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I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 July 2009
ImageI know what you are all thinking, "how could he give this film even three stars?"  Well, the answer is simply nostalgia.  In the mid-90s, the horror genre was resurrected and modified for the generation of the day.  It all began with "Scream" in 1996.  Writing/Directing team, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson brought teen horror back to life.  This film was the start of Friday night college horror night.  The duo followed up "Scream" with two sequels.  While none of the three films were truly awe-inspiring, they paved the way for other films in the genre to come along.

Most notably, in 1997, one year after "Scream," Kevin Williamson departed from Craven and created, "I Know What You Did Last Summer."  The film was only moderately successful, but the studio provided it a sequel.  Just one year later, in 1998 "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" was released.  Since Williamson was busy with the two sequels for "Scream," he was not able to partake in the writing of "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer."  This is unfortunate, as his absent is noticed.

The common thread among all these teen horror films was the writing of Williamson.  The writers of "ISKWYDLS" tried to emulate him in his absence, but the film gets a bit too campy.  Nevertheless, the film has strong powers in the genre and should be respected for that.

It is hard for me to judge, as it has been a long time, but I believe the film is entirely predictable.  I can't remember if I felt that way the first time I saw it, and maybe I am just anticipating what I already know is going to happen.  However, it seems obvious to me who is going to die and who is going to live.  To try and trick you the writers throw you for a loop at the end and resurrect a character thought to have just been killed.  However, it isn't much of shock.

The ending of the film is classic.  It lives you expecting a sequel.  While the events seemingly make a sequel all but impossible, the writers felt the need to give you one last jump, just as they did at the end of the first film with the shower sequence.

In the sequel, we are brought back into the life of Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt).  Another year has past, so one year after the end of the first film and two years after the initial hit and run.  Julie is no in college and it is Fourth of July weekend.  Her on again, off again boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is unable to get Julie to return to croaker town for the weekend.  It seems as if the writers were bored with the fisherman's town.

So, instead we are sent off to Tower Bay Island in the Bahamas.  Julie's roommate, Karla (Brandy Norwood) wins a radio station contest by falsely answering the questions, "What is the capital of Brazil?"  This is usually something that we learn by about high school.  Somehow the brainiac, Julie is unable to come up with the answer.  Instead they find a bag of coffee grounds that comes from Brazil and has Rio labeled on the package.  Rio is of course incorrect (whoops, did I just spoil that for ya).  Nevertheless, the radio personality says she is correct and she, Julie, Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer), Karla's boyfriend, and either Ray or Will (Matthew Settle) are off to the island. Ray tries to surprise Julie by driving up to meet her and go to the Bahamas.  Unfortunately, he is attacked by the fisherman along the way and rolls into a ditch, waking up finally in the hospital.  This leaves Will as the fourth member of the crew going to the island.  Once the gang arrives, they are informed that it is the last day of the season and that the storm is rolling in.  Gee, could that just be another coincidence?  I think not.  As the island evacuates, the gang and five staff members are all that are left on the island.  It doesn't take too horribly long for the killings to begin.  As per usual the killer gets rid of all the nonessentials right away.

Julie keeps getting visions and goosebump feelings that the killer is haunting her.  None of her friends believe her, of course they don't really know the whole story behind the killings.  The gang keeps running around the island, trying to stay alive.  Meanwhile Ray tries like a madman to get to the island to save Julie.

Sure the film is just a rip-off of the original and filled with way too many campy jokes.  Although, I will admit that Jack Black's character is hilarious.  He is probably the best part of the movie.  All in all, it brings back the memories and is an entertaining little horror-thriller to watch if you just let yourself go on all the little discrepancies and dumbness.

The video quality is not as spectacular as I would have liked.  It's predecessor, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" arrived on Blu-ray middle of last year and had a solid transfer.  This sequel is a step down.  Softness is the overall plaguing issue.  While the film can look sharp at times, mostly is has a soft appearances.  Details remain strong in the opening sequences and dwindle from there.  The skintones were the biggest problem for me.  They were constantly saturated with a red push to them.  Needless to say, they were unnatural.  Film grain is present but not distracting.  The rest of the source print looks to be in good shape with hardly a blemish passing by.  Color saturation is wishy washy.  It is definitely oversaturated at times, especially when it comes to the daytime island sequences.  There are other sequences that feel drained of color.  This back and forth bit is the downside to this video transfer.  Still, it is very nice upgrade from the standard DVD.  Fans with surely enjoy it.

The audio is also not quite as good as the original film.  We are provided with a Dolby TrueHD audio track that brings out all the little nuisances that aren't really detectable in the standard DVD's Dolby Digital track.  Mostly I was disturbed by the dialogue quality.  It was very thin and filmsy.  However, this was made up for by the terrific use of the soundfield.  The surround channels are constantly engaging.  Everything from the dance club to the swamp ambience is present in the surrounds.  The music score is at times a bit overpowering of the dialogue, which is usually the case with horror films to strike that fear in you.  However, the LFE channel was not up to par.  The stings have no real impact as suspense makers.  Those stings rely on the fairly impressive dynamics.  Even when you know it is coming, you will still jump because the audio range is higher than you expect.  The frequency response is uneven in the mid range.  So, while the dialogue is weak it is still understandable.  It give this audio track a higher rating simply because I love the surround usage.

The Blu-ray comes with the same standard definition special features as the original DVD release.  There is a typical making of featurette.  Also included is a music video of Jennifer Love Hewitt's "How Do I Deal?" as well as a theatrical trailer.  The disc is equipped with BD-Live functionality.  The disc first loads some Sony trailers, touting some upcoming releases.  However, these releases have been out for quite some time.  That evidence points to the fact that this film has been prepped on Blu-ray since its initially scheduled release date alongside the first film's Blu-ray release last summer.

"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" is definitely just campy fun.  You may or may not be surprised at any of the elements in the film, but let's face it, any film with Jennifer Love Hewitt is fine by me.  The video and audio qualities are a step down from the preceding film on Blu-ray.  They are upgrades form the standard DVD.  Fans will want to add this to their collection, others may just want to give it a rent.

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