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I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER ($25) is one of those rarities, a sequel that is more enjoyable than the original. And, in the world of horror sequels, that is an even greater rarity. In I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, four teenagers are stalked by a crazed killer who knows that during the previous summer, they accidentally hit someone with their car while that person was walking along the highway at night. The killer also knows that they dumped the body in the ocean. Of course, the body turned out to be "not quite dead"- and the supposed corpse waited an entire year before coming to take revenge. My biggest problem with I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is the fact that the teenage characters aren't overly sympathetic, so watching them get filleted by a nut in a black fisherman’s slicker doesn’t have the intended effect. Anyway, the most likable of the teens do manage to survived the hook wielding maniac, enabling them to appear in I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER.

I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER should have been entitled I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago, but I doubt that title would have looked as good on a marquee. This film takes place two summers after the "accident" and one summer after the crazed fisherman murders two of the four teenagers, before he himself is killed- again. Jennifer Love Hewitt returns to the role of college student Julie James, the girl who wanted to do the right thing after the "accident" in the original film. Julie still feels guilty over the entire affair, even though she and her friends never really killed anybody. Nightmares of the killer persist and Julie doesn't want to return home for the Independence Day, especially since both tragedies transpired in her home town, over two consecutive July Forth holidays.

Julie's boyfriend Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) tries to convince her to come home, but to no avail. When Julie's best friend and college roommate, Karla (Brandy), wins a radio station contest, the girls find themselves jetting off to the Caribbean for a little fun in the sun. Unfortunately, their little vacation turns into a washout when the hotel turns out to be almost deserted, since the July Forth holiday coincides with the tiny island's rainy season. Making matters worse, Julie begins receiving messages that say, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer," insuring the return of the hook wielding fisherman. I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is a more successful teen slasher movie than its predecessor because the characters are more likable, and there is more humor mixed in between the scares. The cast of I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER features Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson, Bill Cobbs, Matthew Settle, Jeffrey Combs and Jennifer Esposito.

Columbia TriStar Home Video has made I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER available on DVD in both wide screen and full screen presentations on opposite sides of the disc. The full screen presentation is fine for those of you absolutely have to view the film that way, but the enlighten may find it more frightening than a hook wielding maniac. To save the lives and the sanity of those you love, you better stick with the Letterboxed presentation, which features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 wide screen televisions. I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is framed at 2.35:1 and the transfer is up to Columbia TriStar's usual striking level of excellence. Since I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is a horror movie, much of the film takes place in relative darkness, and on video, darkness is usually equated with a lack of detail. However, this is not the case with this beautiful looking DVD. Shadow detail is excellent during the darker moments and the daylight sequences are even better, thanks to a state-of-the-art transfer. Film grain is a non-issue, despite the darkness of the film. Blacks are deep and true, plus the disc boasts terrific contrast. Colors are richly saturated and seem to leap off the screen during some of the darkest moments in the film. There are no traces of chroma noise, or compression artifacts anywhere on this superbly authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is a killer. Fully directional sound effects come from everywhere and accentuate the film’s numerous shocks. Dialogue reproduction is very natural sounding and fully intelligible at all times. The bass portion of the track is very potent, which enhances the film’s forbidding atmosphere. An English Dolby Surround soundtrack and English subtitles are also provided on the DVD.

The simple interactive menus are nicely designed and provide the standard scene and language selection features. Through the menus one can also access theatrical trailers for I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, as well as its precursor. A "making of" featurette as well as a Jennifer Love Hewitt music video for the song "How Do I Deal" are also included.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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