I Know What You Did Last Summer

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Details At A Glance

Category Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Running Time 100 minutes Commentary Tracks None
RSDL/Flipper No/No Other Extras Featurette
Cast Interviews
Cast & Crew Biographies
Start Up Movie
Cast & Crew
Region 4 Director Jim Gillespie 

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Ryan Phillippe
Freddie Prinze, Jr
Johnny Galecki
Bridgette Wilson
RRP $34.95

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (MPEG 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles None    

Plot Synopsis

    I Know What You Did Last Summer is a thriller that revolves around the lives of four teenagers who have just graduated from high school; Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) and Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze, Jr). Julie and Ray are an item, as are Helen and Barry.

    We see them making plans for their future on the beach, and life seems good. Unfortunately, as they are driving home from the beach, they hit something on the road. Initially, they think that this was an animal, but they soon discover that it was a person. They decide to get rid of the body, and pretend that the accident never happened. Unfortunately, the person they hit wasn't killed.

    One year later, we return to the four, and we find that they aren't doing all that well. Julie is failing college, Helen works in a department store, Barry is an alcoholic, and Ray works on a fishing boat. Julie returns home and finds a letter which simply reads "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Pretty soon, very nasty things start happening. Whilst they are happening, Julie tries to work out who is responsible for the note, and the subsequent nasty happenings gradually escalate.

    The first character to bite the dust (we find out later that he died from an acute case of crabs) is Max (Johnny Galecki) who was their first suspect, so I guess that puts him in the clear. We begin to see glimpses of the murderer, wearing a fisherman's raincoat. Next, the four are terrorized in various ways, before two of their number are summarily dispatched. A large number of possible murderers are presented to us, from Missy Egan (Anne Heche), the sister of the presumed dead person all the way through to Ray himself, but the murderer is eventually revealed to be <insert your guess and motive here>.

    The movie ends by setting the scene for a sequel.

Transfer Quality


    This is a superb video transfer. I note that the Region 1 version of this disc is a Columbia Tristar title, and it would not surprise me in the least if this transfer was used as the basis for this release. It has the flawless look that Columbia Tristar are noted for. There was only one trivial video fault. The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear at all times. Shadow detail was superb, and given that a lot of this movie is set in very dark areas and at night time, it really did look excellent with not a trace of low level noise. Blacks were truly deep black.

    The colour was superbly rendered in this transfer. The dark scenes and the light scenes were all perfectly transferred, with no scenes at all being either over or undersaturated.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted only of a very slight shimmer intermittently in one scene (29:52 - 30:20). Aliasing was not a problem with the transfer, despite there being a number of aliasing-prone shots in the movie. Film artefacts were non-existent as far as I could see.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default audio is English MPEG 5.1 sound. The other audio track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. This is the one I listened to. The audio selection process for this DVD is a little unusual. You access the sound selection through the "Play Movie" option on the menu. Before the movie actually plays, you have to choose the audio format. There is no specific Audio Setup or Language Setup choice on the main menu.

    Dialogue was initially quite hard to understand, but this quickly improved after the first 10 minutes or so. After this time, the dialogue was usually quite intelligible, except for odd sentences here and there. You will be pleased to know that there were no audio sync problems whatsoever.

    A minor audio dropout is present at the start of the end credits (92:32 - 92:33).

    The musical score is frequently present, and ranges from modern rock songs to lush symphonic pieces.

     The surround channels were frequently utilized for the music. Otherwise, ambience was present at times, but not at all times, and the action sequences had a fair presence in the surrounds also.

    The .1 channel was used to enhance the music and the action. It was used moderately for this, though I felt that it could have been used much more, especially during the early part of the movie, where the audio sounded quite "thin" for want of a better word.


    This DVD has quite a nice menu animation which is very much in keeping with the overall theme of the movie. A sound effect is present on the menu, and this appears to be recorded in PCM audio, not MPEG audio, so unlike The Wedding Singer, you can hear the menu audio when you have selected Dolby Digital on your system. A significant amount of effort has been put into the scene selection menus, but unfortunately, whilst they look very nice, ergonomically they are quite difficult to navigate.

    The theatrical trailer is present on this DVD. It is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced (windowboxed) with an MPEG 2.0 soundtrack only. It sounded mono. No Dolby Digital soundtrack is present for the trailer. Incidentally, the trailer present on this DVD proclaims "From the Creator of Scream". This phrase was responsible for the withdrawal of the original Region 1 pressing of this title.

    A 5 minute untitled featurette is present, consisting of a combination of scenes from the trailer, behind the scenes footage, and brief cast and crew interviews. This is also presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced and with an MPEG 2.0 soundtrack only.

    Cast interviews, in the typical Roadshow Home Entertainment 30 second snippet format are also present. There are snippets of interviews with the four lead actors, with a total of perhaps 8 minutes of footage.

    Finally, we have some still frame cast and crew biographies. The layout and extent of these biographics are better than previous Village Roadshow releases.

    I note that the Region 1 version of this title has a director's commentary track, and the theatrical trailer.


    I Know What You Did Last Summer is a somewhat scary movie, though it tended to use loud noises and graphic visuals to scare rather than by creating genuine suspense. The very end certainly scared me.

    The video quality is marvellous with only one trivial problem. It looks like a Columbia Tristar transfer was used, which is a good sign for future releases from Roadshow Home Entertainment.

    The audio quality was pretty good, except for some minor problems during the first ten minutes, and the slight audio dropout at the start of the end credits.

    After the problems with The Wedding Singer release, I am pleased to see a near perfect disc from Roadshow Home Entertainment which I can recommend without reservation. I also note that they used the Columbia Tristar transparent Amaray case for this release, which is another good move for Roadshow Home Entertainment.

Ratings (out of 5)


Michael Demtschyna
11th December 1998

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer