I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Director: Danny Cannon
Year of release: 1998
Country of origin: USA
Running time: 97-100 minutes
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: "Some secrets will haunt you forever", "Someone is dying for a second chance" and "Get hooked...Again".
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: One year on from the events of the original film Julie is still bearing the mental scars of the previous summer. Feeling guilty and plagued by bad dreams she is struggling to maintain her grades at college. Her relationship with Ray is back on though they seem to be distant with one another and drifting in different directions with him still working as a small town fisherman. As the 4th of July anniversary of what happened approaches Julie experiences an upturn in fortunes as her best friend Karla wins a trip to the Bahamas for four. Taking her boyfriend along Karla also invites Julie and Ray to complete the quartet. Ray however is reluctant to commit which opens the door for a friend of the girls from college named Will to take his place. Upon arrival at the tropical island it become apparent that bad weather is on the way with a terrible storm brewing. Due to the poor weather our group find themselves alone on the island save for a skeleton staff who remain to look after the resort. As the storm rages a killer in a black slicker and with a hook for a hand begins to slice his way through the islands remaining inhabitants. Ray meanwhile after surviving an incident with the killer earlier realises Julie could have been lured into a deadly trap and does all he can to reach her before it's too late.
Good points: Good continuity is shown following on from the first film with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr and Muse Watson all returning to reprise their old roles and of course from a writing point of view the story picks up one year on and builds on what has gone before. Although it is bare bones and clumsily done they also try and give the Ben Willis character a bit of back story as well.
I like the setting of the luxury hotel on the tropical island. Though it was actually shot in Mexico and not the Bahamas you wouldn't know it and it looks great scenery wise with the island resort making for a good setting.
Though not as well done as in the original they do make an effort to give us a few possible options as to who the killer may turn out to be with Will, Mr Brooks and Estes all being quite suspicious.
In comparison to the original I would say this one is very slightly more gory with a tad more blood on display. It is still very tame in general by the standard of most slashers but does feel like a slight step up from the original in this department with a bigger bodycount being on offer this time around as well.
There are some likeable characters here with Karla and her boyfriend Tyrell both coming across well with Karla making for a good substitute for the deceased Helen. As with the original I enjoy the Julie character a well and I feel she makes for a solid enough final girl. Will was a strong addition as well as although he appeared harmless and dorky on the surface he has a creepy edge to him as well that you can't quite dismiss.
A decent effort is made at making Julie appear a bit crazy in the eyes of the other characters for a while with her freaking out in class, finding the body in the closet which disappeared when the others arrive as well as just being very jumpy in general. The body disappearing scene was more logical than the one in the first film as this time Karla and Tyrell hadn't experienced anything themselves at that point so it made more sense for the killer to play games than it did in the first where the characters involved there had already experienced their own threats.
Bad Points: It is all a bit unrealistic that the Karla character would think she would have won a radio show contest that she didn't even enter. You would think in the normal way of things you would have to be the first to call in after hearing a certain song or sound effect or perhaps you would call and leave your details and then they pick one at random to call back live on the air with the question. It seems weird though that they would just call someone up randomly with the question as most likely the person wouldn't even be listening to the station and wouldn't know what they were on about. The characters here didn't seem to find it unusual though which I found hard to swallow. I know it was all a set up but our characters didn't know that so they should have at least for realism's sake have had them briefly question it. Similarly I also felt it was unrealistic that the hotel manager would accept guests with the tropical storm on the way plus I think they said something about it being their off season. I also don't think Julie ever told Ray of the specific location of the resort so how did he know how to get there? Little things like this don't matter too much in the grand scheme of things but I don't understand why they don't get picked up and rectified. Surely when going through the script they have put together the writers must be able to see these issues?
I didn't like the Titus Jack Black character very much at all. I thought he came across as way too over the top, obnoxious, annoying and just not enjoyable to watch. I could have done without him and again it didn't make sense that he didn't leave with the other holiday makers because if he was a drug dealer they would be his customers so he had no reason to be there once they left. I might be being too harsh here though as he did have some sort of dwelling set up on the island so maybe he was supposed to be one of the staff but it was never said what his role was as far as I can recall. One thing they could have done to justify his presence is to pass him off as the slacker son of Mr Brooks but as they didn't try and explain him properly it just came off as lazy.
The dog disappeared without explanation but I got the impression it was a staff dog so you would have thought it would remain on the island once the tourists left. Maybe part of the staff left (and one of these took the dog) while a few staff remained but again would it have hurt them to confirm this? It would only have taken one line of dialogue to let us know what had happened to the animal.
Spoiler here. I didn't understand why the killer didn't finish off Karla as she only fell backwards through a window but there was no drop. If she survived the fall through the glass roof earlier she would most likely survive this lesser second fall so why didn't the killer stop to finish her off before going up to the cemetery?
I didn't like the ending again with them going in the same style as with the original with Julie looking as if she is on the verge of being killed. I didn't like it in the first film but at least there it made more sense seeing that the killers body was never recovered but here there is no one left to conceivably be the attacker. Could just be a dream again as it turned out to be with the original but I hate endings like this that instead of answering all our questions neatly just throw another question at us that probably never gets answered. This was kind of the case earlier in the film as well when it wasn't entirely clear if Julie really saw the killer in the dance club or if the lyrics on the karaoke machine were really tampered with. These two earlier incidents made for fun scenes though to be fair though I don't really like the uncertainty of not knowing if it's real or not.
Verdict: I thought this was a decent effort that was solid in places but was definitely not as good as the original. It wasn't as memorable for me and was illogical and unrealistic with the story with some plot holes here and there. It was however great to see the returning actors and I did really like the idea of the action taking place on a deserted storm ravaged island but it could have been better thought out. Though I'm probably in the minority I actually enjoyed the third film more than this though that isn't to say that there aren't some positive things going on with this one.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Ray's friend Dave: Pulled through car window with hook in the mouth/face area.
2) Darick: Head slashed with hook as he climbs out of the water.
3) Cleaner Olga: Hook in the back.
4) Titus: Hand pinned to table and then stabbed with garden shears.
5) Mr Brooks: Killed off camera, found sitting in a chair dead with a machete stuck in his head.
6) Tyrell: Hook thrust through the back of his neck.
7) Estes: Killed by Will off screen, stumbles into shot with a spear protruding from his back.
8) Nancy: Estes' corpse falls on top of her and she is killed by being impaled on the same spear.
9) Will: Struck in the chest/stomach area by accident by Ben.
10) Ben Willis: Shot by Julie numerous times so that he falls into the grave he had intended for her.