I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) - Jim Gillespie


Ninties teen slasher that
fails to impress.

Director: Jim Gillespie
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Erik Feig and Stokely Chaffin
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr., Johnny Galecki and Anne Haishe
Studios: Mandalay Entertainment and Columbia Pictures
Release Date: October 17, 1997
Country: USA
Budget: $17 million
Box Office: $125.2 million

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a teen-slasher film from director Jim Gillespie and Scream writer Kevin Williamson. It was released on October 17, 1997, by Columbia Pictures. Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Freddie Prinze Jr. This film is loosely based on a young-adult novel of the same name that was published in 1973. As of 2018, I Know What You Did Last Summer still stands in the top 10 grossing Horror/Slasher films, bringing in over $125 Million at the box office worldwide.

Four teenagers get wasted and run over a drunken fisherman late one summer evening. They agree to hide the body and cover-up the crime. They all go their separate ways and get away with it for the year. However, when they all get back together, they learn that someone saw what they did last summer. Someone that is stalking and killing everyone involved on that late July evening. Someone that is slicing and dicing his victims with a large hook.

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a ridiculous movie. It’s corny, sappy and full of teen angst. All of the characters are terribly written and horribly over-the-top. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Ryan Phillippe turn in a laughable acting job. Prinze Jr. is the dense and aloof rich kid, with Phillippe acting like an exaggerated douche-bag. This is the epitome of a nineties teen horror movie. The soundtrack is so dated. Personally, I love these old tunes. The gore is weak. Director Jim Gillespie had wanted to veer away from violence, edging more for a thriller than a traditional slasher. However, the premise works well as a horror movie. But sometimes feels like the late eighties, made-for-tv movie. It’s not that scary.

I remember seeing this when I was a freshman in ‘97, at a girlfriends house. We had her mother rent the VHS from Hollywood Video, and we watched most of it on her couch. I didn’t really like it then, and I don’t really like it all that much now. The famous scene of Jennifer Love Hewitt screaming like a madwoman is done better in parody by Anna Faris in Scary Movie. I can understand why this movie was starting to drip with time-rot. It’s far too cheesy to be taken seriously. Check this out if you are interested in a nineties horror movie marathon. It would work more as a lead up to Scream.