Halloween Movie Countdown Day Five: The 67 Best Things About I Know What You Did Last Summer


We’ll be counting down to Halloween with a new post each day about our personal favorite Halloween inspired and horror movies. To read our past lead up to Halloween coverage, click here. 

October means several things: leaves changing, Halloween, and watching as many horror movies as possible within a thirty-one day span. This year I kicked off my favorite movie season with I Know What You Did Last Summer, the classic ‘90s slasher flick that is widely used for parodies and jokes. Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillippe, I Know What You Did Last Summer tells the story of a group of friends that are terrorized by a serial killer after they cover up a drunken hit and run. All told, it’s not scary at all, and is at some points downright ridiculous. Still, it’s hard not to enjoy it, and here are 67 reasons why.

  1. I Know What You Did Last Summer is based on the classic Lois Duncan novel of the same name, though it changes nearly everything about it–except the fairly dated names. For instance, the book is not a slasher story, which seems like a fairly important difference.
  2. Freddie Prinze Jr.’s first in as Ray is, “I had no idea her breasts were so…ample,” about his girlfriend Julie’s best friend Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar).
  3. Barry (Ryan Phillippe), Helen’s boyfriend, is downright proud instead of ruffled by his comment, explaining her nightly chest exercises. Until this re-watch, I’ve never heard this charming exchange.
  4. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) saves us by telling them she’s on sexist overload.
  5. “Through art, I will serve my country,” Helen says, explaining her future goals to be an actress in New York to the pageant committee.
  6. Helen’s sister Elsa’s weird slang for getting drunk: “Is little Miss Croaker getting sauteed tonight?”
  7. Max, the dude who hits on Julie and nearly gets into a fight with Barry is portrayed by Johnny Galecki of Roseanne and The Big Bang Theory fame.
  8. The beach Ray, Julie, Barry, and Helen go to after the party is Dawson’s Beach, in case anyone forgot that Kevin Williamson wrote this one. Stop giving Dawson his own bodies of water! HE SUCKS.
  9. Anyway, while at the beach, the gang argues about the exact details about the urban legend “The Hook.”
  10. Did you know that there’s a version of this story where it’s not a hook, but the girl hears a thumping on top of the car and it turns out to be her boyfriend’s severed head? YIKES, right? I’d take the hook over that any day.
  11. But I digress.
  12. Julie has strong feminist feelings about this particular urban legend: “It’s a fictional story created to warn young girls about having premarital sex.”
  13. We’re supposed to believe that Ryan Phillippe’s character is going to be a college football quarterback.
  14. Julie goes a little too deep into the urban legend when she says, “The hook is a phallic symbol, ultimately castrated.” Girl, you had me until this point.
  15. The moment my sister said, “THere’s very little that’s redeemable about Barry. He’s a dick, he continues being a dick, and then he dies.” Uh, spoilers, by the way.
  16. When Ray announces that the man they hit with their car is dead, Barry yells, “SHIT! HA HA!” to prove her point.
  17. “WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR SHIT,” Barry yells at Julie, to really drive this point home.
  18. Max rolls up while they’re hiding the body, so Barry has to pretend like she’s vomiting over the barricade to distract from them.
  19. The moment we realize Ray isn’t quite as sensitive as we were led to believe: “Maybe we’ll get lucky with a shark,” he says, hoping that the dead man’s body gets eaten.
  20. Barry providing some perspective: “Let’s just pretend he’s an escaped convict with a hook for a hand and we’re doing everyone a favor.”
  21. Surprise! The victim is actually alive. They’re so shocked, they throw him in the water anyway. As one last “fuck you,” (for now, spoilers) he grabs Helen’s pageant crown as he goes into the water.
  22. The best line of this movie, as spoken by Barry: “We are not to speak of this again, is that clear? This is now a future therapy bill, agreed?”
  23. The best character in this is Julie’s pre-Brandy college roommate (watch the sequel!), who gets all of thirty seconds of screentime. She uses her time wisely though, because this is one of her lines: “Get your white-as-death chalky corpse in the car now.”
  24. Julie’s mother thinks she’s on drugs due to her lack of appetite, her school trouble, and pallor. This is probably the one time you’d rather it be a drug problem, tbh.
  25. Julie’s “I know what you did last summer” message is punctuated with an exclamation point.
  26. Julie compliments her stringy hair with baggy overalls when she goes to see Helen, in case you weren’t sure this took place during the ‘90s.
  27. Barry’s enduring sense of honesty: “You two should look in a mirror once and awhile, you look like shit run over twice.”
  28. They really push Max as a red herring before he becomes the killer’s first victim.
  29. The Killer leaves Barry’s note when he’s in the locker room’s shower, so Ryan Phillippe has to wander around in a towel for a decent amount of time.
  30. There are about eighteen different things Barry could have hidden behind while he was running away from the Killer’s car, but alas–he’s hit and driven through a building.
  31. While in the hospital, a very cranky Barry accuses Ray of being the Killer because he owns a rainslicker.
  32. Barry and Helen agree that they should try to reason with their stalker so they don’t have to go to the police about their own crimes, like rational adults. NOT.
