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I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

If you’re going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried

Directed by:

Jim Gillespie

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 100 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

The fisherman look is a peculiar choice for a slasher flick baddie, given the fact that it’s not remotely scary. I can’t recall ever leaping behind the sofa in terror when Captain Birdseye appeared on the screen to plug his latest range of crispy cod crumb. In fact, “Fisherman’s Friends” are much more horrifying than actual fishermen, as anyone who’s ever tasted one will know.

Nevertheless, a haddock-catching madman is the choice of villain in this mildly entertaining but essentially stupid teen horror. It tells the tale of four equally witless protagonists – the supposedly-sensible Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), empty-skulled beauty queen Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), mild-mannered hunk Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and knuckle-brained quarter-back Barry (Ryan Phillipe).

One drunken July 4th, their car ploughs into a pedestrian and, all being far too pretty to even contemplate what might happen to them in prison, decide to dump the body in the sea and pretend nothing has happened. Of course, something HAS happened, and what’s worse is that the local boat-dwelling psychopath appears to know all about it – and he’s not using that giant hook of his for catching tiddlers.

Remarkably, both ‘I Know What You Did’ and the previous year’s ‘Scream’ were penned by the same screenwriter, Kevin Williamson. That comes as a surprise predominantly because the best bits of ‘Scream’ – the humour, intelligence, and inventive use of shocks – are all left out here in favour of a string of fairly bland clichés (in fact, largely the same clichés that ‘Scream’ parodied so successfully).

You’ll have a tough job caring about any of the characters here, the plot rarely attempts to even tweak with its well-worn formula, and the calibre of the acting can only be described as mediocre at best (with Phillipe’s cringe-tastic performance easily the worst of the lot). What it does have in its favour is that it’s fairly quickly-paced, and there’s just about enough frantic-running-about-in-no-particular-direction to make it watchable. Just don’t expect to be frightened by it.

It's Got: Crabs

It Needs: A set of ear-plugs for Love Hewitt’s repeated shrieking.

DVD Extras A trailer and some production notes. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Summary

‘Scream’ minus wit and originality.

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