Wednesday, 19 March 2014

DVD Review - Double Feature: I Know What You Did Last Summer & When A Stranger Calls

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Director: Jim Gillespie
Starring: Jeniffer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe
When A Stranger Calls
Director: Simon West
Starring: Camilla Belle, Brian Geraghty, Katie Cassidy, Clark Gregg
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Retail: $9.98
Running Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
Rating: R/PG-13


Arriving in a single-disc DVD is the horror film double feature of I Know What You Did Last Summer (starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe) and When A Stranger Calls (starring Camilla Belle, Brian Geraghty, Katie Cassidy, Clark Gregg) from Mill Creek Entertainment. There are no extras or special features on the disc.

I Know What You Did Last Summer was released in the fall of 1997, loosely based on the book of the same name by Lois Duncan; though besides from the title and characters' names, it hardly resembles the young adult novel. Kevin Williamson (he wrote the Scream movies) penned the script.

The film revolves around four seniors accidentally running over a stranger that was walking in the road. Since they had all been drinking, they decide to take the body to the nearby docks and dump the body in the water. One year goes by and Julie (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) has never gotten over that horrifying night. She returns home from college for summer break, only to be tormented by random letters saying, "I Know What You Did Last Summer." Julie, Helen (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Barry (played by Ryan Phillippe) and Ray (played by Freddie Prinze Jr.) are all being stalked by a crazed killer. They start to suspect that whoever they dumped in the docks last summer might be still alive and wanting revenge.

Riding the backbone of the original Scream movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer was a box-office success. A sequel with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddy Prinze Jr., titled I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, was released in 1998. A direct-to-video sequel, titled I Always Know What You Did Last Summer, was released in 2006 with a brand-new cast, but was unsuccessful.

When A Stranger Calls is the remake of the cult classic 1979 film of the same name and is inspired by the "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs" urban legend. The remake was released in 2006 and stars Camilla Belle as Jill Johnson, who is spending a Friday night babysitting two children inside an isolated house. She receives a few disturbing phones calls. At first she thinks these are prank phone calls, but then strange things begin happening. Then she learns the calls are coming within the house.

Despite horrible reviews from critics, the film was moderately successful. A sequel was planned, but quickly scrapped for unknown reasons.

I was a teenager in 1997 and I was a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so naturally I wanted to I Known What You Did Last Summer, but growing up in a small town had its disadvantages, as there wasn't a movie theater nearby. Plus, there were wasn't a video store in town either. Yes, back then there were actual video stores, where a person could check out a few VHSs on Tuesday and keep them for two days. My mother would check out a couple of movies on Tuesdays in a nearby town and bring the movies home to watch. Typically, I would watch them after school the next day, but when my mother checked out I Know What You Did Last Summer, I  happened to have the  flu and was able to watch the movie on a Wednesday morning. Yes, it is your typical slasher movie and a little predictable, but thanks to a great cast and Kevin Williamson's script, the film was entertaining. I ended up buying the Lois Duncan novel it is based on, the soundtrack and eventually the VHS, which I quickly wore out.

I Know What You Last Summer has been released to DVD a few times and recently on Blu-ray, but I never got around to buying it, which was one of the reasons why I requested to review the double feature DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment. Despite being on a single disc, the picture quality is pretty good.

Though I was aware of the original When A Stranger Calls, I had never seen the movie, but I knew the basic plot. It seems Hollywood keeps remaking horror movies as PG-13 films. There isn't a whole lot going on in When A Stranger Calls, but it isn't that bad of either.

Overall, I enjoyed watching the Double Feature: I Know What You Did Last Summer & When A Stranger Calls.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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