Thursday, 20 October 2016

I know what you did last summer (5 Stars)

This is my Halloween Challenge film #19. I'm a day late. The death of my faithful companion, my dog Buster, two days ago put me out of the mood to watch films. I didn't really want to watch anything today, but I forced myself, I told myself I had to. I can't let myself spiral downwards by sitting in my room crying all day. I need to distract myself. For a person as deeply emotional as me it's impossible to stop grieving after suffering such a loss. If I think about Buster I'll be sad. The only thing I can do is tell myself not to think about him all the time. I need to distract myself.

I'm happy that my friends, especially my Facebook friends, have shown so much sympathy with me in my time of sorrow. As I'm sure anyone who uses Facebook knows, a typical friends list is a mixture of close friends, casual acquaintances and people you hardly know. There were people from whom I expected sympathy, but I've also received messages from people from whom I wouldn't have expected it. I'm very thankful to everyone who has sent me messsages of support. I find it moving. It's also had an effect on this blog. My post about Buster, which I wrote two days ago, became one of my top 10 most read posts within 12 hours. That has never happened before. Within 36 hours it reached the top spot, maybe because I added extra text to the original post, but it's still something I wouldn't have expected. My top 10 list is based on the number of hits over a 30 day period, so even if nobody reads it for the next 28 days it will remain at the top of the list.

"I know what you did last summer", which I jokingly shortened to Ickwiddle in a previous post, is a dark film. Many of the scenes take place at night. The music is dark and gothic. It takes place on July 4th (in 1996 and 1997), traditionally a bright day full of celebrations, but Ickwiddle shows the other side of the day, away from the celebrations and the parades. The parades are only shown as a contrast.

The film's timing and suspense are perfect. It starts with the ominous music at the beginning and the seemingly irrelevant scene with the young boy on the cliff. I expect that most viewers won't realise who the boy is until the second time they watch the film. It's too subtle.

Overall it's a brilliant film. In the past I've called it the best horror film ever made, and I stand by that statement. It's not necessarily the scariest horror film -- for me that's "Dark Water" -- but it has a power that other films don't have. The murders are terrifying, but the terror is more in the scenes leading up to the deaths than in the deaths themselves. I know that the strength of the film comes mainly from Kevin Williamson's brilliant screenplay, but I'm surprised that the director, Jim Gillespie, has made so few films since. This was his first of only four films so far, and I haven't yet watched any of the others: "D-Tox" (2002), "Venom" (2005) and "Take Down" (2016). "I know what you did last summer" (1997) should have been enough to propel him into the big time.

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