I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Directed by Sylvain White
Produced by Amanda Cohen, Erik Feig, Neal H. Moritz, Nancy Kirhoffer
Written by Michael D. Weiss
Director of Photograpy Stephen M. Katz
Music by Justin Caine Burnett
Cast: Brooke Nevin, Ben Easter, Torrey DeVitto, David Paetkau, Seth Packard
2006/91 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD
Direct-to-DVD sequels have become such a part of the landscape that I hardly notice them anymore. It's rarely surprising when a studio rolls out a follow-up to a movie, even if a sequel is unnecessary or even illogical. (It's gotten to the point where I'm never surprised when an animated Disney sequel arrives.) But, I must admit that I was surprised when I read the announcement for I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. Really? Despite the fact that I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER made money, I'd assumed that the film's lack of quality had killed the series. Silly me. I should know that you can't keep a horror series down.
I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER takes place in the small town of Broken Ridge, Colorado. As the film opens, we see a group of friends attending a Fourth of July carnival. Amber (Brooke Nevin) and her boyfriend, Colby (David Paetkau), are joined by their friends Roger (Seth Packard), Zoe (Torrey DeVitto), Kelly (Star LaPointe) and Kim (Brittanie Nicole Leary). They see Lance (Ben Easter) working a booth and also chat with PJ (Clay Taylor). Colby and Roger begin to tell the girls about the legend of The Fisherman, a psychotic killer who supposedly stalked and killed a group of teens on July 4th years ago. Suddenly, The Fisherman appears and attacks Colby. He then chases PJ, who flees on his skateboard. Much to everyone's horror, PJ goes to the top of a parking garage and skates off of the side. While the crowd is shrieking in fear, Roger, Colby and Amber are all laughing as this was part of an elaborate hoax that they had devised, with Roger posing as The Fisherman. There's only one problem -- the mattresses which had been laid out for PJ to land on have been moved and PJ has fallen to his death. Lance and PJ's father, Sheriff Davis (Michael Flynn), are distraught. Amber, Colby, Roger, and Zoe make a pact that they will never tell anyone, and Roger promises to destroy the hook used in the prank (which he claims is the real hook used by the original killer.)
The action then jumps ahead one year. Amber has graduated from high school and plans to join Colby in Los Angeles, where he has gone to college. But, she's surprised to see Colby at a party, where he tells her that they should break up. She also sees Lance, who is working locally, and still disturbed by the death of his cousin. That night, Amber receives a text message on her cell phone -- "I know what you did last summer." She approaches Colby, but he dismisses her. She then goes to Zoe, with whom she has lost touch, but Zoe is busy with her band and doesn't want to see Amber. Amber feels very alone, until one of the group is murdered and suddenly everyone becomes very paranoid. Who is threatening them? Is it Lance? Is it Sheriff Davis? Amber take a proactive approach and decides to find out who the stalker is, but her resolve is shaken when The Fisherman arrives on the scene.
The surprise that I felt when I saw the announcement for I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was the last surprise that I was going to get, as this film does everything by the numbers (sort of). What can I say about a sequel to two movies which were derivative, banal slasher flicks? (Although to be fair, I thought that I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was well-shot.)
Even if one ignores the fact that I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is a sequel and views it as a stand-alone film, it still has its share of problems. The movie stumbles quite early as the prank and the death of PJ are fairly lame and while it's easy to understand why the kids are hesitant to come forward, the event doesn't pack any kind of emotional punch. (It certainly pales in comparison to the auto accident and dumping of the body in the first film.) The characters aren't very engaging and while Brooke Nevin is good as Amber, the fact that she looks like she's in her mid 20s (which she is) makes it hard to believe that she's a high-school senior. The movie gets very tedious in the middle and there's way too much talking and not enough stalking. This situation isn't helped by the fact that director Sylvain White has over-directed the movie. Nearly every scene contains jump-cuts, flash-frames, slow-motion, or time-lapse photography. It's not unusual for a horror director to go for a "style over substance" approach, but the filmmaking style here is distracting.
I actually exaggerated earlier when I said that the film doesn't offer any surprises. During the final act, the story takes a huge turn that takes the movie (and supposedly the series) in a whole new direction. There is nothing at all wrong with this and the makers of I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER should be applauded for trying something new. The problem is that this revelation is incredibly vague and not only does it not make sense, it doesn't gel with the rest of the film. Those who were rolling their eyes at the first 2/3 of the movie will most likely turn it off when the twist is revealed.
I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is one of those movies that is what it is. It's a cut-rate slasher film that offers a basic plot, teenaged (but not really) characters/victims, and a masked killer. While I must admit that I liked the TENEBRE-esque point in the film where all of the possible suspects have been eliminated, the rest of the movie was trite and the twist was ludicrous. Trust me, I'll always know that this wasn't a very good movie.
I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER gets hooked on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image looks OK, but there is a noticeable sheen of grain on the image which can be distracting at times. This is visible because so many shots contain the brightly lit Utah landscape. The colors are good and the framing appears to be accurate. There were no notable defects from the source print, but I didn't see some mild video noise. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and like so many Sony DVDs, the audio is very good. The track delivers clear dialogue with no distortion. The surround sound is certainly above average as the rear speakers are constantly in action and the sound-in-speaker as compared to on-screen action is impeccable. There is also a nice use of subwoofer and the musical cues sound fine.
The DVD features two extras. Director Sylvain White provides an AUDIO COMMENTARY where he mostly focuses on the technical details of the shoot. He talks about locations and how things were shot, but only occasionally mentions the story or the characters. He does mention how locations and available items were used to augment the story. "The Making of I'LL ALWAYS KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER" is a 27-minute featurette which contains behind-the-scenes footage and comments from the cast and crew. There is a lengthy interview with White, and the segment looks at the characters, the FX makeup, and the storyboarding, but no one ever talks about why the film was made.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©