Follow TV Tropes


Context Film / IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer

Go To

1[[quoteright:300:]] ≤[[caption-width-right:300:Some people ''really'' don't know how to let things go...]]≤≤->''If you're going to bury the truth, make sure it stays buried.''≤-->-- '''{{Tagline}}'''≤≤''I Know What You Did Last Summer'' (1997) is a horror/slasher film very loosely based on [[Literature/IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer the novel of the same name]] by Creator/LoisDuncan, starring Creator/FreddiePrinzeJr, Creator/SarahMichelleGellar, Creator/JenniferLoveHewitt, and Creator/RyanPhillippe. The screenplay was written by Kevin Williamson, who also wrote ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}''.≤≤The tale starts with a party and the consumption of too much alcohol, as these stories tend to do, during a beach party after Helen Shivers (Gellar) wins the Croaker County Beauty Pageant. On the way home, however, a drunken swerve of the friends' car leads to the death of a fisherman on the side of the road. The four decide to tell no one, and to forget the whole thing, throwing the body into the ocean. But somebody saw, and the next summer, they start to take vengeance, warning the four with an ominous message: ''[[TitleDrop I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER]]''. Before long, people start dying, killed by a rain-slicker-clad figure wielding a hook...≤≤The film was followed by two sequels: ''Film/IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer'' (1998) and the straight-to-video ''Film/IllAlwaysKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer'' (2006). In July 2019, it was announced that a television series based on the films was being developed for Creator/PrimeVideo, with Creator/JamesWan serving as a producer.≤≤For tropes applying to the original novel, see [[Literature/IKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer its own page]].≤≤!!This movie contains examples of:≤≤* AdaptedOut: Barry's mother features prominently in the book, and Helen's parents have a couple of scenes too. Helen's father just appears as an extra, and Barry's mother is barely seen.≤* AdaptationDyeJob: Julie is a redhead in the book, and brunette in the film.≤* AdaptationExplanationExtrication:≤** A minor example. Elsa in the book is an overweight bitter girl who's jealous of Helen's beauty and easy success - she has to work long hours and still lives at home, while Helen gets a cushy job as a weather girl and is able to afford a nice apartment. In the movie Elsa is just as beautiful, and Helen has a failed attempt at becoming an actress and gets reduced to working in the family department store. So Elsa's jealousy and dislike of Helen isn't really explained.≤** Elsa still living at home isn't really given an explanation in the film either. Helen's family in the book were struggling financially, with lots of children to look after. Elsa still lives at home to both give her family more money, and look after her younger siblings. Their younger siblings aren't seen or mentioned in the film, and Elsa also has quite a nice job as the supervisor in their parents' department store - so it's unexplained why Elsa is still at home (although we only see her interact with Helen before she goes to bed, so it's possible she does live somewhere else and happened to be at the house that night).≤* AdaptationNameChange:≤** Helen and Elsa's last name Rivers becomes Shivers.≤** The victim goes from David Gregg to David Egan.≤** David's sister goes from Megan to Missy.≤* AdaptationalAttractiveness:≤** Elsa, Helen's sister, is described as very unattractive throughout the book. In the movie, she's just as pretty as Helen is. Elsa was written as plain-looking in the script; the director decided that if Helen is gorgeous, Elsa should be too.≤** Julie has a moment in the book where she notices her mother going grey-haired, and her hands looking very old. None of this is shown in the film, and her mother looks quite youthful.≤* AdaptationalBadass:≤** In the book, Julie is knocked out while Ray fights the killer offscreen. In the film, she helps him fight the killer.≤** Helen likewise [[spoiler: only lives in the book because the killer has gone to target Julie, with a LetsGetDangerous moment of climbing out her apartment window]]. Here she's able to fight the killer off multiple times [[spoiler: but ironically doesn't walk away from their last encounter]].≤* AdaptationalIntelligence:≤** In the film Julie is said to have been an excellent student whose grades are slipping due to the trauma of the accident. It's the opposite in the book - where Julie was a slacker who had to really work hard to improve her grades after the accident.