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Parents' Guide to

I Know What You Did Last Summer

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Bloody '90s horror movie has graphic violence, profanity.

Movie R 1997 101 minutes
I Know What You Did Last Summer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 11+

I am like the 4 th july

age 13+

An old horror mystery classic that still holds up today

I Know What You Did is such an excellent, classic horror mystery. The gore is pretty mild but it's still well done. There are also excellent jump scares, and fun, masterfully executed, and intense chase scenes. The mystery itself is really good, and had me stumped the first time I watched it, and the dialog is also well written. That's why I Know What You Did Last Summer is an amazing classic, which had me stumped the first time I watched it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14 ):
Kids say (31 ):

This one's too bloody and brutal for kids. Early in this youth-oriented thriller, a group of teenagers tells each other scary "urban legend" stories about maniacs with hooks for hands. As much as parents might prefer that kids sit around at night with flashlights, wide-eyed and trembling, reciting tales from the Bible, the Arabian Nights, Twain, Dostoyevsky, or F. Scott Fitzgerald, young people always seem to go back to the thrill of morbid stuff with the hook-handed maniacs. And this holds true whether they're gathered around campfires in the woods or the cool fire of home video. I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER was a popular hit tapping into that spook-story appeal, with a good-looking cast who had been reigning on popular TV shows of the time. But there's not much under the surface (or even on the surface, for that matter) besides a familiar setup. It derives from a Lois Duncan YA novel of the same title that's been avidly read ever since its publication in 1974, but the bulk of the story deviates.

But what I Know What You Did Last Summer does have is a sort of morality -- insofar as the youths' covering up their misdeed has negative repercussions, and not just the obvious, gory ones. Under the cloud of what they did last summer, the once-close quartet drifts apart. Their suspicions, eventually directed against each other, make them easier targets for the real villain. It might be noted that the burden of guilt gets lightened a little by a surprise plot twist: The road accident had actually interrupted a murder-in-progress, and the victim was doomed anyway. Alfred Hitchcock this isn't, although scriptwriter Kevin Williamson came closer to that lofty ambition with the similarly bloody but dark-humored Scream and its sequels, effective whodunits styled as semi-humorous takeoffs of slasher movies such as this one.

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