I Know What You Did Last Summer is an average horror film that I watched again because I have never gotten over Freddie Prinze Jnr as Fred in Scooby-Doo. It’s fine. It even has some good bits. It’s a passable, throw-back-y piece of nineties horror that doesn’t totally suck.
But I don’t want to talk about that. No, I want to talk about its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Because, if I’m going to talk about the very best of nineties horror, I need to talk about the very worst of it, too.
Actually, no, let me adjust that: it’s not bad. I mean, yes, of course , it is – it’s a low-budget cash-in to an only-okay slasher that already worked out all its possibilities in its original ninety minutes. If you want quality, this isn’t it. If you want entertainment…
I Still Know is one of the most downright deranged movies I’ve ever seen in my life. It follows the surviving cast from the first movie, as well as newcomers Karla and Tyrell, as they win a trip to an exotic location for Spring Break – but find themselves stalked by the same killer who hunted them in the first movie in the middle of a tropical storm that cuts them off from the mainland.
I think one of the strangest things about watching this movie is the dizzying number of proto-stars kicking around in stinkingly dreadful roles. Karla and Tyrell are played by Brandy (yes, that one) and the excellent Mekhi Phifer; John Hawkes and Jack Black take up supporting-cast slots as general slasher-bait. Every time the camera cuts to a new scene, it feels like there’s some other completely unlikely and generally very good actor wandering through the wobbly sets, giving it this surreal feeling of prestige drama that somehow also has Freddie Prinze Jnr in it.
The plot just isn’t. The set-up is for a comedy, and what follows is essentially a collection of odd and contrived set-pieces barely strung-together with scandalously rubbish “twists” that had me on the edge of my seat, wondering when I could leave. Matthew Settle is the obvious set-up for the villain, but the sheer branzeness of the bullshit they try to string you along with is almost worth sticking around for. It’s a bizarre experience, one that requires you to suspend disbelief from a fisherman’s hook several thousand feet above sea level, and try not to wonder how Jack Black had the best career following this.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is a trip – not just to the Bahamas, but through a very specific slice of the nineties and all the wannabe-stars within. It’s a mad movie, and one that I found pretty wildly entertaining – go in expecting nuttery, and come out satisfied.
By Louise MacGregor
(header image via IMDB)