I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer Cast: Madison Iseman, Bill Heck, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman
I Know What You Did Last Summer Creator: Sara Goodman
I Know What You Did Last Summer Stars: 2.5/5
The era of slasher movies seems to have made a comeback considering the revival of the 1997 classic, I Know What You Did Last Summer as well as the recent announcement about Scream. Whether these revivals will appeal to the original fan base of these films seems questionable since their main focus remains to attract a newer crowd. At least that’s the case with the new Amazon Prime series.
If you have watched the original film starring Jennifer Love-Hewit and Freddie Prinze Jr, the plot for the new series remains more or what the same with little tweaks. A bunch of fresh graduates accidentally get into a hit and run and it all comes back haunting the next summer when a bloodthirsty killer is out to seek revenge. A lot of blood was spilled in the original one and the same happens in the series too. In Sara Goodman’s take the tweaks are that the lead protagonists are twin girls Allison and Lennon (Madison Iseman). It’s after leaving a chaotic graduation party that Lennon (Iseman), Margot (Brianne Tju), Johnny (Sebastian Amoruso), Dylan (Ezekiel Goodman) and Riley (Ashley Moore) accidentally kill someone and find themselves in the most dangerous situations, for the next summer.
After watching the first four episodes of the series which were provided to us, without giving away anything, the only thing I can promise you is that the first few episodes itself consist of enough spooks and twists to keep you engaged. As someone who has watched the original film, even though ages ago, I still feel one can only truly feel the fear of unexpected only once. With the plot of the series so close to the original film, the makers do put themselves under the risk of predictability. While one can say Jim Gillespie’s 1997 film was a classic slasher film, the series mixes its genre making it more palatable for young adults. The series adds a bit of sex, drugs, and gender fluidity in the mix, thus making it a combination of a 13 Reasons Why into any template slasher film.
Being someone who does not enjoy watching organs being squished and blood being spilled and splashed across the screen, the I Know What You Did Last Summer does take a fast-paced start, taking no time to bring disgust, fear, and eye-flinching moments right from the word go. Since it’s a series though, one would expect more character development compared to what we get. With 48-minute episodes each, the makers have enough time to dig slightly deeper at least into the protagonists, enough for us to maybe realise whether we should even bother rooting for them.
In the spooky and horror department, it’s all about making something that works on the sensory levels. While there’s blood and guts of goats that convey the red signal to your eyes, the sound department does lack a little behind when it comes to enhancing the jumpscares which have been shot decently well. The lighting works well for most scenes including some scary moments by the beach in the dark and also a cave which happens to be a key location for the big mystery.
The makers of the show will be releasing the first four episodes of the show first followed by a gap within which the rest of the episodes will unfold. Having watched the first four, I’ll have to say I hope that the rest of the episodes are packed with material that will truly engage us in ways more.
Among the many big changes that the series sets itself apart from the film is also with its setting. The show’s story is based in Hawaii, a location that comes with a lot of history if one does wish to explore. In the case of I Know What You Did Last Summer though, the location apart from providing a relief to eyes from the rest of the gore doesn’t add much. We’re yet to learn if it will have any other significance to the story, relating to its natives or more.
In terms of performances, Madison Iseman has a tough job to do considering she plays the twins Allison and Lennon. In terms of their characters, apart from their similar looks, the two have distinct personalities and for Madison to portray that is a difficult job which she pulls of decently well. Among the supporting cast of the show, there’s Ashley Moore’s Riley who makes a strong screen presence and a character you will find interest in.
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The thing about genres like that of horror/slasher films is that most people expect the ending to be the same. Pick any film, Final Destination, Scream and more, all of them seem to end in the same way. The amazing task of converting these stories into series is that there’s more to play. It could be slow-burning, cat and mouse chase between the killer and his targets or it could be a fast-forwarded version with every episode leading to one big death. The idea of sustaining mystery in a TV show seems more viable and while in the first four episodes, I Kno What You Did Last Summer doesn’t make the most of it, I do hope to get surprised in the upcoming episodes.
All in all, for those who enjoy the thrill of watching a group of teenagers being hunted down by a mystery killer amid high tension situations and don’t gag at the sight of blood, this should be your pick.