I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) 4K Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

While not as good as his first film, Williamson still manages to avoid the “sophomore slump” with this second offering and a solid script/story.

Screenwriter Kevin Williamson (Scream, Dawson's Creek) went to college to become an actor, and,after landing a few minor roles on television, he headed to Los Angeles to pursue his dream.  As so many do, he had a difficult time finding work and decided to take a screenwriting class and, as they say, the rest is history...

In 1996, the Williamson penned horror movie, Scream, opened in 1,400 movie theaters in the United States.  It immediately received critical acclaim and eventually went on the gross $173 million worldwide on a $15 million budget.  Based around a group of teenagers, it was praised for "deconstructing" the horror genre as the kids are well aware of the usual horror tropes and utilize this knowledge to stay alive.

Williamson followed this success with his sophomore effort, loosely based on a 1973 novel of the same name, I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Once again it involves a group of teenagers (Williamson commonly uses teen characters in his work), out partying on the Fourth of July who accidentally hit someone and the consequences of the decisions they made that night.

Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt; The Tuxedo), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar; Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Barry (Ryan Phillippe; Cruel Intentions), and Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.; Scooby-Doo) are carefree teens enjoying their last summer before they head their separate ways after high school.  However, they accidentally hit something on the road and when they turn around to see what it was, it turns out to be a man, they believe they have killed. Afraid to go to the police, they all agree to dump the body and never speak of what happened again.  One year later, Julie is home from college and receives a note saying, "I know what you did last summer".

While not as good as his first film, Williamson still manages to avoid the "sophomore slump" with this second offering and a solid script/story.  Hewitt, Gellar, Phillippe, and Prinze, Jr. are strong as the four teens at the center of this drama/horror film.  The ensemble is solid and lends authenticity to the film.

In honor of the movie's twenty-fifth anniversary, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the movie on 4K for the first time.  The 2160p resolution and the Dolby Vision video is outstanding.  The picture quality is so sharp and clean you will be hard-pressed to believe it was filmed back in the 90s.

The Dolby Atmos audio is a terrific enhancement and coupled with the video quality makes for an enjoyable movie experience.  Ambient noises utilize the surround sound while the dialogue tends to stay in the front speakers.  The 4K disc has some new extras, including an interview conducted during Covid that comes with an "explanation" regarding the lower quality of the video and audio.  

The special features include 6 Deleted Scenes + Alternate Ending, My Own Summer: An Interview with Director Jim Gillespie, He Knows What You Did: An Interview with Muse Watson, Filmmakers' Commentary, Director's Short Film: "Joyride" with Optional Commentary, "Now I Know What You Did Last Summer" Featurette, Music Video: "Hush" Performed by Kula Shaker and the Theatrical Trailer.

Williamson created a solid career for himself within the might horror genre, especially by appealing to a young demographic.  I know What You Did Last Summer is a perfect example of this.  As his second movie, it could have made or broken his career, and luckily it was the former.  It is an enjoyable film in what I like to call the "Horror Lite" category.  It brings together a talented cast with a great script and a strong director, making it the perfect storm (almost) of teen-oriented horror movies.

Grade: B+


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
Distributed By: Columbia Pictures

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For more information about I Know What You Did Last Summer visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

I Know What You Did Last Summer images are courtesy of Columbia Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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