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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Genre: Thriller/Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles:English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Thai
Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr. Johnny Galecki, Bridgette Wilson, Anne Heche
Directed by: Jim Gillispie
Music by: John Debney
Written by: Kevin Williamson based upon the book by Lois Duncan
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 22, 2008

"4 teenagers + 1 bad decision = murderous revenge"

Film Synopsis:

Jennifer Love Hewitt (from TV's "Party of Five") and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Scream 2) star with Freddie Prinze, Jr., Ryan Phillippe and Johnny Galecki in this terrifying tale of a body that just won't stay dead. After an accident on a winding road, four teens make the fatal mistake of dumping their victim's body into the sea. But exactly one year later, the dead man returns from his watery grave,and he's looking for more than an apology.

My Take:

Its been quite some time since I saw I know what you did last summer. Going into this review I didn't have any specific recollection as to what I thought of it which didn't leave me with any preconceived notion. There were some things that I liked about this but I couldn't escape the feeling that it was predictable, dated, and at times silly. After the introduction of the 4 main players they accidentally (operative word) strike a pedestrian who is walking in the middle of a windy mountain road. They believe that he is dead and immediately panic. Afterward the decision is made to not call the police and dump the body off of a local pier. As they prepare to dump the body he awakens and grabs one of them. They continue to make poor decisions and dump him into the drink anyway but not before he grabs Helen's (Gellar) beauty queen tiara as he falls into the water. Her boyfriend Barry (Phillippe) dives in to recover the tiara and as he pulls it from the clutches of the deceased he opens his eyes to again reveal that fact that he is alive.

The story jumps ahead a year and picks up with Julie (Love Hewitt) who is returning home from college and is having trouble dealing with the guilt from last summer's incident. She receives a letter in the mail with no return address. Inside there is a piece of paper that simply states I know what you did last summer. Afterward she reconnects with the other three who were involved in order to decide what is going on and who is behind it. They jump to a wrong conclusion about who it might be and pursue that option. I think that begin to unravel with the first murder. The first victim is a local teen named Max who had nothing directly to do with last summer's incident. He met his untimely demise while at work and at the hands of a dark figure dressed in a fisherman's rain slicker and wielding a large fishhook.

This is where the killer begins to make his presence and intentions known to Barry, Helen, Julie and Ray. What follows is a series of brutal murders by the same hook carrying fisherman. There were numerous things that either didn't make sense or were simply way too convenient for plausibility. When the identity of the killer as well as his reasons for the killings is revealed I found it less than satisfying. The ending leaves the opening for the sequel that eventually followed.

The young actors cast in the film all have gone on to bigger things with varying levels of success. I thought that Phillippe and Gellar gave the stronger performers of the four. I think that Love Hewitt has developed into a better actress than what was seen here. The dialogue/interaction between her and Prinze just didn't seem genuine. The scene near the end as they are standing on the boat after the police arrive. (Prinze) I love you Julie, no one gets me like you do. (Love Hewitt) I feel your pain. There were some decent jump scares. My favorite was when Julie and Helen arrive at Missy's house and they go looking for her. They are standing outside near an old cracked mirror and suddenly she appears in the mirror's reflection. At times the feeling of suspense was good although what was to come and when was not much of a surprise. I didn't dislike the film but it didn't have the intrigue and thought provoking aspects necessary to make it a standout in my opinion.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong horror violence and language.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

I know what you did last summer comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.8 mbps.

I found this disc to have technical attributes similar to those of The exorcism of Emily Rose which I recently reviewed on Blu-ray Disc. The level of detail was excellent as images appeared nice and sharp with good rendering of subtle textures and fine minutia. Dimensional perception on panning and distant shots revealed solid lines and visible structure within objects. Colors had ample saturation with natural tonal reproduction and realistic looking hues. Fleshtones had similar attributes and conveyed the light complexions among the four main characters without compromise. This film has some dark elements that rely of the ability to make out movement and shapes in low lighting. I had no problem in that regard as there was plenty of detail in dark areas, backgrounds and shadows. Contrast and black levels looked solid and fairly dynamic overall. Grain was present and well preserved in appearance.

The audio presentation was a pleasant surprise and sounded quite good. The mix positively conveyed John Debney's music score as it ebbed and flowed through the entire system during the films dynamic and tension filled moments. Both discrete and ambient sounds were detectable but not distracting as the emanated from the rear sound field. The front soundstage was wide enough that dialogue and effects moved out into the room and away from the confines of the speaker enclosures. I didn't observe any forceful low frequency impact but bass was appropriately deep enough to be felt without sounding bloated or forced. I thoroughly enjoyed this surround mix and felt that it delivered the thematic elements present in the recording quite well.

Bonus Features:

The bonus supplements are above average and feature a commentary track, making of documentary, a short film by Director Jim Gillespie (not related to this film), a music video and Blu-ray Disc Live content. The making of is 27 minute look at the film as told through interviews with the director, two producers, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anne Heche. It covers it from development, production, casting and filming. It further dissects its story and offers insights into how it was shot and why. The audio commentary was more of the same and the remainder of the material was more fluff than substance. The BD Live features will be enabled on release day according to the press kit I received with the disc.

  • Commentary with Director Jim Gillespie and Writer Steve Mirkovich

  • Director's short film (10 Minutes) : Joyride featuring optional Director Commentary

  • Now I know what you did last summer: Making of Featurette

  • Music video: Hush - by Kula Shaker

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • BD Live Features

Final Thoughts:

For me I know what you did last summer was a re-visit to a film that apparently didn't impress me upon my initial viewing because I had forgotten most of what happened. It does feature a cast who at the time were young up and comers in Hollywood. Most have gone on to become quite successful in their acting careers. Sony has brought this catalog release to high definition Blu-ray Disc in a respectable package that anticipating fans are sure to be pleased with.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

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Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player

Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Outlaw Audio Model 7700 seven channel amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier

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Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

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6,947 Posts
Thanks for the review Ralph. Definitely worth a rental I guess.
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