The first to capitalize on the surprise success of 1996’s “Scream”, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” arrived in the fall of 1997 with a built-in audience, and although it didn’t challenge its genre’s roots the way “Scream” did, it nevertheless managed to get most things right about slasher movies. Characters occasionally behave in silly ways, but otherwise they feel like real people instead of types (even though they all conform to types, from the jock to the smart girl, etc), and with a charismatic cast in place the movie manages to work far better than one would expect. Kevin Williamson’s script has reverence for its source materials (both the novel by Lois Duncan and slasher movies), and while the final reveal is a bit disappointing, getting there is a surprising blast. Watch for a chilling, poignant supporting performance by Anne Heche.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)