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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 10/31/00

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
1998 (1999) - Columbia TriStar

review by Dan Kelly of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Film Rating: C-

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/B+/C

Specs and Features

100 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, full frame (1.33:1) double-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, music video for How Do I Deal by Jennifer Love Hewitt, "making-of" featurette, theatrical trailers, film-themed menu screens, scene access (28 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned

"Someone is dying for a second chance."

Right off the bat, let's skip the talk about how poorly (and incorrectly, mind you) titled I Still Know What You Did The Summer Before Last is, and focus instead on how bad the movie itself is. Maybe it's not so bad (it is), but it's definitely preposterous. First off, I should tell you that if you haven't seen the first movie in this series, then you shouldn't read this yet. Lord knows, they're both so plot-heavy that I don't want to give anything away.

Ben Willis, the hook-handed fisherman hell bent on avenging his son's death in the first film, is back to terrorize Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) just because he has nothing better to do. She has returned to college a year after the happenings in the first movie, and is forced to take summer classes. She's flunking, but her hair is tons better than it was in the first movie. She's now putting more effort into her look, and it has tons more lift and bounce to it now.

But let's face it, her hair is not the only thing that has lift and bounce to it. Gone are the days of the 1980s horror flicks that had more gratuitous female nudity than you could shake a... ummm, stick at. It's the 1990s (at least it was when this movie was made), and the glamorous, more appropriate thing to do is show cleavage. I Still Know... has more cleavage than it does scares, as Julie and her new roommate Carla (the enormously talented Brandy) battle it out in the tightest T-shirt contest. Maybe things have changed, but when I was in college, girls (and guys for that matter) just threw on whatever was laying closest to the bed before going to class. But I digress...

Carla's futile attempts to break Julie out of her trauma-induced shell are constantly rebuffed, and Julie's hometown boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is also tired of her post-traumatic stress syndrome. Where is the love and understanding, people?! On a bright and sunny morning, Julie helps Carla win a trip to the Bahamas on a radio show call-in contest, by incorrectly guessing that the capital of Brazil is Rio de Janeiro. They're joined on the trip by Carla's boyfriend Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer) and Will (Matthew Settle). Will's got the hots for Julie, but she's tormented and blah, blah, blah.... You know the drill.

Once on the island, the terror and confusion starts anew. It seems the optimal vacation time in the United States, the July 4th weekend, is the start of the rainy season in the Bahamas. "Every year at this time," the hotel clerk tells them, "the storm clouds roll in like clockwork." All the tourists are leaving, and it's just the four of them and a skeleton crew staff left in the hotel. After Ben (he's the killer, remember?) tries unsuccessfully to off Ray, he quickly jets to the Bahamas to kill Julie and company, with hospital escapee and ever-resilient Ray not far behind him.

I have to admit, the first twenty minutes or so of the movie had me. A nice mood was established through the use of close camera work and somber music, but it's all downhill from there, as we're subjected to one corny segment after another. I have a sad feeling that this was to have been a showcase of Brandy and Ms. Hewitt's talent. Hewitt has a small musical number to show us her singing ability (and damn if her singing career never took off outside of Japan!), and Brandy has a lot of bad one-liners to show us more of her funny side.

The entire cast seems so detached from the project... that they appear more concerned with looking good than they are with making a good movie. Maybe they knew how bad this movie was when they were making it and were trying to give it some redeeming qualities? I doubt it. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer looks like the glossy teen magazines in which most of the young cast are constantly posing. Like those magazines, it looks good on the shelf for about a month before it's run its course and becomes yesterday's news.

Now, let's get down to the actual DVD. The transfer for this movie looks about as good as the first one does. Where I Know What You Did Last Summer had a bluish tint to most of the movie, this one takes on a brighter, warmer look. The anamorphic transfer is well done, with the same slightly worn looking print we saw on the first DVD. Crucial blacks are solid with only occasional artifacting and flesh tones are warm without being too harsh. The audio is also good, with some very deep bass effects on the low frequency side of the mix. Dialogue levels are never too soft or loud and good use is made of both front and rear speakers.

Columbia definitely kept their market in mind when it came time to decide on extras for the disc. First, we have a short featurette on the making of ISKWYDLS, with lots of time spent on interviewing its young starts as they pout about having to be wet all the time. Boo-hoo... the poor things. Then there are not one, not two, but THREE trailers for other Jennifer Love Hewitt films! In addition to the trailer for this movie, we also get a trailer for the first I Know What You Did Last Summer movie and the theatrical trailer for Can't Hardly Wait.

But the fun doesn't stop there. The last major feature is How Do I Deal? No... it's not an instructional featurette on the trials and tribulations of teenaged movie stardom. It's the music video to Love's most recent opus. It's the heartache-riddled question she poses to her (ex?)boyfriend as she struggles with his achy-breaky ways. How can you not feel bad for the little starlet? Sniff.

As hard as they tried, the filmmakers couldn't make ISKWYDLS anything more than what it is - a lame, 1980s throwback horror film. Still, I liked parts of it, and it was a genuine attempt to make a really scary movie. I also think it plays better on DVD than it does in a packed theatre. The scares are there once in a while, but not as often as they could be, so I can't really call it frightening. Well... that wouldn't quite be an accurate description. How about frightfully bad? Would that work better?

Dan Kelly
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