Okay, okay, so I’m cheating a little bit. First I let so much time go between posts, then I have the nerve to make a Fab Flick Friday pick on a Saturday? But I can explain. Contrary to what you may be thinking, my lapse in blogging is not because I’ve been busy watching too much Mad Men, mourning Friday Night Lights, or Google-stalking Tom Hardy. I’ve just been focusing on my – dare I say it? – other writing. (Can we still be friends?) As for the switching up of movie night – it’s Halloween weekend, and it’s cold and rainy. I don’t know about you, but that tells me it’s the perfect time to make some hot cocoa, pop some Orville Redenbacher and watch the teen slasher hit, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Listen, don’t judge me for not picking something scarier. If you were a sixteen-year-old girl when this movie came out, you’d have a special fondness for it too.
1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer is about four teens who accidentally hit someone with their car, then decide to dump the body. Of course, a year later they receive a note that reads…well, you know the movie’s title, you know what it says. They proceed to get terrorized, haunted, and chased down by a crazy fisherman with a hook.
It’s pretty awesome.
The cast of this movie reads like a dream come true for the late-‘90s YM magazine crowd. It stars Party of Five’s Jennifer Love Hewitt as Julie, the girl with the loudest scream and the most plagued conscience, and Buffy herself – Sarah Michelle Gellar – as beauty queen Helen. And okay, maybe part of the appeal of this movie has something to do with the really cute guys. Though his portrayal of the sensitive Ray was pre-She’s All That, I’d already developed a soft spot for Freddie Prinze Jr. before this movie was released, having adored his turn as the title character in the ABC After School Special, Too Soon for Jeff. (Look, Jessica Alba was in it too. It was quality TV.) And then there’s Ryan Phillippe, the arrogant, possibly alcoholic Barry, whose shower scene and white tank top might have been the main reason I saw I Know What You Did Last Summer three times in the theater.
Maybe the Paranormal Activity generation wouldn’t exactly appreciate how scary a guy in a raincoat can be, and the fact that Julie has to research details of the accident on microfilm at the library might seem less dramatic when now she could just Google it on her iPhone. But personally, I am so glad that I came of age during the Scream through Urban Legend era. Like the other clever films from that genre, I Know What You Did Last Summer has elements of romance (“Nobody gets me like you do”/“I understand your pain”), suspense (you KNEW something was going to happen during that parade!), and laugh-out-loud humor. (Barry’s best line to Ray: “You got a letter? I got run over.”) And still, it’s filled with those moments of jump-out-of-your-seat, spill-your-popcorn fear. (No spoilers if you haven’t seen it. I’ll only say: DRESS SHOP.)
So if you’re looking to avoid the rain, snow, and drunk college kids that will surely be out this weekend, I might recommend staying in with Ray, Julie, Barry and Helen. And if you do venture out, don’t forget to wear your slicker.
Just be sure to leave your hook at home.