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'I Know What You Did Last Summer' hopes to hook audiences

movie scene October 16, 1997
Web posted at: 5:13 a.m. EDT (0913 GMT)

From Correspondent Jim Moret

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- A ghostly urban legend becomes a terrifying reality for four teens in the new psychological thriller, "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

A mysterious man wielding a metal hook stalks four friends who share a dark secret, echoing the framework of many a late-night horror story. But the hook in "Last Summer" is no aimless maniac, he's a killer with insider information.

Watch trailers from "Last Summer"
Partial trailer:
video icon 765K/18 sec. QuickTime Movie
Full trailer:
icon 2:13 VXtreme streaming video

The four main characters cannot escape the truth that they are responsible for a man's death. It happened "Last Summer" when the group accidentally kills a man in a hit-and-run accident and works to cover up the deadly deed.

But someone outside of the friendly foursome knows what happened out on the road, and he's not in a forgiving mood.

The film stars an impressive cast, including Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt of "Party of Five" and Sarah Michelle Gellar, better known as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."


"These are situations that could really happen. And that's what scares us the most," says Gellar of "Last Summer's" appeal.

Television's "Buffy" found the reality of making a horror movie not quite the same as the image she had in her mind. For one thing, the hook used in "Last Summer" was real. Instead of a harmless movie prop, the hook managed to spook Gellar with its sharp edges and shiny metal surface.

"And I thought when you do a horror movie, you go 'Oh look, there's a bad man' and then you scream and you run away," says Gellar. "It's a lot more difficult than that."

Kevin Williamson, who wrote last year's horror hit "Scream," also penned this new take on the hook legend. The writer's fascination with the frightening developed from an early age.


"In 'I Know What You Did Last Summer,' I got to bring my whole childhood to life in the sense that I got to create it around my hometown," says Williamson. "My dad was a fisherman, and a fish hook was a very common thing."

Screen talent Freddie Prinze finds the unreality of horror movies like "Last Summer" to be their appeal, not the chance that it could really happen in his neighborhood.

"Movies are an escape, man. You go in there to get your blood boiling and live through the eyes of other people that you wouldn't get to be, and you wouldn't get to be in those situations," says Prinze of the horror experience.


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