≤** Helen arguably in the book was more naive, bordering on ditzy sometimes (she's oblivious to Barry cheating on her). At the accident, she's at first trying to talk some sense into the boys (she's considering going to the police), doesn't hesitate to fire back at Barry with taunts and helps Julie figure out some of the clues (in the book it was Ray who did this).≤* AdaptationalKarma: Helen in the book suffers no negative consequences from the accident - and in fact gets a nice job as the local weather girl, making her able to afford a posh apartment (an impressive feat for a nineteen-year-old). In the film however Helen's attempts at becoming an actress have failed, and she's reduced to working in her parents' department store.≤* AdaptationalWealth: The book says that Helen's family is fairly poor, with a lot of kids, and Elsa is still at home because her family needs the money. In the film, they own a department store and seem to have a nice house. Helen is the opposite; she's able to afford an apartment of her own in the book, while she's still at home in the film. ≤* AgeLift: Barry is a few years older than the gang in the book. Helen is a year above Julie too, who is still in high school. The film makes all the characters the same age.≤* AlliterativeName: Applied to boats: Ray's boat is the '''B'''illy '''B'''lue while [[spoiler:Ben Willis']] is the '''S'''weet '''S'''usie.≤* ApatheticCitizens: The people at the beauty contest hold Helen back and don't seem the least bit concerned even though she's screaming her head off for someone to help Barry.≤* AssholeVictim: The fine details are up for debate, but this is a slasher film that actually attempts to justify all the various teenagers getting killed; a hit-and-run probably doesn't deserve a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, but it's not the usual innocent batch of campers either. [[spoiler: It's then revealed that the man they hit had just committed a murder himself, and didn't die when they dumped the body in the sea]].≤* BadassLongcoat: The fisherman's raincoat. It's probably no coincidence that [[spoiler: he dies when he's no longer wearing it]].≤* BeautyContest: Helen wins one at the start of the film to become the 'Croaker Queen'. The next year, she rides in the parade and helps officiate the other contest.≤* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: A justified example. The killer cuts off some of Helen's hair while she's asleep, but she reappears for the pageant with it all tidied up. Naturally the killer wouldn't want to give her a reason to miss the parade.≤* BigBad: The Fisherman, [[spoiler:aka Ben Willis.]]≤* BigBrotherBully: Gender Flipped but Elsa spends most of her screen time mocking or belittling Helen.≤* BlackSpot: Julie receives a note saying "I know what you did last summer". [[spoiler: A similar note being found in David Egan's belongings tips her off that he wasn't the man they hit]].≤* BloodFromTheMouth: [[spoiler:Officer Caporizo]] after the Fisherman stabs him.≤* BloodierAndGorier: The villain of the book ''I Know What You Did Last Summer'' never successfully killed anyone, while he kills several in this version.≤* BloodlessCarnage: [[SubvertedTrope Almost]]. The film was originally shot with almost no onscreen blood, but that changed when producer Erik Feig noted that with [[spoiler:Elsaís death]], it would be medically impossible for there ''not'' to be blood. So that scene was reshot with a visual effect of blood splattering on glass.≤* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: [[spoiler: Barry and Helen]] are the ones who dump the body in the river, and they're the ones who die.≤* ChekhovsGunman: Max initially just seems to exist to provide suspense about whether or not they'll get caught after the hit and run.≤* CondensationClue: Or possibly Condensation SequelHook: the writing on the fogged-up shower stall glass at the end of the film, {{Foreshadowing}} the second film's title.≤* DarkSecret: The hit and run that starts the plot.≤* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: Nobody dies in the book. Helen and Barry are killed off, as is Helen's sister Elsa]].≤* DisposingOfABody: The characters did it last summer.≤* DownerEnding: The film ends with [[spoiler: the Fisherman being still alive and attacking Julie [[DeadlyBath while she was showering]] at her college, seemingly killing her. This was {{Retcon}}ed in [[Film/IStillKnowWhatYouDidLastSummer the sequel]] as [[AllJustADream a nightmare she had]].]]≤* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Julie has curly hair in the intro, but it is unkempt after the accident. Notably in the finale segment, it's curly once again.≤* EyeAwaken: The man that protagonists ran over does right after Barry gets on front of his face underwater.≤* FallenPrincess: Helen appears to be such. She's implied to be a popular girl at school, and wins the local beauty pageant at the start. There's also cheerleading memorabilia in her room. But her plans to make it as an actress in New York fail, she and Barry split up and she's reduced to working in a department store.≤* {{Fanservice}}:≤** [[MsFanservice Julie]] in a tight tank top she wears for the final third of the film and [[ModestyTowel only a towel]] at the end. ≤** Helen also walks around wearing [[PaintedOnPants hot pants]] in the second act.≤** Barry {{shirtless|Scene}} in a [[ModestyTowel towel]] after showering.≤* FinalGirl: Julie, who's a far more of an obvious Final Girl compared to her book self - she gets an AdaptationDyeJob to become brunette, is said to be an excellent student, and takes the moral high ground.≤* FreudianExcuse: The killer [[spoiler: is a man who lost his daughter]].≤* FromNobodyToNightmare: The Fisherman. [[spoiler: A seemingly normal local man, he became a serial killer after the loss of his daughter]].≤* GenreSavvy: When the girls go to visit the family of the man they killed, Helen says "[[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Jodie Foster tried this and a serial killer answered the door.]]"≤* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Helen and Elsa, far more so than in the book. Elsa is more obviously the smart sister - in a prominent position at the family department store, more business savvy and [[SmartPeopleWearGlasses she wears glasses]]. Helen is the pretty sister naturally.≤* HooksAndCrooks: The killer carries a gaffing hook.≤* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: All three films take place around the Fourth of July.≤* ImpromptuTracheotomy: Max is killed when the Fisherman impales his throat with the gaff hook he took from him moments prior.≤* InNameOnly: The original book and the film share only character names and a hit-and-run that sets the plot in motion. Everything else is night-and-day -- the Duncan novel is a mystery/drama [[spoiler:in which none of the main characters die]], while the film is a slasher.≤* {{Irony}}: When dumping the body, Barry says to pretend he's a serial killer and they're doing everyone a favour. [[spoiler: It turns out he's ''right'']].≤* ItWasHereISwear: Used repeatedly (and relentlessly). The most egregious example is the dead body and 400 crabs stowed in the trunk of one character, only to disappear equally suddenly. Not only does the body and crabs disappear within minutes, but the trunk's carpet is also pristine clean.≤* {{Jerkass}}: The deputy, who openly disbelieves Helen and not in a respectful way.≤* JerkJock: Barry, but more so in the book. He was a football player and goes to college on scholarship. In the movie he's only shown at the gym once.≤* KidDetective: referenced but mostly averted when Helen and Julie go to the Egen's house and Helen nervously references ''Series/MurderSheWrote''. They're also a little older than most versions of this trope.≤* {{Meganekko}}: Helen's sister Elsa is shown to be just as beautiful as her, and she also wears glasses when working in the shop.≤* MenacingStroll: While going after Helen, the Fisherman chooses to calmly stride after her while she's running away in panic.≤* MistakenForMurderer: Julie [[spoiler:wrongly accuses Barry of having been the murderer all along.]]≤* ModestyTowel: ≤** Barry covers himself in one showering in the gym's locker room.≤** Julie walks around in a towel in TheStinger while talking to Ray on the phone and getting ready to shower. [[spoiler:But her [[InterruptedBath shower is delayed]] when she sees the [[CondensationClue "I STILL KNOW" message written on the foggy door]].]]≤* MoralMyopia: [[spoiler: Benís anger at losing his own daughter motivating his crimes]]. feels weak and hypocritical when heís prepared to kill the Shivers sisters daughters after seeing their father while sneaking through the house and knowing [[spoiler: he'd be causing another family the same pain]]. especially given how Elsa was completely innocent of hitting him.≤* NobodyHereButUsStatues: The Fisherman pretends to be a mannequin in Helen's workplace to have a surprise attack on her after she passes him.≤* NotQuiteDead: The Fisherman shows signs of movement right before they dump the body. [[spoiler: It turns out he lived after all]].≤* OffScreenTeleportation: Max's body vanishes from the trunk of Julie's car. Although given that she ran the rest of the way to Helen's house, had to explain what happened to the other two and then walk back - it does give the killer ''some'' time to move it if he was following Julie from her house. And if Helen's house is further away than we assume from when Julie gets out of the car. [[spoiler: The killer however inexplicably appears out of nowhere to kill Helen when she escapes from the department store]].≤* PeekabooCorpse: [[spoiler:While trying to hide from the Fisherman inside his boat, Julie discovers the bodies of Helen and Barry on ice.]]≤* PickOnSomeoneYourOwnSize: Intergender example; the crazed fisherman is obsessed with killing Julie James and friends after [[spoiler:they hit him with their car. He got better.]]