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I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/14/2009

All Ratings out of
Video: 1/2
Audio: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/10/2009

We've been talking a lot lately about unnecessary sequels. However, in the eyes of a Hollywood producer, there is no such thing as an unnecessary sequel when money is involved. When I Know What You Did Last Summer grossed four times its budget, it was no surprise that a sequel was announced. However, it was somewhat of a surprise when it arrived in theaters just 13 months after its predecessor debuted. Could a worthy sequel have been put together so quickly?

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is set a year after the events of the previous film (just like in real life!). Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is finishing her first year of college. Despite the fact that she's close to her roommate Karla (Brandy), Julie is still standoffish, as she hasn't gotten past the fact that Ben Willis (Muse Watson) murdered two of her friends and almost killed her. She still sees her boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), but as he is often working on his fishing boat, they have grown apart. Karla tries to set Julie up with Will (Matthew Settle), but Julie isn't really interested. One day, Karla receives a call from a local radio station and she wins a weekend getaway for four to The Bahamas. Ray turns down the invitation, so Karla invites her boyfriend, Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer), and Will to accompany her and Julie on the trip. They arrive on the island, only to find that storm season is beginning and all of the other tourist are leaving. As if the fact that they are practically alone and the pouring rain isn't enough, dead bodies begin to turn up on the island. Meanwhile, Ray is attacked by someone who looks like Ben Willis, so he heads to the island to save Julie.

If I Still Know What You Did Last Summer doesn't feel rushed to you...then you don't know what rushed feels like. Screenwriter Trey Callaway didn't have much of a resume when he wrote this script, and it seems as if he simply took all of the elements of the first film and duplicated them in a different location. This is one of those films which feels less like a sequel then a loose remake. We get a group of people who are in a seaside location who are being stalked by a killer who wears a black rain-slicker and hat. One-by-one the characters are picked off until there are only a few left.

However, there are some key ingredients missing from I Still Know What You Did Last Summer which at the very least made the first film watchable. I Know What You Did Last Summer was a murder-mystery. The characters had covered up a murder and now someone was murdering them. It was discovered to be local fisherman Ben Willis (who is really more of a vigilante than a slasher, if you really think about it). At the end of that film, he was presumed dead. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is only sort of a murder mystery. The bottom-line here is that it either is Ben Willis or it isn't. This brief list of suspects is quite lame and certainly hampers the film. The final reveal is a desperate reveal to be more like the Scream films, which is ironic, as I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel wouldn't exist if it weren't for that movie. I also had issues with the characters here. In short, they are all annoying. Sure, Ryan Phillipe and Sara Michelle Gellar's characters in the first film were jerks, but we felt a sort of connection to them. Everyone in this movie is a first-class moron, so it's difficult to feel sorry to see them go. At the very least, the first film tried to make Julie seem smart and sympathetic. This movie has no idea how to paint her, so she just yells a lot.

Of course, the biggest issue with I Still Know What You Did Last Summer still lies with the killer. Just as in the first film, it's difficult to get worked up over a guy who looks like the Gorton's fisherman's evil twin. Sure, the hook is intimidating, but the slicker and hat say "I'm prepared for the weather" more than, I'm going to kill you.

Given all of this, the only conclusion is that this movie is a complete disaster, right? Not entirely. Director Danny Cannon, who was previously tripped up with Judge Dredd, gives the film a slick look and does what he can to keep it moving along at a nice pace. If you can accept the fact that this is a brain dead movie, then it's better than at least half of the slasher movies out there. If nothing else, the movie is worth seeing to catch an uncredited Jack Black in an odd role as a dreadlocked drug dealer.

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has a terrible vacation on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 30 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing only slight grain and no defects from the source material. The colors look great and the image is never overly dark or bright. The image has a very nice depth and the level of detail is good. For a somewhat older film, this looks very good. The Disc offers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.0 Mbps. The track delivers clear dialogue and sound effects. The latter half of this film turns into a cornucopia of nice sounds, with the rain, thunder, screams, and musical cues. We are treated to detailed stereo effects, impressive surround sound, and effective subwoofer. While not demo disc quality sound, it's still very good and helps to add to the film.

The I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Blu-ray Disc contains three extra features. "Making of Featurette" (6 minutes) is just an electronic press kit with the requisite comments from the cast and a smattering of behind-the-scenes footage. We also get the MUSIC VIDEO for "How Do I Deal" by Jennifer Love Hewitt and the THEATRICAL TRAILER for the movie.

Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long