Friday, December 28, 2012

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006)

I worked as an extra on a film called I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, the first sequel to I Know What You Did Last Summer.  When I got my paperwork that morning and saw the title I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, I assumed it was a joke, a fake title used in production, and that a real title would be attached to the project before the film was released. In fact, I thought it was a pretty good joke and I told Jennifer Love Hewitt so on the set. She's such a nice, kind person that she didn't correct me. But of course that was the actual title of the film.  A title which doesn't make sense, as by that point it was two summers ago. But whatever.

That day on set I came up with several ideas for titles for further sequels. Stuff like I'm Starting To Forget What You Did Last Summer and What Are Your Plans For The Fall.  The filmmakers didn't use either of those. What they came up with was I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer.  One of the opening credits is "An Original Film Production."  Really?

The movie opens with a group of teenage friends on a Ferris wheel. One of them, Amber, says, "So you've all heard the story, right? About what happens on July 4th?" So apparently the plot of the first two films has become a legend. And we learn that every fourth of July The Fisherman "gets out his hat and slicker, he sharpens up his hook" and goes after teenagers.  And of course it's July 4th.  (And hey, wouldn't a fisherman need to put on his slicker other days of the year - like when it's raining?)

This film takes place in Colorado in a town that doesn't seem to be near any body of water. So is a fisherman story all that frightening here?  Anyway, there's a lot of inane dialogue with the teenagers, none of whom we care the least bit about. There is plenty of forced laughter and picture-taking.

And then there is a stunt where one of them pretends to be the fisherman, and another does a skateboarding trick, but something goes wrong, and the skateboarder dies (someone moved the safety mattresses).  The other teenagers decide to keep their involvement a secret. Yes, it is a much more stupid set-up than that of the original film. It's much weaker. After all, it's not like they killed him.

Amber is reluctant, but eventually says, "The secret dies with us."  Then we just wait for them and the secret to die.

A year later Amber lays flowers at the skateboarder's grave, which is apparently in the woods, and so overgrown it seems many years have passed.

Amber gets a text message on her phone: "I know what you did last summer."  Geez, this guy couldn't even be bothered to write a note.  Nobody takes the time to write letters anymore. A note is much more personal.  Actually, the guy sent her fifty text mesages, but they all say the same thing.  So, how does that work? Does she have to pay for all of those? Do text messages count toward weekend minutes?

Anyway, Roger now fixes ski lifts. Colby is working as a lifeguard. And Zoe is in the world's worst rock band. So it's not like their lives are going well anyway. Well, Amber and Zoe are catching up, and suddenly the sheriff - who is also the father of the dead skateboarding would-be stunt man - shows up. He says he's making his rounds of the school, and that "it's strange without all the kids." What the hell - have they never had summer in this town before?

On a chair lift, Amber's camera decides to take a picture of the killer on its own. Apparently the killer was riding on top of the gondola, and then simply reaches down and smashes the window with his hook. And then?  Does he get up and fly away? He'd still have to ride down the rest of the way, so she'd see him at the bottom.  But the film jumps to her having already printed the photo. See, it's a shark. Look - teeth, jaws, gills.  This is nothing. Seaweed, mud, something in the lens.

Finally, forty-three minutes in, one of the teenagers is killed. Not that it matters at all.  The film leads to the big talent show, where Zoe's shitty band is going to play a song. That's more important than surviving, as going to the talent show trumped leaving town in order to live.

The look of this film is all wrong for horror. It's just not scary. At all. Lots of weird angles and camera moves, as well as quick cuts that keep us from being involved in the story. And the geography makes no sense. For example, at one point three of the characters are running together in a building, and then suddenly they're separated, and are so distant that two can't hear the shouts of the third. How did that happen? We don't know. It's impossible to tell even where they are. The only one who can follow them is the killer. So good for him. He deserves his victims. Also, the building is backstage of the talent show, and yet suddenly there is no one around.

When the killer's identity is revealed, the movie becomes laughable. I'm just going to tell you. It will save you the time of watching this piece of shit.  Because in this one the killer is like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. He is stabbed, shot several times and run over with a car, but keeps getting up. And then Amber says, "It's the guy from ten years ago who killed all those kids. It's the legend. It's become true."

Apparently he shows up whenever teenagers keep a secret.  Well, a year after they keep a secret. What right-wing conservative parents group wrote this trash? But guess what? He is vulnerable to one thing - hooks. I'm not kidding.

Jason Voorhees never sent someone a text message. And you know why? Because the audience would have laughed and left.  By the way, we never do learn who moved those mattresses, which resulted in that kid's death.  Oh well.