I Know What You Did Last Summer: Wikis


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I Know What You Did Last Summer
Directed by Jim Gillespie
Produced by William S. Beasley
Neal H. Mortiz
Stokely Chaffin
Written by Kevin Williamson
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Johnny Galecki
Bridgette Wilson
Anne Heche
Muse Watson
Music by John Debney
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Mandalay Pictures
Release date(s) United States
October 17, 1997
November 27, 1997
United Kingdom
December 12, 1997
New Zealand
February 12, 1998
Running time 100 minutes
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $17,000,000
Gross revenue $125,500,000
Followed by I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a 1997 horror/slasher film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr.. The screenplay was written by Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream, and very loosely based on a popular novel of the same title by Lois Duncan. The film was followed by the sequels, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and the straight-to-DVD I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, which did not star any of the cast from the previous two films. The film received mixed reviews from critics. However, the film was highly successful, grossing $125,500,000 at the box office. It was also nominated for and won multiple awards. As a result, along with the film's massive cult following, the film has been heavily parodied and referenced in popular culture.



After teenager Helen Rivers wins the Channel Five Golden Girl Contest, she and her boyfriend Barry Cox party on the beach with their friends: Julie James and her boyfriend Ray. As they swerve home along a shoreline road, they accidentally hit a fisherman when a drunk Barry drops his liquor bottle and distracts Ray's driving. They don't turn to the police, fearing their post-high school dreams will be shattered. Barry convinces his reluctant friends to help him dispose of their victim's body. The four take the body to the pier and dump it in the water, and swear each other to secrecy.

A year later, after her first year at college, Julie returns home. There, she receives a mysterious letter which reads, "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER!" Julie reports the letter to Helen, who never made it to New York, and works at a department store, under the supervision of her elder sister Elsa. Helen and Julie head off to find Barry, who is the only one of the four who has felt little or no guilt from the incident. He immediately suspects a friend named Max, who had seen them the night of the accident, of sending the letter. Julie remarks that the man was still alive when they dumped him in the water. The police found a body caught in a shrimp net near the area three weeks after the incident last year, and he was identified as David Egan.

Later, Max is murdered by a man wielding a hook. Barry goes for a workout and after he finished, someone almost kills him with a car. Julie and Ray visit Barry in the hospital, where he and Helen await them. Doing some quick research, Helen and Julie discover that two years ago, David Egan accidentally killed his girlfriend, Susie, in the same location that they ran him over. They find the location of David’s sister, Missy Egan, and they decide to visit her to gather information. During the course of their conversation, Missy mentions Billy Blue, a young handsome man, who visited her, saying he was best friends with David Egan. Julie and Helen now suspect that David’s friend Billy Blue is trying to avenge his friend’s death.

Julie drives Helen home. The fisherman enters the house and hides in Helen's closet. The next morning, Helen awakens to find herself wearing her old "Croaker Queen" crown. To her horror, her hair has been cut off to the shoulder and left on her pillow; the word "SOON" is written in lipstick on her mirror. Helen promptly calls Barry and Julie, both of whom she tells about the incident. While rushing over in her car, Julie hears a scratching noise in her trunk. She stops the car to investigate, and finds the murdered Max wearing Barry's stolen jacket with crabs crawling all over the corpse. Julie screams, shuts her trunk and flees for Helen's. Barry and Helen come to see but the trunk is now empty. Julie speculates that the fisherman must have taken the body, perhaps to demonstrate that he can set them up with it if they try to go to the police. He's just "out there watching and waiting."

