Reminiscing on what I love about “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
The greatest American holiday, the derivative of Sowhain in Wiccan tradition, the season of harvest for the northern Hemisphere, the preparation for long periods of reclusive hibernation, and my favorite…Candy!
While I have candy all year round, Sour Patch Kids (watermelons and strawberries), Caramellos, Snickers, Godiva truffles, Kinder Hippos, Sour Dudes, Reeses (and the crazy good organic homemade ones from certain grocers), and White Chocolate Toblerone, are all worth every penny…there’s something far more sacred about All Hallow’s Eve…
Horror films. Films where whores suffer horror. Films that give everyone a reality check about their safety and security and a whole host of good reasons not to be a bad person to anyone, especially those who may already be considering plummeting off a cliff.
To whit, I Know What You Did Last Summer is probably my numero uno. It’s not my former man-crush on Ryan Philippe which was really nothing more than an admission that “I can see how girls….” It’s about the real deep concepts that the film portrays, and that they turn it into a really cool slasher with incredible aesthetics and an awesome soundtrack.
The deep concepts are premised on guilt, coming clean, vengeance, justice, reconciliation, and forgiveness.. Sometimes when people are young they do something that is not-so-good. Before good conscience is developed, they often want nothing more than to “get away with it” by burying or hiding what happened. This approach to mistakes in judgment is all too common, and all too erroneous. Forgiveness is built into the fabric of all human metaphysics, with subtle stipulations that are also fair. For this reason, it is so crucial to “come clean” and deal with punishment and regain acceptance. (by the way, this is a socio-spiritual approach that modern large bureaucratic institutions simply can’t and don’t generally implement). What I like about the film is that it’s premise is based on the consequences of absconding from moral responsibility.
There are certain morals that ‘protect’ the two main and surviving characters that differentiate them from the others who die as a result of the vengeful slashing of the hit-and-run victim. These morals are the willing to “make things right” and the attempt to try not to compromise morality for their own self-interest. Absurd as it sounds to many people in the modern world, the rewards of honesty are immense…though rarely seen in the physical realm. The other two were concerned only with their own lives and remained unapologetic to the moment of their demise. Of course, Max, the innocent one, never deserved to die and it made no sense why he was killed from any moral standpoint or any reason for vengeance. Fortunately the book is quite different and much more reasonable (hopefully realistic) than the movie. (hint: READ THE BOOK)
Now, if you really struggle to understand the ethos of the film, let’s engage in the blog. PLEASE DO ENGAGE! However, if you are morally deprived and simply love the film for it’s sounds and music, let me start you off by commending the song Forgotten Too by Ugly Beauty…
The song embodies the essence of reality that goes unnoticed by ego-centric humans: temporalism. Basically, all people will be lost to time as nothing. Nothing can be more well stated than “I will be forgotten…and you will be forgotten, too.” It is so fitting for a soundtrack to a movie about high-schoolers, utilized to explain the temporal nature of their young identities.
Youth, innocence, naivety, hopefulness, are all something of the experience of each new generation that are difficult for former generations to comprehend or adequately provide guidance on. It is an unfortunate reality of human experience. Society sets up the institutions, then defines the phases and ages that over-arch the narratives of social life and the bounds of which the constituents may derive meaning from them. Nonetheless, it is impossible to wholly constrain human souls across the board. Likewise, it is impossible to fully direct others behaviors, try as some may, regardless of intent. However, on the bright side, there is plenty of opportunity to explain or grow in the things that matter the most…which is what we must all keep our eyes on.
Speaking of eyes, the aesthetics of the film are incredible. From the fishy look of a small town that depends on seasonal captures off the Atlantic to the slightly edited darkness of an Ocean view from the cliffs of the Southeast coastline, the film engages the viewer with themes of darkness in otherwise righteous lifeforms. Particularly confusing is the gothic undertones of Summer Breeze, a fitting remake of Seals & Crofts airy melody by Type O Negative…it certainly makes one think twice about whether they’ve heard that song before.
It comes in many ways, sometimes expected, sometimes unexpected. Neither is it always fair. Sometimes we hurt people and it comes back to haunt us, and sometimes it never does…sometimes we get away with it. But, someone always knows.