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Case Number 00008

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

Sony // 1997 // 101 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Chief Justice Sean McGinnis (Retired) // April 24th, 1999

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All Rise...

Editor's Note

Our review of I Know What You Did Last Summer (Blu-Ray), published July 23rd, 2008, is also available.

The Charge

If you're going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried.

Opening Statement

I Know What You Did Last Summer was an attempt to duplicate the wild success of Scream by writer Kevin Williamson. It did not quite measure up.

The Evidence

I Know What You Did Last Summer offers a 2.35:1 anamorphic presentation from the good folks at Columbia, as well as a Pan and Scan version on side 2. The video acquits itself quite well, especially considering that half the movie or more takes place outdoors at night. I noticed some softer scenes, most of which were during pretty difficult scenes. A slight graininess was evident during these times, but all in all, this transfer is exactly what we have come to expect from the people at Columbia. In a word, very good (well, two words).

The audio was about average as well. The disc contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track that did its job, without being either spectacular or missing the boat. The front soundstage was wide and deep. Vocals were clearly articulated and well placed. The surrounds were used rather sparingly, especially when compared with some of the more raucous action movies we have seen. The same can be said for the LFE channel, as well. Again, it did its job well enough, but the demands placed on it were not that impressive.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

The real weakness here is the story line. I guess it could be said that I Know What You Did Last Summer is pretty good for what it is. After all, it spawned a sequel, which is due for a review tomorrow, but that's not saying too much in today's entertainment environment. Just think of all the other originals that have given rise to sequels and you'll get my point.

I guess most of the acting was credible if not spectacular. Jennifer Love Hewitt does a pretty nice job given the constraints of the script. Sarah Michelle Gellar also turned in a decent performance as the local teen queen who realizes life isn't all its cracked up to be. Ryan Phillippe was a bit over the top, but physically did not meet my specs for a budding college football star, especially a quarterback. Freddie Prinze, Jr. was a bit of a stiff throughout the film.

Needless to say, I would have like to see some more extras, although the director's commentary by Jim Gillespie was a nice addition.

Closing Statement

I Know What You Did Last Summer tries to cash in on the great success of Scream, but falls quite a bit short. However, for those of you that are fans of the genre, this would be a nice addition to the collection. In an aside, this film was released with an incorrect trailer, which claims that the "makers of Scream" made the movie. This is disc number 23929. After Disney threw a fit, Columbia re-released the disc as disc number 02539 and removed the reference mentioned above. The controversy arose because Kevin Williamson wrote both films, while Scream was released by Miramax, giving rise to Disney's displeasure.

The Verdict

A hung jury, with horror fans voting acquittal and non-horror fans voting guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 85
Extras: 75
Acting: 80
Story: 80
Judgment: 82

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Filmmaker's Commentary
• Theatrical Trailer


• IMDb

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