I Know What You Did Last Summer

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I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jim Gillespie
Produced by William S. Beasley
Neal H. Mortiz
Stokely Chaffin
Screenplay by Kevin Williamson
Based on I Know What You Did Last Summer by
Lois Duncan
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Music by John Debney
Cinematography Denis Crossan
Editing by Steve Mirkovich
Studio Mandalay Entertainment
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates October 17, 1997
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million (est)[1]
Box office $125,586,134

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.[2] It was also nominated for and won multiple awards.[3] As a result the film has been parodied and referenced in popular culture.[4]

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, her boyfriend Ray, Julie's best friend Helen, and her boyfriend Barry - drive to an isolated beach after drinking at a party. They talk about their futures, then discuss the urban legend about a young couple who find a hook attached to their car door. Ray, the only sober member of the group, drives them home. Distracted by Barry spilling alcohol in the car, Ray accidentally hits a random stranger on the road.

The group argues over what has happened, knowing the police will not believe it was an accident. Another vehicle appears in the distance. The driver is another local teenager, Max. Julie convinces him that they pulled over because Barry got sick and he drives on. Barry suggests they dispose of the body. Julie feels that they should go to the police, but Barry, drunk and enraged, demands that no one be told, and Helen takes his side. They take the body down to the nearby docks and prepare to dump it in the water; however, the man suddenly revives and attacks them and grabs Helen's tiara before falling into the ocean and presumably drowning. Barry jumps in the water and rips the tiara from his hand.

One year later, college freshman Julie is home for the summer and her mother notices that she seems distant. One morning Julie's mother gives her a letter that arrived with no return address; inside is a folded piece of paper with the message: "I Know What You Did Last Summer!" Panicked that their secret got out, Julie contacts Helen and Barry. Barry claims that nobody can know but Julie recalls how Max drove by.

Barry immediately suspects Max and the trio head down to the docks where Max works as a fisherman. They also find Ray working on a fishing boat. He tries to patch up his broken relationship with Julie, but she runs off. Barry boards Max's boat to talk to him in private. Max claims to have no idea what Barry is talking about but Barry gets carried away and threatens Max with a hook. Soon after that, Max is impaled through the chin by a figure in a rain slicker with a hook.

Later that evening, Barry works out at the gym. He hears a sound in the locker room but sees nothing until he returns to his locker, where he finds a Polaroid photo of his BMW with a message written on the back: "I know." Rushing out of the locker room, Barry sees his car back off down the road. He chases it and the driver tries to run him down. The driver, wearing a dark fisherman's rainslicker and wielding a large hook, gets out and stands over him. Barry ends up in the hospital but is unable to tell the police anything about the person's identity other than that he wore a black rainslicker and carried a hook.

Julie reveals that she has been doing some investigating and explains that the name of the person they hit was David Egan. Thinking that David survived and is staying with 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, 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 through the back door, going upstairs and hiding in her bedroom closet. The next morning, she is horrified to see that someone has slashed her hair in the night, put her tiara in her bed and written "Soon" in lipstick on her vanity mirror.

Helen calls Barry and Julie to hurry over. On her way, Julie hears a strange sound coming from her car and upon opening the trunk she finds Max's dead body, covered in crabs and Barry's missing jacket. She quickly gets Helen and Barry but when they come outside, the trunk is empty. Barry and Helen assume Julie was 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; 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.

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.

Meanwhile, 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 is further researching 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.

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.



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.


I Know What You Did Last Summer (Original Motion Picture Score)
Film score (Digital download)/Audio CD by John Debney
Released October 7, 1997
Length 50:44
Label Super Tracks Music Group
  1. A New Beginning (Julie's Theme) [1:52]
  2. Barry's Underwater Adventure [2:33]
  3. Homecoming [0:53]
  4. Crabhouse Gaffing [1:10]
  5. Someone's Watchin'/Chased [3:26]
  6. Missy's Story [2:10]
  7. The Houseguest [1:57]
  8. A Little 'Trim'/Trunk Surprise [3:12]
  9. His Name Was.../Car Trouble [3:29]
  10. Hiding the Body [3:15]
  11. In Pursuit of Helen [2:50]
  12. The Note [1:39]
  13. Gaffing Barry/Missy's Home [3:19]
  14. No Escape For Helen [2:32]
  15. Julie Discovers the Truth [3:21]
  16. The Night Softly Whispers [1:49]
  17. Fond Memories [0:43]
  18. Julie Takes a Cruise [2:56]
  19. Taking a Stand [1:09]
  20. Final Confrontation [4:03]
  21. Julie Takes a Shower [1:20]


I Know What You Did Last Summer (The Album)
Soundtrack album (Digital download)/Audio CD by Various
Released October 7, 1997
Length 51:14
Label Sony Music
  1. "Hush" by Kula Shaker (2:55)
  2. "Summer Breeze" by Type O Negative (4:57)
  3. "D.U.I." by The Offspring (2:26)
  4. "Kid" by Green Apple Quick Step (3:17)
  5. "This Ain't the Summer of Love" by L7 (3:09)
  6. "Losin' It" by Soul Asylum (3:01)
  7. "Hey Bulldog" by Toad the Wet Sprocket (2:31)
  8. "My Baby's Got the Strangest Ways" by Southern Culture on the Skids (3:59)
  9. "Waterfall" by The Din Pedals (3:47)
  10. "Clumsy" by Our Lady Peace (4:27)
  11. "One Hundred Days" by Flick (3:40)
  12. "Great Life" by Goatboy (3:50)
  13. "2 Wicky" by Hooverphonic (4:44)
  14. "Don't Mean Anything" by Adam Cohen (3:43)
  15. "Proud" by Korn (3:17)


The film received mostly mixed-to-negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, 36% of comments were positive.[5] In another review, Metacritic reported an aggregate score of 52 out of 100.[6] Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review, "The best shot in this film is the first one. Not a good sign."[7]

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.[8]

Home media[edit]

I Know What You Did Last Summer has been released on DVD and Blu-ray. Special features include an audio commentary by the filmmakers, a 'making-of' featurette, a music video and a short film directed by Jim Gillespie.[9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Result
1997 ASCAP Award Top Box Office Films, John Debney Won
1998 Saturn Award Best Horror Film Nominated
1998 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Female Newcomer, Favorite Actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt Won
1998 Favorite Supporting Actress – Horror, Sarah Michelle Gellar Won
1998 Favorite Actor – Horror, Freddie Prinze Jr. Nominated
1998 Favorite Actress – Horror, Jennifer Love Hewitt Nominated
1998 Favorite Supporting Actor, Ryan Phillippe Nominated
1998 IHG Award Best Movie Nominated
1998 MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Performance, Sarah Michelle Gellar Nominated
1998 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress, Jennifer Love Hewitt Nominated


  1. ^ "I Know What You Did Last Summer - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Daily Box Office Calendar". Box Office Mojo. 
  3. ^ "I Know What You Did Last Summer - Awards". Internet Movie Database. 
  4. ^ "Wayans Brothers' Comedy Style A Hit In 'Scary Movie'". Jet (magazine) 98: 58. 14 August 2000. 
  5. ^ "I Know What You Did Last Summer Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  6. ^ "I Know What You Did Last Summer, Reviews, Ratings, Credits". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger. "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Chicago Sun-Times (review). Retrieved 2007-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Movie Review: 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'". Entertainment Weekly. 24 October 1997. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  9. ^ "I Know What You Did Last Summer (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2012-08-12. 

External links[edit]