One year after their high school graduation, a group of teenagers who are harbouring a deadly secret become subjected to viscous killings and threats from an anonymous attacker. With their lives at stake, the gang must confront their shady past in order to unmask the killer.

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Episodes viewed: 3 of 8

The 1997 film adaptation of I Know What You Did Last Summer – based on the 1970s novel of the same name – was a fun, unfussy teen slasher film which endured because of its hot, of-the-moment cast and inventive small town murders.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Amazon Prime’s serialised take on the story sets out to mine those same tropes. There’s the undeniably attractive cast, here a larger and more diverse ensemble than that in the film. There’s a similar coastal town set-up, that plays host to a series of killings that range from bone-crunchingly creative to chillingly cutthroat. Yet before the show gets to the serious bloodshed, it spends a tedious and lengthy opening episode establishing a group of characters who feel like a product of algorithms rather than rounded human beings. There’s good twin Allison and evil twin Lennon, both played by Madison Iseman, hungry influencer Margot (Brianne Tju), her gay best friend Johnny (Sebastian Amoruso), lonely boy Dylan (Ezekiel Goodman) and drug dealer with a heart Riley (Ashley Moore).

The plot plays out more like an episode of Pretty Little Liars than its harder, significantly more thrilling source material.

Each is wrestling with a mix of teen drama and inherited trauma, which reaches boiling point when the pivotal accidental killing and consequent cover up comes into play. Emerging showrunner Sara Goodman makes the smart move to bring a personal touch to the catalytic event, but after a full episode of exposition and clumsy attempts to raise the emotional stakes, audiences will be ready for the entire core cast to make their brutal departures.

Instead of simply homaging the film, the show exists as a puddle of broader horror and young adult cultural references that have dripped down from other shows and films. There are dregs of David Lynch’s work present, for example, but ones that have already been strained through Netflix’s longrunning surreal teen show Riverdale. There’s a soapy elitist noir feel to it also that has been recycled so many times that the plot plays out more like an episode of Pretty Little Liars than its harder, significantly more thrilling source material.

The show at least remains loyal to its genre, with a startling introduction to the unknown killer’s revenge that is effectively communicated via smart phone. Yet the slasher component of the show is bafflingly sparse, with Goodman instead choosing to fuel the plot with the dynamics of a group of thinly-drawn Gen Z kids. The result is a forgettable play on a story that deserves to be left deeply rooted in 1990s nostalgia.

There’s no fun to be found in this glossy yet charmless reboot, which takes a swing at bringing the slasher film to the TikTok age and misses by miles.

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