*** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- Some Secrets Will Haunt You Forever!
Release Date- November 13th, 1998
Running Time- 100-Minutes
Screenplay- Trey Callaway
Director- Danny Cannon
Starring- Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, Jennifer Esposito
By the time 1998 rolled the slasher film was once again popular, but this time the biggest difference is these films were now embraced by Hollywood. After the success of I Know What You Did Last Summer the sequel was rushed into production and came out just a little over a year later. When it comes to 90s horror Kevin Williamson is the first name that will come to mind and Williamson of course wrote Scream & IKWYDLS the two films that re-popularized the slasher film and that’s really what’s missing here as this one while in my opinion a fun film does lack the Kevin Williamson touch. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was met with mixed reviews and is far inferior to the original, but with that said it does offer up enough fun and while it’ll never go down as one of the great slashers I would rate it as one of my favorites of the 90s. It’s just a fun film you can kick back and relax with.
1-year after the events of the original film, Julie (Hewitt) is still in college and still dealing with the events from her past and her relationship with Ray (Prinze Jr.). But when she and her friend Carla (Brandy) win a trip to the Bahamas they expect to have some fun, but Ben Willis (Muse Watson) the Fisherman shows up and begins to kill off the staff members at the hotel as he works his way to Julie.
The screenplay was written by Trey Calloway and the opening act is very much a rewrite of the original film as it focuses on Julie’s guilt over the events of the hit and run as well as her encounter with the fisherman. Even though the script early on is a total rehash and while it lacks the cleverness of Kevin Williamson’s writing it is however the strongest aspect of the script. In someways its like two films were written as once we get to the Bahamas the script takes a much lighter tone and it bares no resemblance to the opening as suddenly Julie is over her guilt. While the script does form its own identity the characters are more or less the same as the original. Bottom line is the script is nowhere near the level of the original, but it’s fairly entertaining, but the biggest flaw is the needless and silly plot twist in the final act. Trey Calloway isn’t Kevin Williamson, but he does deliver a fairly entertaining script that works best early on despite being a complete rehash, but Calloway does however always manage to keep the script fun.
Director Danny Cannon delivers a fun movie and while he seems content on following the same exact style of Jim Gillespie only he does this without the suspense and tension found in the first film. With that said however, Cannon does manage some decent scenes of suspense it spots. Unlike the first film, which works as both a thriller and slasher film, I Still Know is at its most fun and strongest when playing up to slasher conventions. The pace of the film starts off strong with a more serious tone, but once the film shifts locations and opts for a more fun tone the pace can be sluggish in spots. When all is said and done, Danny Cannon does craft a fun film with some well staged death scenes, but just don’t expect as good a film of the original and take I Still Know for what it is and you might find yourself enjoying it.
When it comes to the 90s Jennifer Love Hewitt is one of the teen queens and perhaps in someways the 90s version of Molly Ringwald. While Jennifer may not be known for horror films as she’s only done two I would still rate her as a scream queen as she has all the qualities. She has the girl next door look (only smoking hot) and she always had a clean image as you never read about her in the tabloids. In some of her films, like I Still Know, the makers of the film did play up to her sexuality, but she never exploited herself. A lot of young females regardless of if its film or music at some point drop the clean image and very much play up to their sexuality to better market themselves and than there are others who are more famous for their private lives than their work. I’ve never met Jennifer so I can’t sit here and tell you what she’s like in her personal life, but she always kept it classy in her films and personal life and never sold herself out for more fame and fortune and she very much seems like someone a young girl could aspire to be like. Her casting in the I Know movies were perfect as she again very much fits everything her character is like.
I think part of the problem here with I Still Know is while the original film had a solid story and perhaps a little more than most slasher films, but the way the story goes it doesn’t leave many options for a sequel unless its turned into a body count film. The original worked well as a mystery, but here we know who the killer is and if it was a new killer it may be too much like Scream. When it comes to sequels lets be honest just about all of them really aren’t needed, but some work better than others and I just think I Still Know is hindered by its concept since the mystery is now gone. But than again did Fridsy the 13th and Halloween really need all those sequels? But something just flowed better in most of them and of course they were made to cash in on the originals, but yet they still worked for the most part whereas I Still Know seems a lot more pointless. Regardless its still an entertaining film and while the pace can be an issue in spots, but I’ll admit I enjoyed this one perhaps more than when originally released.