I Know What You Did Last Summer

If you feel like sitting back with one arm around your honey and your eyes watching a bunch of adolescent types with soft brains that definitely don't work too quickly as they travel down the slippery path of the slaughtered, then this is unquestionably the film for you. It's one rung above many of the "slasher" films and will thrill many more than anything offered since "Halloween". Basically the same kind of set-up as that or "Friday the 13th" or "Nightmare on Elmstreet" or whatever, it takes a situation where everyone can be preyed upon and exploits it.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
© Columbia Pictures
© 1997 Mandalay Entertainment
photo: James Bridges

Celebrating the last 4th of July after leaving high school, Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), and Barry (Ryan Phillippe) drive off into the night as well as into a lone traveler standing on the road. Not knowing what to do, and not wanting to get into any serious trouble, they do what any respectable high school graduate worried about ruining a career potential would do and toss the awkward evidence (i.e. body) into the water where it can be unobtrusively washed away and eaten by fish. Whoops, the body with the bloody head was still alive, they realize as it flails about before disappearing into the deep. And that, they hope, is the end of that. But their trouble continues the following year when a letter arrives saying (you guessed it) "I know what you did last summer". Somebody else shares their secret.

Yes, the bodies begin to fall. One can't help, but feel sorry for Max (Johnny Galecki), the poor boy who becomes the first victim of the gruesome reaper Despite having had nothing to do with the event of the previous year, poor Max winds up both deceased and with a bad case of crabs.

It would be a pity to reveal anything else, because this is merely a film of twists, turns and surprises (all extremely predictable) and doesn't pretend to be anything else. It's full of plot flaws, but don't let that disturb you. It may not have the clever edge of a film like "Shallow Grave," but then many don't. If you like this genre, hold onto your popcorn and scream yourself silly (like they do on screen).

And don't forget: drinking and driving don't mix. Happy 4th of July!

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett