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8 Reasons Why ‘I Still Know What You Did Last Summer’ Is Better Than The Original

I get it. We’re all supposed to hate horror movie sequels and remakes. Nothing beats the original, or so they say. But sometimes a new movie elevates the series. Yes, it does happen. Case in point: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Despite the silly title (shouldn’t it be I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago?), it’s far superior to the 1997 original in my opinion. So why is I Still Know better than the original? Here’s why! (Warning: mild spoilers ahead.)

The plot is just so much more fun!

While it was fun to see Jennifer Love Hewitt screaming “what are you waiting for” while turning in circles in the middle of the street, you have to admit that I Know was a little safe. It was a classic slasher movies where a mystery killer is picking off the teens one by one. We’ve seen it before. But I Still Know is so much more fun. It takes place on a remote island resort during a hurricane. It has fun twists and turns. It doesn’t just give us the same tried-and-true slasher formula. This sequel plot wins for sure.

The cast is better.

Welcome, new cast members. I Still Know…

There, I said it. While Sarah Michelle Gellar was great in Buffy, her role as Helen Shivers in I Know What You Did Last Summer was pretty boring by comparison. The same can be said for Ryan Phillippe as well. But they died at the end of the first movie, so they had to be replaced by someone. Enter Brandy and Mekhi Phifer. Their entrance into the franchise, along with a different screenwriter, made their characters welcomingly refreshing. Then there’s the weird stalkery “nice guy” college friend Will, played by Matthew Settle, but we’ll get to him later in this list.

You forgot Jack Black was in this, didn’t you?

No wonder he wanted to be uncredited… I Still Know…

Yep, when the cast arrives on the island, they’re greeted by Jack Black’s Titus. He wasn’t nearly as well known in 1998, which explains why he didn’t get any heavy billing and most of us forgot he was even there. In fact, IMDb lists him as uncredited for this role. He plays the stereotype of the racist white guy trying so hard to be a dreadlocked stoner Rastafarian. It’s funny, it works, and it makes his death all the more satisfying.

Freddie Prinze Jr. is separated from the rest of the cast.

The movie begins with Julie (Hewitt) and Ray’s (Prinze Jr.) relationship in a bit of a rough patch. He’s just a grisled fisherman and she’s a college coed. The life differences are getting to them, especially Ray. So when Julie wins a trip to an island resort, he insists that he can’t go. He rejoins the cast later, but I think it’s for the best he stays away for most of the movie. It builds up the tension by him trying to find her all while avoiding boring relationship drama that’d be there if they were in the same room. Good call, filmmakers.

The setting is a lot more interesting.

Speaking of the island resort, what a fun location. They’re out of their element and at the whim of the hotel staff. And since it’s just them and the staff, thanks to hurricane season, it still has this claustrophobic feeling. Another plus side for the setting is that it shows Julie and the others that there’s nowhere to hide. They don’t have to be in their hometown to get wrecked by a vengeful killer.

It features the creepy nice guy trope.

Spooky. I Still Know…

Nothing’s creepier than the guy who insists he’s just your friend but then follows you around like a puppy waiting for scraps. That’s what we get with Will, and he plays it perfectly. He wishes he could be with Julie…Or does he? Most women have come across a guy like this in our lives and can fully believe him to be a creepy stalker-turned-killer. The fact that this hits so close to home makes his character a great choice for the movie.

There aren’t any complaints about it diverting from the source material.

One of the big complaints about the original I Know is that it diverted so much from the YA thriller novel it was based off of. So much was changed to make the book appeal to a classic horror audience and the author, Lois Duncan, as well as fans of the book, weren’t pleased. Luckily, that’s an impossibility for I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. This was a movie first and book second. Novel fans could still read the book version of the plot, but it was written as they made the film as a movie tie-in. All accurate, all the time.

It makes me feel dumb, but in a good way.

One of the big twists is that Julie and the gang ended up at the island under false pretenses. They answer a call and it’s a radio show DJ asking them a question for them to win a trip. They’re asked the capital of Brazil and they say Rio, winning the tickets. It’s revealed as part of the twist ending that their guess was wrong: Brasilia is the capital of Brazil. I can’t be the only one who had no idea they’d made a mistake, which makes this twist all the better.

Not sold on the quality of this horror sequel? You can watch I Still Know What You Did Last Summer on Netflix and see what you think.