This article is about the film. For other uses, see I Know What You Did Last Summer (disambiguation).
I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1997 American slasher film based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan. The film changes many aspects of the book, which was not a slasher novel. The film also draws inspiration from the Urban Legend known as The Hook.
The film stars Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr., with Anne Heche and Bridgette Wilson appearing in supporting roles. I Know What You Did Last Summer centers on four friends who are being stalked by a killer, one year after covering up a car accident in which they were involved. The film was directed by Jim Gillespie, from a screenplay written by Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream.
I Know What You Did Last Summer received mixed reviews from critics, but was highly commercially successful, grossing over $125 million at the box office. It was also nominated for and won multiple awards. As a result the film has been parodied and referenced in popular culture.
The film was followed by two sequels, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) and the straight-to-DVD release I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006). Though the former film sees a continuation of the plotline established in its predecessor, the latter film establishes a new plotline and does not star any cast members from the previous two installments.
On July 4, 1996, four high-school seniors - Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), her boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Julie's best friend Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and her boyfriend Barry (Ryan Phillippe) - drive to an isolated beach after drinking at a party. While driving home, Ray becomes distracted and accidentally hits a pedestrian, apparently killing him.
As they argue over what to do, another teenager, Max (Johnny Galecki), stops nearby. However, Julie convinces him that everything is all right and he drives off. Over Julie's protests, the group decides to dispose of the stranger's body, in order to avoid legal repercussions. They take the man down to the docks to dispose of his body but he suddenly revives and attacks them before falling into the water and drowning.
One year later, college freshman Julie is home for the summer and her mother notices that she seems distant. One day, Julie receives an umarked letter containing a note which says "I know what you did last summer." When she tells Barry and Helen about the note, Barry immediately suspects Max. The trio head down to the docks where Max works as a fisherman. Barry warns Max and eventually threatens him with a hook. Meanwhile, Julie discovers that Ray is also working on the boats and he tries to patch up his relationship with Julie. Shortly afterwards, Max is killed by a figure in a rain slicker who wields a hook.
Later that evening, Barry is working out at the gym when he discovers a note in his locker containing a picture of his BMW and the message "I know." Going outside, Barry is almost run over by someone the rain slicker wearing fisherman, who is driving his car.
Julie reveals that she has been doing some investigating and explains that the name of the person they hit was David Egan. Thinking that the killer might be a local relative, Julie and Helen head out to the Egans' residence deep in the inland swamps. There, Julie and Helen find David's moody older sister Missy (Anne Heche), who explains that David's death devastated their family. Both girls have been thinking that Missy was behind the attack, but after talking with her they decide that she wasn't. Missy tells them that someone called "Billy Blue" came by to pay respects after David died, claiming to be his friend.
Helen returns to her home that night and prepares for the annual Fourth of July parade the next morning. She does not notice the fisherman sneaking into her house. The next morning, she is horrified to see that someone has cut off her hair in the night, put her tiara in her bed and written "Soon" in lipstick on her vanity mirror.
As Julie heads over to Helen's house she discovers Max's dead body, wrapped in Barry's jacket, in her trunk. When she goes to show the others, the body is missing, causing Barry to think that she is hallucinating. Julie, Helen, and Barry confront Ray about the recent events, which Barry thinks that Ray is behind. Ray strongly denies it and claims that whoever knows is after him too and that he received a similar letter.
As Helen and Barry participate in the Fourth of July parade, Barry keeps an eye out for the killer, but notices that there are several people wearing the same kind of dark rainslicker. Chasing one, Barry leaves Helen on one of the parade floats. As it passes by a two-story building, she notices a shadowy figure in a black rainslicker wield a hook threateningly as the float passes by.
Julie revisits Missy to ask her more about David Egan and "Billy Blue". Missy tells Julie that David is dead and shows her a suicide note he left. As the writing matches that of the note she received, Julie tries to convince Missy that it's not a suicide note but a threat. Upset by Julie's ravings, Missy orders her to leave. Back in town, Julie further researches David Egan's death. A year before the accident, he and his girlfriend Susie were involved in a car crash not far from the scene of the foursome's accident. David survived, but Susie died. The research mentions Susie's father, Ben Willis. Julie then puts the pieces together: They did not run over David Egan that night but Ben, who had killed David and disposed of the body that night.
At the annual Croaker Pageant, Helen's reign as Croaker Queen is about to end. Watching from an upstairs balcony, Barry is attacked. Helen screams when she sees the killer pull Barry into the shadows and stabs him to death with the hook. She rushes upstairs with a police officer, but they find no sign of the killer or Barry. The officer thinks Helen imagined it and offers to take her home. When their road is blocked by a barricade they have to drive down an alley, where they spot a stalled truck, the officer gets out to investigate and is killed by a dark figure with a hook. Helen escapes and rushes to her family's store, where her sister Elsa lets her in. Helen demands that Elsa lock all the doors, but before Elsa can finish doing that, the killer enters through a side door and slashes her throat. The killer then chases Helen but she manages to get to the second floor via a hand controlled pulley however she becomes trapped by the killer. Helen jumps though an open window just before the fisherman was about to kill her, landing in a pile of discard boxes and trash. Helen flees through the back alleyways towards the roaring parade. Before she gets there she hears a noise and turns around however no one is there, she turns back around only to run into the killer who shoves her into a stack of tires and after a brief struggle slashes her to death only steps away from the parade. Her screams are to no avail as they are drowned out by the noise of the parade.
