The great success of ‘Scream’ sparked Hollywood interest in the slasher, a subgenre that had dominated horror films during the 1980s. One of the most popular titles to emerge from behind the film by Wes Craven It was ‘I know what you did last summer’, a film that even shared a scriptwriter with the adventures of Ghostface
‘I know what you did last summer’ started from a novel by Lois Duncan which has now also served as a reference for an Amazon series with the same title as the platform debuts this friday october 15. The public will then have access to its first four episodes, the same ones that I have already had the opportunity to see, remaining very dissatisfied with the result.
One of the keys to the slasher is that they tended to be very direct movies: a group of teenagers, a murderer, and a massacre. Then there were titles that took more care of the development of the characters, the mystery or the atmosphere. Any option was valid if there was someone behind it who knew how to handle it, but in the case of the series of ‘I know what you did last summer’ it seems that the main interest of the Amazon series are teenage subplots with the most limited interest.
In fact, the temporary jumps between what happened a year ago and the current situation are quite numerous, something that is used more to influence the contrast in the personality of its protagonist than for anything else. It is true that so too it tries to give something more depth to the rest of the main characters, but what is contributed are swings more typical of a random adolescent series than what one would expect from an update of ‘I know what you did last summer’.
Of course, the problem itself is not so much to reduce terror and suspense almost to the minimum expression – there are small flashes of violence here and there, but they are not especially memorable either and do not compensate for the frustration that prevails the rest of the time – as that what is offered in this way is monotonous most of the time. And when some spicy is added – rarely, I already warn you -, one is already so tired of the series that it matters little.
I confess that I did not have much hope that something at least entertaining could come out of ‘I know what you did last summer’, since the series format did not fit me at all with this story. What I did trust is that some of the novelties would be worthwhile, but at the moment of truth everything is bet on one card – delving into how the accident that took place the year before changed the characters- without contributing anything memorable.
There are betrayals, more doses of sex than in any Hollywood slasher of the second half of the 90s, marked personality changes and more elements that on paper should have added more richness to the series. I say on paper, because when push comes to shove it all feels like a worn version of what could have been.
It also doesn’t help that the cast’s contribution tends to be irrelevant, perhaps with the exception of Madison Iseman, young actress previously seen in such films as ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ or ‘Annabelle Comes Home’. At least she has more to play with, making some scenes stand out above the rest. Be careful, this only means that they are less deficient, not that they actually catch you.
There is always hope that it will improve, not even because its most terrifying side has to grow in importance yes or yes before the series reaches its end – because I prefer not even to consider the possibility that they stretch the story beyond a season-, but it gives me that many are not even going to get there. There are too many options to look at to stick with a series with such a loose starter that for now it’s more boring than anything else, and that’s especially unforgivable.