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I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER

I know all about accidents, and let me give you some advice:
when you leave a man for dead, make sure that he's really dead!

1997ís I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER ($29) remains a notable horror entry because this film became part of reinvigorated horror movie cycle that resulted from release of genre classic SCREAM (sadly absent from Blu-ray). Another reason I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER remains notable is because its screenwriter was Kevin Williamson- the man who also penned SCREAM. Of course, Williamson name on the screenplay credits is where the similarities between these two films end. SCREAM originated as an idea conceived by Williamson, while his screenplay for I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was adapted from the 1973 cult novel by Lois Duncan.

The plot of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER follows four teenage friends who are celebrating the July forth holiday in the small fishing village that they call home. While driving back from an evening on the beach, they have an automobile accident and strike someone who is walking beside the road. Instead of calling the police and getting into a whole mess of trouble, the four decide to dispose of the corpse. However, when they dump the body into the ocean, they discover that the supposed deceased wasn't quite dead. Now with a potential murder rap hanging over their heads, the four vows to never speak of the incident again. Eventually, the foursome is driven apart by the guilt of their actions. However, they find themselves brought back together one year later when someone starts sending them notes declaring, "I know what you did last summer." While the notes prove to be unnerving, the appearance of a homicidal manic dressed in a black fisherman's slicker and brandishing a lethal looking hook has them all more than a little worried. Did their unknown victim survive, or does someone else know what they did last summer?

The cast of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER features Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Freddie Prinze Jr., Muse Watson, Bridgette Wilson, Anne Heche and Johnny Galecki. Every member of the cast does a good job with their role, especially Jennifer Love Hewitt who portrays the film's most sympathetic teen. Unfortunately, the story paints the other teens in a rather unsympathetic light, making the audience dispassionate about their potential deaths at the hands (or should I say hook) of a lunatic. Director Jim Gillespie keeps the film well paced, plus he knows how to build tension and keeps the shocks coming at regular intervals. Additionally, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER doesn't take the usual horror movie route; the killings aren't totally predictable and the killer has an actual reason for wanting to slice and dice his teen victims. However, if you don't like the teen characters, you may find yourself cheering for the killer.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. Despite the fact I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was a modestly budgeted horror movie, the 1080p presentation looks fabulous. Cinematographer Denis Crossan beautifully lit this movie and it looks awesome almost continuously. There is plenty of dimensionality to the picture, plus it produces excellent levels of fine detail and texturing on fabric and other objects. Colors generally appear fully saturated, while the flesh tones are true to life. Blacks are inky, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is remarkably good, but I attribute it to the beautiful way the dark sequences in the movie were shot. The elements from which I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER have been transferred appear relatively free from blemishes. Grain is fairly mild, but the picture doesnít take on an artificially over-processed look.

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This isnít a demo worthy soundtrack, but it holds up very well. The mix is fairly active that takes good advantage of the discrete channels to place sound effects and some zingers. Fidelity is fairly great, and reproduces convincing sound effects, as well as solid musical component. The bass channel is deep enough for the material, but nothing out of the ordinary. Dialogue is always crisp and easy to understand. French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, and Thai.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the discís interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. Director Jim Gillespie and editor Steve Mirkovich are on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary that includes the nuts and bolt of making a horror movie. Now I Know What You Did Last Summer is a twenty-seven minute program that provides a retrospective look back at the production. A Short Film by director Jim Gillespie, a Music Video for the song Hush by Hula Shaker and Bonus Trailers for other Sony titles close out the extras.

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER isnít the greatest teen slasher movie ever made, but it is fun and still manages to hold up well, even a decade after it was made. Sonyís Blu-ray presentation looks fairly amazing and is certain to please fans.

 

I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER 


I Know What You Did Last Summer [Blu-ray] (1997)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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