Sunday, July 3, 2016

Movie Review: "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997)

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Movie"I Know What You Did Last Summer"
Director: Jim Gillespie
Year: 1997
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

The summer after graduation, a group of teens celebrates the Fouth of July together. On the drive home, they accidentally hit a pedestrian who was crossing the road. Thinking he is dead and fearing a jail sentence for vehicular manslaughter, they dump the body in the ocean and swear to never speak of the incident again. Now, a year later, the teens have all gone their separate ways, but when Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) receives an ominous note reading "I know what you did last summer," she returns to her hometown to meet up with the others and figure out who knows their deadly secret and what to do about it.

"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is a horror slasher flick directed by Jim Gillespie. It stars the late 90's "it" crew of young heartthrobs in Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. They play a group of friends fresh out of high school who make the biggest mistake of their lives one Fourth of July when they accidentally hit a pedestrian after a night of drinking. To avoid any possible trouble they might have, instead of calling the police, they dump the body in the ocean to cover their tracks and try to move with their lives. A year later, this act comes to bite them in the butt when they all become the target of an unknown killer dressed as a fisherman. Can they survive long enough to atone for their sins?

The first thing we must say about watching "I Know What You Did Last Summer" perhaps for the first time since the early 2000's is the acting is godawful mostly terrible, especially from Freddie Prinze Jr. Prinze Jr. looks perpetually concerned or constipated or possibly just concerned that he's constipated in every single scene where he appears. I used to love Freddie Prinze Jr. when I was growing up, but man, he is definitely not a good actor. The acting isn't much better from the likes of Ryan Phillippe and his roid-rage routine, or Jennifer Love Hewitt and her constant screaming and twirling. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays to type as a beauty queen who basically gets by in life by smiling and waving, and you know a movie truly does have terrible acting when she's the one pulling the weight. The best part about this film is that it's R rated. So often nowadays, chances are not taken when it comes to making teen horror films rated R, why exactly we're not sure, but we definitely notice. With this R rating, the makers of this film don't have to hold back when it comes to blood, gore, and scares. This is something very beneficial to a slasher-style horror flick as it uses gore as part of its selling point, and rightfully so. Knowing this, we are treated to a couple of really cool and gruesome death scenes where our protagonists and other people they encounter get skewered with a fish hook or have a body part severed or get shoved into ice. On the flip side, it is also just a pretty basic slasher film, only updated for 90's youth. It doesn't really take any risks or do anything new with the formula. Luckily, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" never drags at any point, so it breezes by the torture of its cheesy dialogue and gets straight to the torture contextually.

In the end, this isn't the worst horror film we've ever seen, but it's a semi-decent choice if you're in the mood for a summer murder party with laughably bad acting.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 36%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
Last summer, we were watching: "What About Bob?"

Two summers ago, we were watching: "National Lampoon's Vacation"

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