I Know What You Did Last Summer
In 1997, Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson penned the script for bloody teen slasher I Know What You Did Last Summer (which he wrote before Scream). While it didn’t make the same waves as his previous film, IKWYDLS has nevertheless become a bonafide cult classic synonymous with 90s horror. Now, over 20 years later, Amazon have released an episodic adaptation of this chilling tale for a new generation, but with a few new ideas of its own.
The series shares the same basic premise as the 90s flick: a group of teenage friends (played by Madison Iseman, Ashley Moore, Ezekiel Goodman, Sebastian Amoruso and Brianne Tju – who co-starred in Netflix’s Scream series) accidentally run someone over in the middle of the night after attending a graduation party. Shaken by the incident, they decide to cover up the murder and swear themselves to secrecy. One year later, however, one of the culprits discovers the eponymous message scrawled in blood in their bedroom. The bodies soon start to pile up as they’re stalked by a mysterious killer (although there doesn’t seem to be a hook or raincoat in sight this time around).
The opening episodes do a wonderful job setting the stakes and establishing the tension. The premise is as wickedly enticing as ever, and the series is at its strongest whenever the central mystery is in focus. There are enough twists and potential red herrings at this early stage to keep viewers guessing; and there are presumably a lot more gotcha moments to come. The Amazon production diverges enough from the film so that existing fans will be equally stumped, but it’s a fresh twist on the premise introduced at the end of the first episode that adds an entirely new level of intrigue and deception.
Unfortunately, the teen drama isn’t as compelling as its core mystery. Though as fittingly cheesy as its predecessor, this aspect has a habit of retracing the same ground without adding much to the mix. The adolescent melodrama likewise drags the pacing and does little to make the core cast of characters likeable – though there’s still room for character growth to come.
If the Amazon series can stick the landing, then it could well be a worthy update to the schlocky 90s slasher.
I Know What You Did Last Summer is released on Amazon Prime Video on 15th October 2021.
Watch the trailer for I Know What You Did Last Summer here: