slasher

Shaun vs. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

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Directed by Jim Gillespie

Starring Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Freddie Prinze, Jr, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ryan Philippe

After a night of partying it up and drinking maybe a little too much, a quartet of best friends wind up slamming their car into a pedestrian and are so overcome with grief they dump the body in the water and make pact to never talk about it again.  NEVER TALK ABOUT IT AGAIN.  Flash forward one year and someone definitely wants to talk about it.  With their hook.

Review

Riding high off the success of Scream, several movies came out in its wake which reinvigorated the slasher genre from its dreary decline in the late 80’s.  One of the bigger titles that came out after Scream was IKWYDLS, written by Kevin Williamson who also wrote Scream.  This film does seem to be a lot like Scream, right down to the casting of hot actors from television dramas, however it’s nowhere near as fun to watch as Scream.

So we got a group of bright-eyed teenagers with dreams of great futures that comes to a literal screeching halt when they accidentally hit someone crossing the road and instead of going to the police they decide to dump the body and promise never to tell anyone what they did.  However their lives go up in smoke and they drift apart never talking to one another until some dude in a black slicker starts leaving notes (or running people over, he’s not too subtle) warning that he knows what they did and hunts them down one by one.  They band together once more to fight off their attacker but just who is it?

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Well you chose the worst place to hide.

The film acts more like a drama than a slasher, which actually plays to the strengths of its actors.  The majority of the movie is showing how far apart the former friends have drifted apart and how their lives were ruined after that night and turns into a “whodunnit” as they try to find out who the stalker is.  It’s only towards the end does it truly become a slasher film and the movie finally gets interesting.  Mildly.

The main killer of the film, dubbed “the Fisherman,” is a strange sort.  He’s able to get away with incredible feats while trying to scare his potential victims.  He can sneak a dead body (played by Big Bang Theory’s own Leonard Hofstetler!) into the trunk of a car and fill it with crabs to scare JLH.  When she comes back they’re all gone!  I would love to know where he put them in the middle of the day. Eventually his time to shine comes and puts his hook to good use like any decent slasher but he does go to some silly extremes probably to make up for his low body count. 

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I’ll tell you what I’m waiting for! Something to happen!

There’s just no comparison with Scream, the latter is better in every aspect.  On it’s own merits, IKWYDLS is a simple slasher with an overcomplicated plot.  These types of movies always have their red herrings, characters meant to throw you off who the real killer is, but this movie goes out of its way to make you wonder who it is with characters you rarely see or never even knew existed.  When the villain makes his big reveal, it’s with a resounding, “Who cares?”

TL;DR

Story: 4 – Some decent kill sequences but there’s a significant lack of tension throughout the movie that makes the movie more of a drama than the slasher as advertised.

Blood: 4 – Not much you can do with a hook but the Fisherman does it all.  The highlight may be the hook through the throat scene.  Aside from that, plenty of stabbings and a cut off hand. 

Nudity: 0 – None but JLH and Sarah Michelle Gellar are always a sight to see.

Overall: 4 – I can admit to liking this when I was 18 and seeing R-rated movies in theatres is great and all, but it doesn’t do anything for me now. 

Trivia

-Kevin Williamson wrote the movie before Scream but couldn’t sell it to anyone until after Scream did big numbers at the box office.

-Gellar and Prinze’s characters only talk to each other twice throughout the whole movie.  They later got married in real life.

-Lois Duncan wrote the original novel the film was based on but hated that her book was turned into a slasher film.

-Spawned two sequels.

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Betcha it’s really hot in that thing in the summer.

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