You’ve got to love the slasher genre’s amazing productivity, despite the lack of imagination. It’s a little like a broken factory: it keeps churning out faulty parts, but at least it does it efficiently. With the latest slasher sequel, clumsily and innacurately titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, it proves that you don’t need fresh ideas or an innovative script to create a movie…as long as you’re not hoping for a good one.
Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is still recovering from the horrific events of I Know What You Did Last Summer, when the evil Gorton’s Fisherman, aka Ben Willis (Muse Watson), stalked and killed several of her friends for accidentally killing (or was it not killing) him the summer before.
Now, Julie is attending college, and has a whole new set of fresh meat, uh, er, friends. The closest of which is Karla (Brandy), who has the disturbing habit of creeping around in the dark and making scary noises. Julie still maintains contact with Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), another survivor of the previous film, but he’s a link to her past…one she would rather forget.
But someone still remembers…three guesses who… Yep, that’s right, Ben Willis, back from the dead. Yawn. He’s still as bland as in the original film, but with even less of a motive this time. His first several victims lack even a tangental connection to the accident which supposedly started his murderous rage for revenge. (Speaking of that, why don’t any of these victims ever come back from the dead to haunt Ben?) In any case, in the new film, each time he has a shot at finally getting even with Julie James, he tries for revenge in rather unorthodox ways (one scene has him cursing her with a really really bad tan).
This time, the sequel, with a larger budget, naturally takes place in the Carribbean (where the Gorton’s Fisherman doesn’t look the least out of place). Julie and Karla have brought their respective boyfriends, Will (Matthew Settle) and Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer), to this island paradise right before a torrential hurricane hits. So, naturally, aside from a few cannon fodder hotel staff, the island is remote and deserted. It’s the perfect place for a little mass murder.
The script for I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was written by Trey Callaway rather than the original’s overrated Kevin Williamson. Though it wouldn’t take much to improve quality over the first, Callaway doesn’t give it any effort, turning in a script that lacks any spark of orignality and wit.
Don’t count on the actors to carry this film, either. The hotel’s eclectic staff are leagues more interesting than the central foursome, and you certainly wouldn’t want to spend an entire movie with them. At least the cast looks good (presumably their only qualification)…but you wonder why the four of them can’t take on the feeble old Ben Wilis. I mean, even one-on-one, one of the athletic teens would likely succeed against the guy… four-on-one would be no contest. I guess, then there’d be no movie (but that would actually be a good thing.)
This one’s for die-hard genre fans only. And even then, it’s only good to snicker at the obvious cliches and overall predictablity.