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Random Movie: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

i_still_know_what_you_did_last_summerThis movie is terrible. Of course, this isn’t a secret or a new revelation I’ve come to in deducing how mind-boggingly lazy this film is. In fact, it’s so bad that I can safely classify it with The Happening which induces similar headaches and constant facepalms while maintaining its ability to make me want to suffer through it even though I know I’ll hate myself afterward.

In many ways, a movie like this is more painful to watch than your average stinker featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000since here was likely a sizable budget along with “professional” actors and crew. I can almost forgive myself for buying this on DVD the first time since I had never seen it before and generally liked the first one. But I sold that DVD and years later bought it again in a three pack with the first and third movies in this series. I guess that too is as unjustifiable as buying The Happening. I have a sickness.

Just in case you haven’t experienced the awfulness of this film, let me spoil some of the surprise. In I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, it is now two summers (two!) after the events that kicked off the first film. Even starting with the title, this movie makes no damn sense. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is back and bang-less and still carries grief and sorrow for not-killing a man who killed her friends. But she has new friends now including Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, and Matthew Settle, none of whom will likely be alive at the end.

Brandy wins a dream trip to a secluded island in the Bahamas and brings Julie, Tyrell (Phifer), and Will (Settle) since Ray (Freddy Prinze Jr.) is being a fuddy duddy and working. But it’s all a ruse since they didn’t really win a contest and have just been lured to the island by the preceeding summer’s killer Ben Willis for revenge! Even though he conceivably knew where Julie lived and could have snuck in and killed her without the silly shenanigans or cashing in reward miles.

This film does not deserve a 2000+ word review so I’ll have to refer you to other reviews and message boards for the full breadth of how little this movie makes sense. For the most part, ISKWYDLS is just one massive plot hole after another as you can’t help but think of why Ben Willis went to all the trouble of securing airfare, ferry travel, and lodging for his soon-to-be victims, or how Willis knew exactly where and when to set a trap on a road that Ray is traveling on, or even how Ray manages to travel by bus from the Mid-Atlantic (at least) to Miami in one night, or even why future Oscar-nominee John Hawkes got saddled with horrible dialogue such as “I’ll kick it with my homies in Cambridge.” Things like sense and reason don’t exist within miles of this film.

Trust me when I say, the script by Trey Callaway (if that’s even a real person and not an Alan Smithee-like alias) is rife with inconsistencies and utter destruction of the suspension of disbelief that it is a marvel how this was greenlit to start with or how anyone involved was so desperate for money that they participated. Like The Happening, for a major studio production, almost everything is so bad and laughable that at least some of it has to be intentional. This is also the film that made me realize how important a competent editor is.

For his part, director Danny Cannon at least was more successful than his screenwriter as at least the movie is coherent even if it is garbage and some of the photography is pretty cool looking. If you consider the first film to be a shameless rip-off of Scream and its successes, this movie is attempting to rip-off every lazy horror cliche in the book stolen from every shitty horror sequel in the past 30 years. I really want to tell you to skip it for your sanity but I feel you would be depriving yourself of … something. If need be, I’ll lend you my copy. I need it back though.


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