Thursday, 24 December 2015

I still know what you did last summer (5 Stars)

This film was made in 1998 and it's a sequel to the 1997 film, "I know what you did last summer". It unwrites the final scene of the first film, unless it was only a dream. I hate dream sequences in films. As a plot device they're weak. Something terrible happens, and then surprise! It wasn't real! "I still know what you did last summer" also opens with a dream sequence. Maybe I can forgive it just this once because it's at the beginning, and there are no more dreams later on. It doesn't disrupt things the way the dreams do in "Scream 3".

Films with names as long as this are a nightmare for film reviewers. Let's shorten the name to Iskwydls. Actually, that sounds like a plural, so I'll drop the final S and call it Iskwydl. That looks too much like the name of a Welsh heavy metal band, so I'll spell it Iskwiddle. Much better! And I'll call the previous film Ikwiddle, or better still Ickwiddle.

Is Iskwiddle as good as Ickwiddle? My gut feeling tells me Yes, despite logical reasons for it not to be. The psychological thriller trait of the film is missing, because it's obvious to everyone from early on who the killer is. Even the attempt to shift blame onto the creepy housekeeper Estes doesn't bring it back. Only the new characters suspect Estes. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), as the only member of the original cast on the island, never ceases to blame the fisherman Ben Willis for the killings.

Julie's new friends from college, Karla and Tyrell, are shallow, but that makes them perfect for the film. Isn't it the shallow college kids who always get killed first? I almost applauded when Tyrell was finally killed. He deserved it. (Oops, was that a spoiler?)

The film does have one fatal flaw in the cinematography. I'm sure it was done deliberately, but I can't imagine why. All the teenagers have unnaturally smooth faces. There's not a single blemish, not a mark, not a spot, nothing. When I had a small television set 10 years ago it didn't bother me, but now that I have a 42" flatscreen TV it looks unnatural. I never saw the film in the cinema, but I can imagine the effect is even greater on a giant screen. The only explanation I can imagine is that the director/cinematographer wanted a bigger contrast between the teenagers and the older people in the film. But why? Ickwiddle didn't do it, so why should Iskwiddle?

I was sad that there was never a third film. Iskwiddle ends on a cliff-hanger, which would have had to be unwritten first, but that's happened before. All a dream, right? It's too late now. Any attempt to continue or reboot the Ickwiddle series at this late date would be a disaster. We need a new, high quality teen slasher franchise. Any ideas?

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