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

by StevenHelmer

A review of the thriller starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Synopsis: On their way home after a night of partying on the beach, a group of newly-graduated teenagers accidentally strike down a man with their car. Afraid of having their lives ruined if the police find out, they decide to dispose of the body in the ocean, only to find out, as they are dumping him in the water, he is still alive and they are committing murder.
A year later, still dealing with the guilt of what they did, they return home and discover they are now the targets of a murderous stalker who is apparently seeking revenge for what they did.


I've seen spoofs of this film but realized, a couple days ago, I had never actually taken the time to watch this movie in its entirety before. Since it was on one of our movie channels, I decided to do that.

To tell you the truth, based mostly on the spoofs, I really wasn't expecting to like it all that much. But, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty good film.

As far as the horror aspect of the film, I did find it was a little lacking. The movie's villain was definitely creepy. But, his appearances and victims were also somewhat predictable and that did minimize his overall effect.

What really intrigued me about this movie, however, was the way it turned out to be a good mystery. It turns out my guess about who was behind the attacks was correct. However, the film did a great job of throwing in some pretty effective red herrings and, as a result of that, I did have quite a few doubts about my theory, especially toward the very end when it was really starting to look like the attacks might be an inside job.

I also did appreciate the fact the movie (unlike so many others in this genre) didn't try to fill in the gaps with gratuitous sex and nudity. As I've said before, I'm not necessarily opposed to that in small doses. But, in a film like this one, where there is a solid and entertaining plot, it would have definitely cheapened things a bit.

Final Opinion

The movie wasn't as scary as I hoped. But, the entertaining mystery did make it worth watching and I would recommend it as a result.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 12/31/2016, StevenHelmer
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