I Know What You Did Last Summer | Chicago Reader

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Writer Kevin Williamson, who's also responsible for the overrated Scream, sets cleverness above emotional impact in a poorly conceived 1997 thriller with plenty of empty references. (When aspiring actress Helen, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, describes her future plans, she lists two years on Guiding Light so that those who know Gellar cut her teeth on another soap can feel smug.) After a carful of high school friends hits a pedestrian, the willful Barry (Ryan Phillippe) intimidates the others, persuading them that if they go to the police their lives will be ruined. But a year later the teens are stalked by someone who seems to know their secret, and the plot quickly dissolves into an illustration of the tall story about the murderer with a hook for a hand—a story the four friends swapped versions of around a campfire in the opening sequence. Directed by Jim Gillespie, based on the novel by Lois Duncan.

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