I’ll come right out and admit from the start that I’m a big fan of I Know What You Did Last Summer and its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.
As a huge lover of all things Scream, I dig the teen slasher subgenre that exploded in the late ’90s. Because I enjoy the tone and cast from the first films so much, I couldn’t help but be wary of watching the third installment in the franchise. None of the cast members from the first two films were on board for this, so I decided I wasn’t either. Until last night, while scrolling through the free streaming channel Crackle, I came across I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.
I decided I had to face my fear, overcome my prejudice, and have one last showdown with The Fisherman.
Here are some stream of consciousness-style thoughts I had while watching the last entry in the Summer series. There are some minor, vague spoilers below.
-“Okay, the title’s not horrible. I Know, I Still Know, I’ll Always know… that’s threatening. The Fisherman has a great memory.”
-“Alright, this is going to be a completely separate film. This has little to no connection to the first two.”
-“Why is this set in Colorado? They’re talking about the legend of the fisherman, but wasn’t the original film set off the coast of North Carolina? Did The Fisherman move? Why is he wearing a full on fisherman’s slicker when there are no bodies of water featured in this movie?”
-“Oh, I bet there was a tax credit for the state of Colorado in 2005 or ’06. Alright…”
-“What was the budget for this?”
-“Ok, The Fisherman is still pretty scary. Maybe that will be the hook that redeems this film…”
-“Haha… ‘hook’ … that joke’s about as good as this movie.”
-“They’ve committed a crime, they feel guilty, they make a pact. ‘Amber’ is our new ‘Julie’… They’re homaging the original… or remaking it… or they know what fans of the franchise expect, so they incorporated those tropes. I appreciate that.”
-“Ok, wtf is going on with the editing? There’s a rapid set of flash cuts in every scene. Is this supposed to convey tension?”
-“What happened with casting? No one is trying or seems to believe the situation. Is it the actors’ fault or the casting director’s? Maybe they held local auditions and hired volunteers from the community?”
-“This cinematography reminds me of those re-enactments on true crime shows.”
-“Who sold the rights to this franchise? Did I Still Know do so poorly at the box office that no one cared about this property anymore?”
At this point, I had more questions than answers and turned to the internet for an explanation. Surprisingly, for a sequel to a successful movie franchise, there’s little information online about the making of this movie.
-“This is the director’s first ‘big’ movie… wait, why did they entrust the third installment of this movie franchise to someone with so little experience?”
-“Oh! This director (Sylvain White) directs a lot of television now. He directs crime shows like CSI. That’s the reason this looks and feels like a Syfy original movie.”
-“Alright. I have to STOP comparing this to the original movies. It’s not going to be like those. Let it go. Accept what’s happening in front of you.”
-“Why are these ‘friends’ so mean to one another? They’ve been through a lot together, but they’re all so angry.”
-“Someone was discovered dead. That’s your cue to react appropriately.”
-“Was that cop seriously just hitting on her after what they just discovered?”
-“Ok, the thought of The Fisherman sitting down and taking his time to create a collage that spells out ‘SOON’ with pictures of our main cast is just endearing. I wonder what other craft projects he enjoys… ”
-“Ahh! Ok, I was scared by that one part. There is at least one successful jump scare.”
-“The run time could have been cut down by at least 10 minutes.”
-“Woahh! WTF is wrong with his face?!”
-“Um, what? A supernatural twist?”
-“One minute the hook was the only thing that could hurt him but now a piece of farming equipment has this magical ability?”
-“Why did this happen? Did everyone but me (including all the people who made this movie) stop caring about the quality of this franchise back in the ’90s?”
Then it ended, and I was able to answer my own question. Yes, everyone involved stopped caring about this a long time ago. Maybe my expectations were too high. I’ll always want to go back to the ’90s and experience films like I Know What You Did Last Summer with fresh eyes. This movie is not that. It’s a separate entity with a different feeling, cast, setting, and budget. The viewer should know to adjust their standards and expectations accordingly before diving in.
Back in 2014, Sony announced plans to reboot the franchise with Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) and Jeff Howard attached to write the script. It was rumored this adaptation would be more heavily influenced by Lois Duncan’s book which the 1997 version was loosely based on. Now, almost two years later, there have been no updates on a new I Know What You Did Last Summer film.
Perhaps that’s for the best. Some things should stay buried and shouldn’t be resurrected every summer. Though we will always remember.
Have you seen I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer? Leave your thoughts and opinions below!
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