1997 (R)



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