I Know What You Did Last Summer

on October 17, 1997 by Melissa Morrison
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   The second of Kevin Williamson's scripts after the phenomenon of "Scream" manages to avoid the sophomore slump (not literally, of course) by building on the best of that first film's hallmarks: blenderizing the funny and the scary. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" does it more successfully than its monosyllabic predecessor, as when a schlocky beauty pageant is crosscut with a murder.
   And like "Scream," this new entrant features a dewy cast sucked right off TV (including "Scream" star Neve Campbell's fellow "Party of Fiver" Jennifer Love Hewitt), the tweaking of horror-film cliches, and the obligatory pop-culture references. Overall, it's a successful formula, but sometimes the seams show. Lines like "this is now merely a future therapy bill" sound more like sitcom patness than convincing dialogue.
   The m.o.: Hook-wielding fisherman guts his human catch. The excuse: Four teens have a hit-and-run on an oceanside road. Fearing for their futures if they admit to manslaughter, they toss the victim into the sea and vow never to tell. A year later, the secret has taken its toll. Former honor student Julie (played by Hewitt and her breasts) comes home from college with pasty skin and bad grades. Her best friend, dishy beauty queen Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar and her breasts), has given up her acting dreams and works behind the local perfume counter. Their respective ex-boyfriends Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr., looking like Keanu down to the deer-in-the-headlights expression) and Barry (Ryan Phillippe) have met with similar failures. And now someone's terrorizing them about the previous summer's events.
   The galoshes-wearing killer isn't as scary as "Scream's" costume goblin; in fact, he looks like the logo for Fisherman's Friend throat lozenges. But "IKWYDLS" has some good thrills and some good jokes. You'll shriek, you'll laugh.    Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Directed by Jim Gillespie. Written by Kevin Williamson. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Erik Feig and Stokely Chaffin. A Columbia release. Horror. Rated R for strong horror violence and language. Running time: 100 min.
Tags: ennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Directed by Jim Gillespie. Written by Kevin Williamson. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, Erik Feig and Stokely Chaffin. A Columbia release. Horror, oceanside, fisherman, perfume, scary, convincing
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