Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy Norwood, Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson, Bill Cobbs, Matthew Settle, Jeffrey Combs, Jennifer Esposito, John Hawkes, Ellerine Harding, Benjamin Brown, Red West, Michael P. Byrne, Michael Bryan French, Dee Anne Helsel, John Harrington Bland, Mark Boone Junior
Written by: Trey Callaway, based on characters created by Lois Duncan
Directed by: Danny Cannon
MPAA Rating: R for intense terror violence and gore, strong language and some drug use
Running Time: 100
Date: 11/13/1998
IMDB

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

1 Star (out of 4)

'Still' Street Blues

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I'm not one of those stuffy reviewers who hates horror movies as a general rule. To prove this, I want to highly recommend Jacques Tourneur's Curse of the Demon (1957), a brilliant, atmospheric horror classic that briefly appears on the television in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Those few seconds of footage are about all that's worth recommending from this new movie, directed by Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd).

Jennifer Love Hewitt (from TV's "Party of Five") returns as Julie James, the character from I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) who accidentally killed a man in a car accident, was stalked by that same man (who wore a rain slicker and branded a fishing hook), and then lived to tell the tale. Now she's away at school, and has some new friends; Brandy (TV's "Moesha"), Mekhi Phifer (Clockers), and Matthew Settle. After the opening "scary" dream sequence (which screams out "dream sequence!!!") she wins a radio contest and is off on a trip to the Bahamas for four.

When they arrive, they find out that there's a catch. It's storm season, and everyone is gone. Their hotel sports only a skeleton staff. Virtually everyone in the cast gets themselves chopped up, slashed, and butchered in various ways, for the most part because they've been caught doing something incredibly stupid. After decades of horror movies, characters still don't know not to split up. ("You stay here in this dark room while I look around -- you'll be safe here.") Female characters also insist on wearing either flimsy clothing or very little clothing while being chased (not that I mind that so much...). On top of that, I was able to spot the killer in less than 10 minutes of screen time.

Writer Kevin Williamson, who wrote both smart and witty Scream movies and adapted the original I Know What You Did Last Summer declined to pen this sequel, despite what would have been a considerable amount of money. Now I can see why.

It's frustrating, not to mention insulting. After the success of the Scream movies, you would think that horror movies would begin to be more challenging. But studio executives have failed to see that the winning formula is a smart screenplay. All they see is a film with lots of blood and guts, and young actors from popular TV shows. This is the formula they're trying to repeat.

There's an idea for a new horror film -- stupid studio executives get themselves hacked to death by an angry film critic for making stupid movies.

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