  33. When Julie and Helen go off on their fact-finding mission to visit Missy Egan, sister to the person they think they killed, Helen gets scared by the hanging rainslicker.
  34. The girls have no chill while they’re talking to her and end up asking, “Are you alone?” like creeps.
  35. Missy gives them the cigarettes back and alludes to knowing they made up their car trouble story, leading Julie to start driving away while Missy was still leaning on the car. If she didn’t know something was wrong before, she certainly does now!
  36. The most fucked up stalker move occurs when he cuts Helen’s hair while she’s sleeping on the day of the pageant parade.
  37. I may have to rescind my previous statement, because right after that he fills Julie’s trunk with Max’s dead body and a ton of live crabs.
  38. The most ICONIC moment of this movie: tumblr_m9acsnhzjd1qasdemo1_r1_500-whatareyouwaitingfor_zps40c68041
  39. Barry yells, “You’re gonna die,” and sucker punches Ray when he comes to find them.
  40. Director Jim Gillespie must have used Wally and the Beav as models for Freddie Prinze Jr.’s acting direction, because he sounds like the ‘50s all-American boy in most scenes.
  41. Barry sits on the parade float like some sort of battered hood ornament in order to protect Helen during the parade.
  42. The parade introduces Helen’s new haircut, i.e. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s season two Buffy hair and it looks AMAZING.
  43. Missy believes her brother committed suicide and shows Julie a note to prove it. This makes Julie realize that they didn’t kill Missy’s brother–he was killed by the same person who is stalking them now, his dead girlfriend’s father Ben Willis. All of this just to say: there is some serious soap opera shit in this one. Also, Missy is that creepy for literally no reason.
  44. Last year’s pageant queen is apparently supposed to sit on stage for the entirety of this year’s pageant, stranding Helen on the stage, dying of boredom.
  45. At least until the Killer begins attacking Barry on the balcony. For some reason, the audience bands together to hold Helen back? It looks like they’re all brainwashed to do so.
  46. The sheer impossibility that the Sheriff’s Department finds no blood on the balcony after the Killer murders Barry with a hook up there.
  47. The ridiculous insensitivity of the podunk officers present: “Did this fisherman guy use the same hook to cut all your hair off?” he asks Helen.
  48. I hope they all get fired.
  49. I understand the connection to the killer’s occupation AND the urban legend, but a fish hook is such a stupid weapon.
  50. In the Helen-Killer chase scene, Sarah Michelle Gellar is SPRINTING and the Killer manages to keep up with her by just walking at a calm pace. He is not that tall, he is not horror movie immortal, this shouldn’t be able to happen.
  51. Besides a plot contrivance that allows the Killer to masquerade as a mannequin, why does Elsa cover all the mannequins every night?
  52. Julie runs all the way into the empty auditorium to see that Helen isn’t in there. The pageant looks like it’s been over for three days at that point, it’s so empty.
  53. No one hears Helen’s murder because an entire marching band comes by in the middle of the night. If I had a quarter…
  54. It’s this far into the movie that I realize how hard they’ve been pushing Ray as a suspect, but it never rings true.
  55. Ben Willis keeps a creepy murder board on his boat.
  56. When Julie realizes that Ben is Ben Willis and finds herself trapped on his boat, you can see Ray ridiculously running up and down the dock like a lunatic.
  57. The fish hook is SO NOT INTIMIDATING.
  58. “Welcome aboard, Ray.” the fisherman-related dialogue makes this cheesy, not scary.
  59. We confirm that Helen and Barry are dead when Julie hides in the fish ice box and discovers her friends’ dead bodies. Yikes.
  60. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s screaming goes on to heavily influence (and be featured in) the “And Then There Was Shawn” episode of Boy Meets World.
  61. Before Ben is thrown into the water, the boat ropes somehow slice off the hand holding the hook.
  62. And the worst lines in this movie are:
    Ray: “No one gets me the way you do, Julie.”
    Julie: “I understand your pain.”
    What is this, A Film By Kirk? These don’t even fit in the scene here!
  63. A few months later, Julie laughs on the phone with Ray while she’s preparing to take a shower. Her towel in this scene seems to have a sweetheart neckline and a push-up bra.
  64. Julie’s roommate stops by the bathroom to deliver mail. Girl, can she live? The mail can wait for her to take a shower, for the love of god.
  65. The perfect misdirection, in which the envelop addressed in black sharpie ends up just being a pool party invitation.
  66. BUT “I STILL KNOW” is now written in steam on the shower door!
  67. Julie has apparently learned nothing, because she sticks around in there until the Killer jumps out at her.



Bri is a 25-year-old born and raised in the swamps of Jersey. Just kidding, she lives at least twenty minutes from those swamps. She’s a publishing professional that moonlights as a writer. She enjoys going to concerts (anything from Rooney to Springsteen to NKOTBSB), roadtripping, and complaining that she truly belongs in the 1950’s, the 1920′s, or the 1980′s depending on her mood. She definitely owns more books than she should and reads every chance she gets. If you stop hearing from her, it’s because the book piles have fallen over and smothered her to death in the night. You can contact her at bri@theyoungfolks.com. Twitter: @bri_lockhart