Slasher revivals are having a moment. 2021 has seen a new entry in the Candyman franchise, with a new Scream title early next year. On the television side, we have a Chucky series coming out this year on Syfy. Joining Chucky is a new adaptation of I Know What You Did Last Summer, coming to Amazon Prime Video this month.
I Know What You Did Last Summer tells a family story of recent high school graduates who were attacked by a mysterious murderer for their crimes the previous summer. But this outlet comes with a few twists.
Amazon shared the first three episodes of I Know What You Did Last Summer with Android Authority. Below is our review of the new original series.
You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video starting October 15.
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What do I know about what you did last summer?
Based on both Lois Duncan’s 1973 novel and the 1997 teen horror classic starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Ryan Phillipe, I Know What You Did Last Summer offers a fresh take on life. Family history.
While driving home from an end-of-school party, a group of high school seniors hits and kills a pedestrian. Then a year later, when they are all home from school, a cryptic message appears in one of their houses: “I know what you did last summer.”
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Things get more complicated from there. The suspense builds as the teens try to protect their secret, as they search for the identity of the murderer who is now attacking them. Will your crime be exposed? And will they even survive long enough to face justice?
The first four episodes of the eight-episode season will be available all at once on October 15. The remaining four episodes will be released weekly on the following Fridays.
Update a classic
As the synopsis above makes clear, I Know What You Did Last Summer is playing in a family narrative sandbox. The hit and run, friends with a shared secret, and the mysterious avenging killer appear in the novel and the previous film.
But this is very much a story update and a mix of its main themes and plot points. You don’t need to have any knowledge of the source material to enjoy this. But more importantly, you will get a lot out of it even if you think you know what to expect.
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There are some obvious superficial changes. The new Hawaiian setting allows for great cinematography and local cultural markers, for example. And the series naturally offers an up-to-date portrait of teenage life, with everything from social media to various sexual orientations – several of the teens are openly queer.
I Know What You Did Last Summer offers a complete mix of family themes.
The great narrative change occurs in the identity of the victim and the consequent massacre. The teens did not hit an anonymous passerby. They killed one of his classmates. And the real surprise? The victim’s twin sister was in the driver’s seat.
A lot of twists and turns follow, and I won’t spoil them here, but suffice it to say there’s a lot more to this series than finding the killer. We have flashbacks from the night of the accident and the cover-up, slowly building a bigger picture of what led to, well, everything. And today, teens aren’t the only ones on the cutting board. In every corner there are more secrets, betrayals and crimes that must be solved.
I know what you did last summer: the verdict
Sometimes it seems like I Know What You Did Last Summer and he tries too hard to distance himself from his predecessors.
So much is happening that the central hit and leak feel buried in other overlapping mysteries. In a largely successful effort to make something new, the creators of I Know What You Did Last Summer posed the question: why bother linking this to the previous movie?
However, there is something to be said for the classic setup. A remake of the 1997 movie would probably be disappointing. And a reactionary update could upset. Instead, the series splits the difference. Keeping a good premise but doing something new with it.
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Some of the drama and interpersonal conflicts between the main cast get a little complicated, and the dynamic of the twins feels a bit half-baked. Having said that, there is something appealing in the extended sense that these characters live and breathe in a three-dimensional world. New characters with little connection to the main plot populate the narrative, coming and going in a way that evokes a real little town. An overly eager cop who thinks he’s the hero of his own story is a particularly welcome member of this B-team, adding a quirky sense of humor to the whole thing.
Amazon Prime’s willingness to allow this show to include drugs, sex, and some gruesome murders also gives the show a tough and welcome edge. If you’re concerned that the series is tame in attracting a younger audience, rest assured this doesn’t stand still. It’s very much adolescent narrative, but in the great horror tradition of sneaking into R-rated movies when no one is watching.
If that sounds like what you’re looking for, I Know What You Did Last Summer brings it to you.
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Teen Horror update hits the brand – EzAnime.net – nonenglishfeed