I Know What You Did Last Summer ★★★

While this movie is quite worth watching, the teen slasher thing got a lot more attention that it deserved twenty years ago. The self-awareness of Scream may have been cute, but continuing the revival with movies like this one really didn't add much to the 80s templates. Jennifer Love Hewitt has some slightly progressive rants in the beginning to show that the 90s was a more politically aware time, which is undoubtedly one of the great aspects of that time. Of course the other half of the movie is more true to the formula and is far more interested in her cleavage than her words. Perhaps that's just the difference between highschool and college, but it's extra weird after they crammed those rants in there for no obvious reason.

The other awkward part of the late 90s is always the soundtrack. Nostalgia has not quite caught up with The Offspring, Our Lady Peace, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones enough to make it sound anything but dated. But there is some nostalgic value in that too, which makes the movie look like an ugly puppy. Its ugliness is part of the appeal.

Speaking of cute, this cast is fun. Freddie Prinze Jr never amounted to much more than a pretty face, while Buffy and the star of Party of Five managed to become late 90s TV icons. With the exception of Ryan Phillippe, who actually looks like a real actor, they don't have a lot of acting range but excel in the few areas that work in their genres. Jennifer Love Hewitt's binary acting with puppy-eyed sad face or adorable smiley face is a little too much here though. It works with limited screen time on a TV show, but here she's on screen far too long to just alternate between those two expressions. Then again, the lack of nuance may be part of why this genre is easy to watch.