The next day, Helen is due to participate in the Croaker Queen Pageant, but is frightened that the fisherman will attack her. Before the pageant, Barry holds Helen tightly and promises he will protect her. However, the Fisherman attacks Barry from behind on the secluded balcony while Helen partakes in the pageant and Helen sees this. She begins to shout and cry for someone to help him, but the crowd restrains her, thinking she's insane, and Barry is murdered during the commotion. A policeman escorts her home via police car but is forced to take a back alley. The fisherman sets up a car block in this alley and impales the policeman with his hook when he comes to investigate. Helen escapes the car before the killer can reach her and manages to run to her sister Elsa's store, where she tells Elsa to quickly lock the doors and runs upstairs to phone for help. Elsa goes around locking the doors, not sure of what Helen is talking about. When Elsa locks the back door of the shop, she turns to see the fisherman standing in front of her and is quickly killed. Helen hears her sister scream and slowly walks downstairs. While looking around, the power is cut and Helen is attacked by the fisherman. She manages to avoid the fisherman's attacks and gets upstairs where she's forced to leap out a window onto debris and flee through back alleys. She comes close to emerging onto the street, where a parade is passing by, but she hears a sound and turns to look. The killer appears in front of her and drags her behind a stack of tires. Under the noise and fireworks, no one hears Helen's muffled screams while he slashes her repeatedly.

Meanwhile, Julie at last figures out David Egan's true identity. It turns out they didn't run over David Egan one year ago, but because the face was disfigured and bloody, they were unable to truly identify who the person was. Julie believes that Ben Willis, Susie's father, tried to avenge his daughter's death by killing her boyfriend/murderer, David Egan. Missy believed that David committed suicide due to guilt and depression. David was actually murdered by Ben Willis and it was set up to look like he had committed suicide. His body was the one found by the police in the docks. Ben Willis was the man that Julie and her friends ran over, but he survived the accident.

In a panic, Julie goes to Ray, who is on his boat. She tells him that she believes that Ben Willis killed David Egan. He doesn't believe her, and persuades her to come onto his boat with him. While she approaches the boat, she sees that the boat's name is "Billy Blue" and she accuses Ray of being the killer. She runs away while Ray gives chase. Ray is hit by a man, who tells Julie to get onto his boat and call for help. But while on the boat, Julie finds newspaper articles and photos of her and her friends from over the last year. She then realises that the man who hit Ray is the fisherman. She briefly tries to escape but stops when the man enters the room. He reveals that he is indeed Ben Willis and that he wanted the group to pay for trying to leave him for dead. Julie tries to run but Ben chases her throughout the boat, hook in hand. Ray wakes up and gives chase on a speedboat. When Ray approaches the boat, Ben leaves Julie to go and get Ray. They begin to fight, which gives Julie enough time to get further into the boat, although she returns to deck in time to see Ray get thrown overboard. Ben then returns to pursuing Julie, who hides in the fish hold. As she looks for a way out, she sees Helen and Barry's frozen corpses. As this is happening, climbs back aboard on a net. Ben comes out to the steering wheel. Julie is found by Ben, but he is knocked unconscious by Ray. Julie gets on deck with Ray, but Ben wakes up and knocks Ray aside. He grabs Julie and prepares to kill her, but as he swings towards her, his hand gets caught in hanging ropes. Ray quickly jumps for a switch which activates a pulley. Ben is dragged upwards with the ropes and hand is cut off. Ben screams and his leg gets caught in the ropes, which begin to swing and come loose. Ben is thrown overboard and doesn't resurface. Later on, the police say to Julie and Ray that they cannot find Ben's body, although they find his hand. They say they'll find the body eventually, because it "always turns up".

One year later, Julie is at college in the shower room preparing for a shower when a girl named Debra tells her she's got mail. She turns on a shower and returns outside and sees a letter similar to the one she got from Ben the year before. She opens it nervously and it's revealed to be an invitation to a pool party. Relieved, she goes back into the shower room, which is now filled with steam. As she moves around, she is frightened to find the words "I STILL KNOW" written on a glass shower door. She looks around and hears a familiar noise, she turns back slowly and a fisherman jumps through the glass towards her. We hear Julie scream.

Alternate ending

The film originally had a different ending where Julie is chatting online with Ray. Her roommate hands her a white envelope with "Julie James" written in black marker on it. She opens it up and finds an invitation to a pool party. Then, an unknown person begins to chat with Julie then types 'I Still Know' to her and the fisherman jumps through the window and attacks Julie. This ending was used as a teaser trailer for the sequel.



Kevin Williamson's screenplay was purchased before his screenplay for the movie Scream. It was only after Scream's success that producers rushed Williamson's screenplay for I Know What You Did Last Summer into production. Scottish director Jim Gillespie was hired by producer Neal H. Moritz to make his debut feature film on the strength of his 10-minute short film "Joyride". The film was shot in Southport, North Carolina, which also served as the film's setting.

In pop culture

  • In Will & Grace Season One, Episode 6 "William, Tell", Grace says to Will upon entering the apartment "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (referring to the knowledge of a affair he had which she just learned of), and then says "the movie, I rented it (holds up the video)."
  • In the Pokémon episode "Lights, Camera, Quacktion!" Brock says that his favorite movie is "I Saw What You Ate Last Tuesday". An obvious homage to the film.
  • The film inspired The Simpsons Halloween episode Treehouse of Horror X sequence called "I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did".
  • Spanish television show Sé lo que hicisteis... (weekly "sé lo que hicisteis la última semana" and monthly "sé lo que hicisteis el último mes" and specials "sé lo que hicisteis el último año") is a spoof of the Spanish title of the film "Sé lo que hicisteis el último verano"
  • The movie was mentioned in Aquamarine. When Hailey, one of the characters, said to Claire "he knows what you did last summer", about an employee at the beach hut of Claire's grandparents.
  • The movie is referenced in "Horror Show", an episode of Ghost Whisperer. In the episode, Melinda Gordon and Professor Rick Payne are examining a list of horror films. Payne reads them out, reaches I Know What You Did Last Summer, and pauses, turning to Melinda (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt), and raises an eyebrow before continuing.
  • The first Scary Movie is a parody of this film and Scream.
  • Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth is also a parody of this and other horror films.
  • In the episode Stuck Together Torn Apart of the show Family Guy, Peter dates Jennifer Love Hewitt and he claims that he never saw it.
  • This film has been parodied by the Garfield book Lights, Camera, Hairballs!, giving it the name "I Know What You Ate Last Summer" due to Garfield's large appetite.
  • In the Disney sitcom, That's So Raven, there is an episode called Cake Fear which is similar to this movie.
  • In the beginning Dawson's Creek episode, "The Scare" from season 1 shows the characters Dawson and Joey watching the movie during one of their film nights the night before Friday the 13th.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "The Graveyard Shift", the hash slinging slasher loosely parodies Ben Willis.
  • The CW TV series Supernatural has an episode in season 4 called "I Know What You Did Last Summer".
  • In the now canceled CW TV series Veronica Mars has an episode called "I Know What You'll Do Next Summer" in the third and final season.
  • The book "I Know What You Did Last Wednesday" written by Anthony Horowitz
  • In the 2009 TV show, Total Drama Action, in the episode "Ocean's Eight – Or Nine", they parody the scene when the fisherman is run over.
  • In the episode "Friday the 13th" from the children TV series Arthur, Arthur and his friends watch a horror film titled "I Know What You Did Last Wednesday", a sequel to "I Know What You Did Last Tuesday".
  • In the TV Series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the second season episode entitled: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, the title character Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar is sent flowers by her evil boyfriend Angel, with a message written – "Soon", similar to when Helen Shivers in the movie (also played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is given the message "Soon" written on her mirror in her bedroom.
  • The episode "Big Chills", from season 4 of the TV show Ghost Whisperer, also starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, is similar in plot to I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Awards and nominations

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


The film opened to $15.8 million in 2,524 theaters on October 17, 1997. The movie stayed in the top position for three consecutive weeks. The end result was a total of $72.5 million in the US and a worldwide theatrical gross in excess of $125 million.

The film received generally mixed reviews from critics. In the review of Rotten Tomatoes reported that 36% of comments were positive.[1] In another review, Metacritic reported 52% of the positive reviews. Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review, "The best shot in this film is the first one. Not a good sign."[2]

Jennifer Love Hewitt was praised for her performance of Julie James with an Entertainment Weekly columnist stating that Hewitt knows how to scream with soul.[3]

DVD & Blu-ray Disc release

The film has been released on DVD multiple times. The only special feature was a commentary, but on newer releases it features commentary, a featurette, music video and a trailer. It was released on high definition Blu-ray Disc on July 22, 2008. It includes the same features as the newer DVDs and also BD-Live.

See also


External links

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