I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
One very good reason for the improvement may have been the complete dumping
of last year's creative team in favor of writer Trey Callaway and director
Danny Cannon. Considering what he had to work with (a crazed Gorton's fisherman
chasing a bunch of kids with a big hook), Callaway could have done a lot
worse in his feature film writing debut.
Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Party Of Five) is one of the
only people left alive at the end of I Know. Another is her boyfriend
Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), but they're not getting along too well
Julie is constantly on edge because she was almost eviscerated by a hook-wielding
madman. When her friend Karla (Brandy Norwood) wins a trip to the Bahamas,
she wants to take Julie and Ray, as well as her own boyfriend Tyrell (Mekhi
Phifer). But Ray's not interested, so Karla invites another friend named
Will (Matthew Settle).
When the kids arrive at their island paradise hotel, they get bad news:
There's a major storm coming, so they have to batten down the hatches and
wait it out. The upside is, they pretty much have the place to themselves
they think. But when Julie is trying to sing karaoke at the bar,
the song lyric teleprompter flashes those words she's come to know and loathe.
Can you guess?
Though Julie's friends think she's flipped, they all start finding dead
bodies or becoming them. Soon it's a full-blown cat and mouse game,
with our pals running scared through the empty hotel, or out in the hurricane,
hotly pursued by the Man With The Hook. They are joined by Nancy the bartender
(Jennifer Esposito) and Estes the bellman (Bill Cobbs).
The decision not to fill up the entire cast with teenagers is a wise
one by Callaway and Cannon. Esposito and Cobbs lend an air of accountability
to the film, and Cobbs is actually a real actor. Hewitt mainly alternates
between screaming and dripping, as before, but Norwood is especially believable.
The setting is fun and different; an uninhabited tropical paradise is the
last place you'd expect to find a slasher. Faced with such a poverty of
victims, our guy is forced to concentrate on his real quarry. But he is
able to find a few other poor suckers along the way.
The traditional "twist" ending ensures that there will be continued sequels. I can't wait until I'm reviewing I Continue To Know What You Did Last Summer, or Don't Think I've Forgotten What You Did Two Summers Ago, or maybe I've Written A Book About What You Did In The Summer Of '96 And It's Going To Be Made Into A Movie. Or something like that. ***
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