Julie goes to the docks to tell Ray but he doesn't believe her theory. As they talk, she notices the name of the boat he's working on: "Billy Blue." Julie panicks, thinking that Ray is the murderer, and runs off. As Ray chases her, a fisherman stops him and puts her on his boat for safety. She looks around the boat and finds a room that contains photos and articles about her, Helen, Barry, and Ray and realizes that she is on Ben Willis' boat. Ben sets the boat adrift and chases Julie through the boat. Eventually, Julie winds up in the fish storage freezer, where she finds the corpses of Helen and Barry.
Regaining consciousness, Ray catches up to Ben's boat with a motorboat. He uses the ship's rigging to save Julie, causing Ben to lose his hook-carrying arm as he plummets over the side. All that is found of Ben is the severed arm with the hook in the hand. When the police question Julie and Ray, they deny having any idea why Ben would have wanted to kill them.
A year later, Julie is getting ready to return to her hometown for another summer to see Ray. As she enters the showers, she notices that one of the steamy glass doors has the sentence "I still know." written on it. As she looks around, a dark figure crashes through the door at her.
See also: List of I Know What You Did Last Summer characters
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie James,
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Helen Shivers,
Ryan Phillippe as Barry William Cox,
Freddie Prinze, Jr. Ray Bronson,
Bridgette Wilson as Elsa Shivers,
Anne Heche as Missy Egan,
Muse Watson as Ben Willis,
Johnny Galecki as Max Neurick,
Stuart Greer as Officer David Caporizon,
The film produced two soundtracks. One of them featured the score composed by John Debney, while the other contained various rock songs found in the film.
A New Beginning (Julie's Theme) 1:52,
Barry's Underwater Adventure 2:33,
Crabhouse Gaffing 1:10,
Someone's Watchin'/Chased 3:26,
Missy's Story 2:10,
The Houseguest 1:57,
A Little 'Trim'/Trunk Surprise 3:12,
His Name Was.../Car Trouble 3:29,
Hiding the Body 3:15,
In Pursuit of Helen 2:50,
The Note 1:39,
Gaffing Barry/Missy's Home 3:19,
No Escape For Helen 2:32,
Julie Discovers the Truth 3:21,
The Night Softly Whispers 1:49,
Fond Memories 0:43,
Julie Takes a Cruise 2:56,
Taking a Stand 1:09,
Final Confrontation 4:03,
Julie Takes a Shower 1:20,
"Hush" by Kula Shaker (2:55),
"Summer Breeze" by Type O Negative (4:57),
"D.U.I." by The Offspring (2:26),
"Kid" by Green Apple Quick Step (3:17),
"This Ain't the Summer of Love" by L7 (3:09),
"Losin' It" by Soul Asylum (3:01),
"Hey Bulldog" by Toad the Wet Sprocket (2:31),
"My Baby's Got the Strangest Ways" by Southern Culture on the Skids (3:59),
"Waterfall" by The Din Pedals (3:47),
"Clumsy" by Our Lady Peace (4:27),
"One Hundred Days" by Flick (3:40),
"Great Life" by Goatboy (3:50),
"2 Wicky" by Hooverphonic (4:44),
"Don't Mean Anything" by Adam Cohen (3:43),
"Proud" by Korn (3:17),
The film received mostly mixed-to-negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 36% of comments were positive. In another review, Metacritic reported an aggregate score of 52 out of 100. Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review, "The best shot in this film is the first one. Not a good sign."
Jennifer Love Hewitt was praised for her performance as Julie James by an Entertainment Weekly columnist stating that Hewitt knows how to scream with soul.
I Know What You Did Last Summer has been released on DVD and Blu-ray.
2008 USA: Blu-Ray Release.
Special features include:
Featurette: I Know What you did last Summer "NOW"
a music video
a short film directed by Jim Gillespie
2008 Australia: DVD Release
Special features include:
The Making Of The Film
Interviews With The Cast
2011 Australia: DVD Release
Special features include:
audio commentary by Director Jim Gillespie
Awards and nominations:
Top Box Office Films, John Debney
Best Horror Film
Blockbuster Entertainment Award
Favorite Female Newcomer, Favorite Actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Favorite Supporting Actress - Horror, Sarah Michelle Gellar
Favorite Actor - Horror, Freddie Prinze Jr.
Favorite Actress - Horror, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Favorite Supporting Actor, Ryan Phillippe
MTV Movie Awards
Best Breakthrough Performance, Sarah Michelle Gellar
Young Artist Award
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt