I Still Know What You Did Last Summer 1998 Review
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer 1998
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy, Freddie Prinze Jnr
Review by Luisito Joaquín González
I remember the times when I could come home to my bachelor pad at any time and in any state and relax in front of a slasher movie on VHS. You know, if I had to chose a day of my life for a scenario like that which befell Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day, it would have to be the time when I met a glamour model named Faye and we went back to my place and watched The Clown at Midnight then Blood Relatives and well, you can guess the rest… (I got her to watch two slashers, I mean, come on! Imagine what else she would do ;))
Anyway, nowadays that old decadence killer, ‘age’ has caught up with me and the room that used to just have a 32″ screen and an ever increasing pile of slasher movies is now a collection of toys for the kid. The film genre most viewed in the González household has been changed from horror trash to chick flicks and Disney classics and well… You get the picture…
Today, seeing as I share the house with the Mrs, I have to be creative in order to watch these flicks. “This one is different, honest” or “you’ll never guess the killer” etc. It’s either that or I need to stay up until the whole family are sleeping and even then it’s a case of enjoying synthesiser scores and screams on my earphones. That’s what you call settling down my friends.
I had some good fortune though recently, my boss (I mean the Mrs) actually liked I Know What You Did Last Summer, so I used my finest sales skills to get her to watch the sequel. Thing is, would it leave a satisfied viewer with a hunger to be manipulated in to watching more?
After the mega impressive box office from part one, only a fool would not put out a numero 2 and producers today may be many things, but un-eager to build on successes to make a pretty penny is certainly not one of them.
One year after the events in the previous film, Julie James has gone away to study and Ray has stayed back at home working on his fishing boat. The flame is still strong, despite the distance between them. Julie has been suffering nightmares because the body of Ben Willis was never found and as the anniversary of the event comes around, the visions are getting worse and worse. Things begin looking up, when her best friend wins a weekend away for four in the Bahamas. When they arrive, however it seems that maybe Ben is not dead and before long someone begins to slash his way through the Island inhabitants one by one…
First things first. I was impressed that after the dire criticism that the first instalment got, the production team had managed to rope in Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jnr for the follow up, which was a major plus. At first when I noticed that Prinze’s character had said no to the Bahamas trip, I presumed that he had only turned up for a cameo and then was to be subsequently written out of the plot. No however, here he was, on board for the whole hog and it added strength to the tone and continuity.
I wasn’t overwhelmed with Jim Gillespie’s lackadaisical direction in the previous entry, but almost immediately, Danny Cannon shows a more capable eye for building horror. I liked the flashing photography in the club and it was great for breaking up the cheese on toast dancing scenes that also have their place in these flicks. He built some tense scenarios in places and the film only has the odd moment where it loses the express-line momentum.
There’s a tad less of a focus on Love Hewitt’s breasts, although the sun bed scene seems to have been included only for that purpose. I liked the fact that Still Know had some African American players and it wasn’t just those of the turn up just to die variety. In all fairness, Mekhi Phiffer was probably one of my favourite personas of the bunch. Journey man actor Jack Black is on board too and admittedly he is the marmite of Hollywood comedians, but I have grown to appreciate him over the years. He was in fine form for this big-budget slasher. (He had to get one under his belt – I mean the guy has acted in genres that haven’t yet been defined)
Speaking of Madame Hewitt, even though she looked as good as ever, the character of Julie had lost some of its charm for this follow up. It was not the fault of the actress, but the script made too much of her consistent jumping and whining and I think they somewhat overdid it. There’s a confrontation scene, where her friends find out that she has lied to them about the events from the first episode and I feel that they should’ve left that out, because it took an amount away from the strengths of a slasher heroine. Final girls should be almost perfect, not written up as liars who lead their friends to impending doom, even if it was understandable as to why she did it.
Now I know that they had to rush things a bit, because it’s a real push to get a film ready within only twelve-months, but this script was inexplicably silly in places. If you were a psycho killer; actually no wait… if you were an unemployed fisherman psycho killer, would you really pay to send the people you wanted to kill first class to the Bahamas? Then would you fund them staying in a hotel for the build up to their death? I mean, why, why WHY? He had a spot of fortune though, because as soon as they arrive, every other tourist on the Island completely disappears. Also, the line I still know what you did last summer is inept. I mean, shouldn’t this film be called I Still Know What You Did The Summer Before Last? It’s almost as if Scream (the film this heavily imitates) never happened. I also got the twist almost immediately. How can I say this without giving anything away? Erm… I can’t, so I won’t – but it takes the stupidity of say, Hospital Massacre and utilizes a similar method, even though someone who had taken the screenwriting share of the $24,000,000+ budget should have pointed it out. If I can see these things and I work for an IT Sales company, why can’t a producer working in somewhere like Hollywood? Answers on a postcode…
On the hour mark things go slashertastically crazy and the film becomes an extravaganza of cheese, slasher thrills, a tad of suspense and a dynamic pace. I enjoyed some of the stalking scenes, the karaoke part was a blast and seeing Jack Black get butchered was hilarious. It was moments like these, which redeemed some of the out and out stupidity.
I am not sure if it was because I was tired, but it all seemed more predictable here than it has ever been, but in terms of out and out manic stalk and slash clichés, it is a ball of the cheesiest pedigree. I liked the sets, even if anyone with only the slightest sense of geography can see that it’s not the Bahamas, but Mexico is a great location anyhow.
I asked the Mrs after if she had enjoyed it and she wasn’t overly impressed, which means I really have to start thinking of some more selling points before I propose the next slasher film for evening entertainment. If you have any ideas, please do share them… otherwise, think of me in my earplugs shivering watching Friday the 13th part 9614 on my laptop…
Final Girl √√√
Posted on November 12, 2011, in Slasher and tagged 1998, boobies, cheesy wotsit, Hot Chicas, I Still Know what you did last summer, Jennifer Love Hewitt naked, masked killer, Sorority Slasher, USA, well almost, Whodunit?. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.