I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Four friends’ lives are forever changed when they accidently hit a pedestrian on the way home from a beauty pageant. (And yes, it was a dark and stormy night.) Matters are made even worse when they decide to dispose of the body instead of alerting the authorities. They then agree to never speak of the incident again. Too bad the hit-and-run victim doesn’t feel the same way!
Every generation has their go-to teen actors. The eighties had the Brat Pack, plus the beloved John Cusack. The millennial generation has Jonah Hill, Emma Stone and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. But the nineties? The nineties had Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. (plus Lindsay Lohan, but please don’t make me go there*). To this day I still associate Sarah Michelle with teen-screams and puppy love rom-coms. I mean that as the highest compliment. She doesn’t just signify cheese – with Gellar it’s clearly Brie time, baby.
Gellar brings it in I Know What You Did Last Summer, playing entitled beauty queen Helen Shivers to the hilt. She’s paired with Ryan Phillippe (another favorite from back in the day) as love interest Barry William Cox. Together the two are a recipe for seriously guilty pleasures, as is evident in their reteaming for Cruel Intentions.
Overalls, ill-fitting pants and clogs. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Though Sarah Michelle threatens to steal the film, the lead goes to fresh-faced Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie Nicole James whose boyfriend, Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.), may or may not have something to do with the rash of murders sweeping the town.
Hindsight is everything. Hewitt was once an up and coming actress – now she’s best known for popularizing vajazzling. Jennifer is also the rumored inspiration behind John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland.” In addition, she’s a well-known serial monogamist who actually had the nerve to date Jamie Kennedy – and pen a book of advice about love. Needless to say, it’s hard to take her seriously. Like ever again.
Movies are about escaping – and there’s no better place to escape for Halloween than spending two hours watching miniskirted hotties running for their lives. But, even though the movie was filmed well before Jennifer’s career decline, her inclusion is still distracting given all the access to present-day information. Her rack may be a wonderland, but her acting ability is not.
“Whoever’s hiding my vajazzeler is going to pay! Do you hear me?”
Regardless of current sins, it’s still well worth your time to visit the ‘90s for this flick. I Know What You Did Last Summer spawned a trilogy, with each film worse than the last. (The non-ironically named I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer went straight to DVD and featured none of the original cast. That hasn’t stopped me from putting it at the top of my queue for the upcoming holiday. What? I want to know how it ends!)
The original movie hits all the marks for the classic teen-scream, slasher genre. The murderer will still creep you out and you’ll be bummed as each engaging cast member meets his or her possible demise. Even though it’s textbook horror, those who haven’t yet been introduced to this offering will still have a few frights to look forward to.
All in all, I Know What You Did Last Summer stands the test of time. Though I dare you not to think about vajazzling.
Take a Drink: every time the killer leaves a note for one of the doomed friends.
Take a Drink: every time a reference to a beauty pageant pops up.
Take a Drink: every time you see a meat hook…
Take a Shot: every time you think, “Goddamn it, I can not stop thinking about vajazzling!”
[*This is a greatly truncated list for the purpose of the review. There are numerous actors that have made indelible marks on the teen genre. Send us votes for your faves!]