≤* PoliceAreUseless: The inept cop who dismisses Helen as a hysteric [[spoiler: and ends up getting hooked himself.]]≤* PunkInTheTrunk: Julie discovers the crab-covered body of Max in the trunk of her car. After she brings her co-conspirators to see it, it has disappeared.≤* RedHerring: ≤** [[spoiler: When Julie tells Helen about the note, there are a couple of shots of Elsa looking at them. Elsa is also said to have been in David Egan's class at school. In the book Elsa is also a suspect]].≤** Max is initially assumed to be behind the note, as the only person the teens saw that night. ≤** [[spoiler: Missy is also introduced in a way that makes her seem like she could be a suspect too]].≤* TheReveal: [[spoiler: The killer is Ben Willis (the guy the group actually hit) and not David Egan (who they thought they hit, and who Ben actually killed) or someone trying to avenge him.]]≤* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The Fisherman after he's left for dead.≤* RuleOfSymbolism: The accident and cover-up symbolize the loss of innocence from childhood to adulthood. The protagonists are teenagers graduating from high school, and the plot takes place after they've spent a year trying to live as adults. Helen notably has become a FallenPrincess, Julie was once a straight-A student whose grades are slipping, and Barry was once the BigManOnCampus that ends up in the hospital. The characters lamenting how they can't go back to how their lives were before the accident parallels how they can't become innocent again.≤* RunningOverThePlot: What they did last summer was run over a pedestrian walking on a coastal road and put the body in the water. The twist is that [[spoiler:he didn't actually die, and he's back for revenge.]]≤* SacrificialLamb: Max, whose death was added in reshoots, after filmmakers realized they needed to show that the killer posed a threat.≤* SassyBlackWoman: Julie's college roommate Deb.≤--> "Get your white as death, chalky corpse in that car ''now''."≤* SchrodingersCanon: A lot of stuff about the character's families, such as Julie's mother having sensed something was wrong the night of the accident and Helen's MiddleChildSyndrome, given that Elsa is the only of her siblings confirmed to exist in the movie. ≤* SettingUpdate: The book was set in the 70s, and a plot point was one character being a Vietnam veteran. The film is updated to the 90s.≤* SexyDiscretionShot: Ray and Julie make out at the beach and she takes off her jacket. Ray asks, "Are you sure?" She nods, and they both fall on the sand kissing as the camera pans away.≤* ShirtlessScene: Barry gets one after [[ShowerScene taking a shower at a gym]] and coming out in a ModestyTowel where he finds his own note from the Fisherman.≤* SlashersPreferBlondes: Of the killerís targets, [[spoiler:the blond Barry and Helen are killed while the dark-haired Julie and Ray survive]].≤* TheStinger: The film closes with [[spoiler: Julie back at college a year later, about to take a shower when she sees the words [[CondensationClue "I STILL KNOW" written in the steam-covered door]], seconds before The Fisherman smashes through the glass and rushes towards her.]]≤* StrangerBehindTheMask: [[spoiler:The twist is that David Egan is in fact ''not'' the man the teens hit with the car. It's actually the man who murdered him - though this is foreshadowed earlier in the film]].≤* TimeSkip: After the climax, the ending of the film happens ''"One year later..."''≤* TokenBlackFriend: Julie has a sassy black roommate in college called Deb. ≤* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Julie's more studious and career-oriented than tomboyish but Helen has the GirlyGirl half of the dynamic down.≤* TraumaticHaircut: The killer cuts off some of Helen's hair while she's asleep. The next scene has her wearing a cap to hide it, but it's been tidied up by the time she rides in the parade.≤* TrueBlueFemininity: The dress that Helen wears in the Croaker Queen pageant is a light blue. Very fitting for a feminine pageant queen.≤* UnexplainedAccent: Anne Heche for some reason puts on a southern accent for her role as Missy. As we never hear her brother David speak, it's unclear why she has this voice.≤* VillainBall: The Fisherman sure does pass up a lot of opportunities to kill those teens. Somewhat justified, as his intent is not only to kill them, but to make them squirm and be afraid. Still, [[spoiler:Willis' quest for revenge threatens to expose his murder of David Egan, which he would've been clear of completely thanks to the teens]]. ≤* WeUsedToBeFriends: After visiting Missy's house, Julie and Helen have this exchange in the car.≤--> '''Helen:''' What ever happened to us? We used to be best friends.\≤'''Julie:''' We used to be a lot of things, Helen.≤≤----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: