Teen guilt, slasher horrors, and nostalgia all come together in I Know What You Did Last Summer. See if you can find any horror gems that are conceptually similar to these.
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A frightening premise and a youthful cast aren’t always enough to carry a film. I Know What You Did Last Summer, a beloved film from 1997 with an intriguing plot and corny tone, is an exception. We’ll never forget classic moments like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character yelling, “What are you waiting for?” or Sarah Michelle Gellar witnessing her lover getting murdered during a beauty pageant.
After learning some interesting facts about the film’s production, it’s time to move on to more frightening fare. There are a number of unsettling stories about young adults or people who can’t seem to go on after having experienced something traumatic in these horror flicks.
1. Urban Legend (1998)
The babysitter who receives an unexplained phone call. Drive to a remote region, only to find a man there with a hook in his hand for a hand. In front of a mirror, muttering “Bloody Mary.”
Urban legends like these have terrified people for decades, and a horror film on them was released in 1998 called Urban Legends. Fans of I Know What You Did Last Summer will enjoy this song because it has a similar retro feel. The young adults in this episode are investigating the deaths of their classmates and noticing how similar the stories are to urban legends.
2. Scream 3 (2000)
There’s a lot to Scream 3 that’s similar to I Know What You Did Last Summer: a character who’s trying to escape the past but is afraid every day that they’re going to die at the hands of a serial murderer.
Sidney, played by Neve Campbell, finds herself at the center of Ghostface Killer Ghostface’s killing rampage, just as Julie has discovered she and her friends are being stalked.
3. Final Destination (2000)
Last summer’s I Know What You Did Last Summer had a lot in common with Final Destination’s production process, and vice versa.
On the one hand, both films deal with characters who are plagued by some type of death. It’s been a year since Julie and her pals accidentally ran over a stranger, and he’s coming after them to make sure they pay for it. When Alex (Devon Sawa) flees from an impending plane crash inFinal Destination, he finds himself pursued by death.
4. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
Jamie Lee Curtis is well-known for her role in the Halloween series, and her performance in 1998’s Halloween is a standout.
Now that Laurie Strode has supposed to be dead, she’s gone into hiding, working at Hillcrest Academy, and caring for her son John (Josh Hartnett). Of course, the threat of Michael Myers is always there. Like Julie in I Know What You Did Last Summer, this film follows a lady as she tries to put her disturbing past behind her, only to find out it’s much easier said than done.
There are six Jeepers Creepers in this batch (2001)
5. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
When a group of siblings are on a road trip, one of them discovers a hideous and frightening monster.
Trish (Gina Philips), another important character, is every bit as fierce and fearless as Julie. They are both adamant about surviving, and they want to retaliate. Julie is forced to witness the deaths of a large number of people, including her best friend Helen and Gina’s brother.
6. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
A tremendous cultural influence on the horror genre since its release in 1999, The Blair Witch Project may be considered a must-see for any horror movie enthusiast.
Students are seen in the woods after hearing a rumor and venturing there. Like I Know What You Did Last Summer, it’s full of sass and a blast from the past.
7. Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)
I Know What You Did Last Summer and Teaching Mrs. Tingle share many similarities, including a group of adolescent pals, a love story between two of the major characters, and an unintended murder. Both films were written by Kevin Williamson as well.
The characters have no intention of killing Helen Mirren’s character, but they do so to punish her for her terrible treatment of them over the years.
8. Ma (2019)
Ma’s final moments are quite tragic, and the whole film is a disturbing and interesting character study in equal measure.
Diana Silvers’ Maggie and her friends begin to hang out with a woman dubbed Ma (Octavia Spencer), which proves to be a move that could cost them their life just as Julie and her friends become involved in something terrible.
9. Urban Legend
The plot of Urban Legend isn’t really inventive, and it doesn’t do anything particularly unusual. There are some brownie points for the innovative premise and creative killings in both Urban Legend and Urban Legend: Final Cut.
The plot centers on a group of university students at a small New England school. The story revolves around Natalie, a talented high school girl who (together with the rest of her class) discovers a slew of urban legends and a serial killer from 25 years ago. They only find themselves in the middle of a suspenseful slasher when a killer unexpectedly appears on campus and starts killing anew.
The ending of Urban Legend (and its sequel) has a pleasant little twist, and the slew of homicides is topical enough to keep you interested until the finish.
10. Final Destination
When Final Destination came out in 2000, it introduced an entirely new subgenre of teen slasher film. Death appeared instead of the masked assassins, a much more terrifying and ominous foe.
A group of high school kids prepares for a vacation to Europe in the first film, which is debatably the greatest. It is because of Alex’s insane outburst that his teacher and several other students are forced to evacuate their plane before it takes off because he believes it will crash.
Their plane does go down in flames, but as luck would have it, so does Death’s scheme to take them both out. Now, the group must avoid both the FBI (who believes they are to blame for the explosion) and Death, who keeps sharpening his scythe and finds new ways to kill the kids.
With a unique storyline, horrific graphics, and some truly horrifying deaths, Final Destination is a top pick.
11. Cherry Falls
Cherry Falls is heavily influenced by Scream, and that’s not a secret. However, the film’s idea, which heavily leans on the teen slasher themes, manages to inject some innovation.
Cherry Falls, a small hamlet in central Virginia, serves as the setting for this tale. A long-haired assassin is going after virgins in high school and killing them in ever-more gruesome ways. Jody Markam, another virgin, begins an investigation on her own to determine who the assassin is. However, while doing so, she unearths a bevy of sinister truths.
Cherry Falls is witty at moments and moves along quickly.
The cast of Cry Wolf reminds me a lot of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ which is a good thing. With its underlying plot, the film also evokes a sense of mystery.
High school teenagers decide to use the murder of a woman as a springboard for terrorizing their peers. Teenagers set out to create online rumors about “The Wolf,” a serial killer on the run. A Wolf killer may exist after all, according to the escalating rumors and blurring fantasy/reality lines.
A few good surprises await you in this one, which culminates in a well-done update on the slasher formula.
Carrie is one of Stephen King’s most iconic works, and as such, it has no problem making this list of the best Stephen King novels.
In case you missed it, Carrie is about a quiet, friendless teen who is kept safe from the outside world by her devout mother. Carrie goes on a violent rampage after being humiliated by her prom date’s friends.
It’s satisfying to see Carrie take revenge on her tormentors, and the mood and tone perfectly blend melodrama and horror.
Not only does Scream poke fun at the genre it belongs to, but it does so by unironically presenting Ghostface, the most iconic assassin in the history of the genre.
After the death of Sidney’s mother, the story picks up a year later. Sidney and her friends begin to get weird phone calls from a psychotic serial killer. This enigmatic guy wears a white mask over his face and a long black robe to frighten the group. He threatens them with phone calls in an attempt to exact retribution.
There are some incredibly memorable and tense scenes as the film proceeds because more of the history is exposed. In spite of the fact that the sequels are of various quality, the first film is unquestionably worth seeing.
15. Sorority Row
Look no farther than Sorority Row for an example of a group of teenagers unintentionally killing someone and then covering it up.
When a fraternity prank goes badly wrong, a group of sorority sisters strive to hide the death of their house sister. They only have to figure out who’s behind this when they’re being hunted by a serial killer.
Despite the fact that the picture isn’t particularly creative, it does a good job of fusing together a number of genre staples.
16. All My Friends Are Dead
When watching American Pie, someone must have thought what would happen if all of the characters died in progressively terrible ways.
Two investigators are sandwiched between the celebration and the discovery of a suburban house full of dead bodies on New Year’s Day. Who knows what transpired. Who was responsible for this? Are there any signs that a serial killer is still on the loose? This team’s only lead is a lone survivor who mutters something along the lines of “All my friends are dead.
If you’re looking for a teen horror film that does something unusual while staying true to the genre, give this one a shot.
Valentine is another slasher film, however this one takes place on Valentine’s Day instead than Halloween. In addition to an impressive cast and a terrifying villain, this deliciously dark slasher is a visual treat.
The plot revolves around five ladies who are being stalked by an unknown assailant as they prepare for Valentine’s Day, and is standard slasher fare.
Valentine is a lot of fun thanks to the way it combines suspense, tension, and gore.
18. Prom Night
Prom Night undoubtedly checks all the necessary boxes when it comes to a plot similar to ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer.’
The 1980 film Prom Night depicts a masked killer stalking four adolescents at a high school senior prom. It turns out that six years ago, they were responsible for the death of a classmate by accident, and the assassin now seeks vengeance.
However, even though Prom Night doesn’t have quite as much action as other slashers in our list, the 80s-inspired elements (such as disco music and dress) should be enough to keep you interested until you reach the end of the film.
After watching I Know What You Did Last Summer, here are our choices for 10 movies to keep you occupied.