I Know What You Did Last Summer

Some people may find this controversial but I kinda prefer I Know What You Did Last Summer to Scream…

tumblr_inline_ndkcfbbjhx1sld995

OK calm down and let me explain…

Kevin Williamson owned horror in the late 90s. His name was attached to the scripts for Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, The Faculty, Halloween H20… it goes on. In 96 when Scream came along it did a clever thing. It tapped into the zeitgeist and let the audience laugh at horror, in particular slasher movies, in a way they’d only ever done behind the genre’s back. Now they could sit munching their popcorn whilst the characters onscreen spewed out smug, self-referential dialogue and boy did we lap it up.

tumblr_lvnpdt417z1r16ywno1_500

But go back and look at them now, when the fad for laughing at horror has passed, and you have a problem. The characters in Scream and many of its successors come across as cocky, pretentious know-it-alls who’s ‘meta’ arrogance is painfully dated. You see once you’re done patting yourself on the back for being so clever… you still need a good old fashioned horror story. And that’s what you get with I Know What You Did Last Summer.

So why do I prefer it? Well…

  • The Setting. Small American coastal town prone to fog, deserted streets, and the creak of trawlers bobbing about in the bay;

25953953.png

  • The premise. Simple. To the point (horror). Four teens with a guilty secret – they ran someone over a year ago and now somebody is out for revenge;
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar. She’s the star draw for this film. The actual scream queen. Jennifer Love Hewitt is laughable as the heroine, Julie. I mean whoever told that girl she can play virginal needs their head examined. Dressing her like she’s Amish just makes her dull. She pales into the background. I realised that I can’t remember anything about the movie once Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character bows out. In an extended chase scene, Helen Shivers – a scream queen name if ever there was one – screams her little heart out but comes across as plucky and resilient as opposed to boring and weak. And she wears a tiara;

actually-basically-everything-about-sarah-michelle-gellar

  • Ryan Phillippe’s abs. And dog-tags. He looks like he’s auditioning for Active Duty. If only he had;

33e1121f178c0bcbd50b63de59974659

  • The Fisherman. In the old tradition of slashers this dude never breaks a sweat and he ALWAYS catches you. Not like Ghostface, running around like a headless chicken, falling over every two minutes;

tumblr_lz1o9bt3ot1qd8nujo1_500

  • The score. It’s not by Marco Beltrami. Win!

Of course it’s not a perfect movie either. There could be more gore. Helen’s cunty sister could have more screen time and a more extreme, deserved death. But as PG-13 Point Horror goes, I Know What You Did Last Summer ticks my horror boxes more than Scream and its increasingly annoying sequels.

tumblr_m9580jkQfo1rdutw3o1_500.gif

Most of all it doesn’t irritate me. And for that I’m grateful! Do you want to slice me up with a hook or do you agree? Let me know on twitter. Get me at @jonnylarkin !

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s