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I Know What You Did Last Summer

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All eyes were on screenwriter Kevin Williamson following his work on the critically acclaimed, deconstructionist 1996 horror film Scream. When news came out that his next project was going to be an adaptation of the '80s young-adult thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer, it piqued curiosity. How would Williamson handle a straight horror film after dismantling the genre so thoroughly? It so happens that, like a beginning mechanic, the act of dismantling the whole allowed him to learn the parts intricately, enabling him to wring suspense and horror out of every scene. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr. are recently graduated teens who are out for a good time when they unexpectedly hit a stranger with their car. Assuming he is dead, they decide to cover up their act by dumping the body in the ocean so their futures will not be destroyed by possible jail terms. Instead, their futures are destroyed by the guilt that they carry, and it's made all the worse by the anonymous notes they start receiving, indicating that someone else knows. The characters are never really more than stereotypes (the brain, the beauty, the dreamer, the jock), but as the body count begins to mount, you feel their terror build. It doesn't live up to the hype it's received, but I Know What You Did Last Summer is still the best Halloween scare out there right now.