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Critic's Pick

'I Know What You Did Last Summer'

October 25, 1998|Kevin Thomas

This 1997 horror hit isn't the virtuoso work that "Scream," also written by Kevin Williamson, was. Nor is it as nonstop frightening. But it is fun, energetic and fairly scary. Its four young stars (Sarah Michelle Gellar, right, Jennifer Love Hewitt, center, Ryan Phillippe, left, and Freddie Prinze Jr.) have exceptional poise and promise, and their presence contributes strongly to the film's enjoyment, as does the film's setting, a charming old North Carolina coastal community. It's the Fourth of July, and the four have recently graduated from high school, they're partying a the beach, and in an instant their lives are shattered when their car strikes a man standing in the darkness in the middle of the road. Jump a year ahead, and guilt has taken its toll of the hit-and-runners. Up pops an unsigned note: "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER." The reign of terror has begun, reuniting the four to try to combat an unknown, implacable enemy (HBO Saturday at 9 p.m.).

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