Why you should be watching Amazon’s I Know What You Did Last Summer

I Know What You Did Last Summer key art - Courtesy of Amazon Studios
I Know What You Did Last Summer key art - Courtesy of Amazon Studios /

In light of the recent resurgence for slasher content, Amazon is giving us an addictive ‘90s throwback with sprinkles of modern horror in their original series I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Serving as a retooling of the novel turned cult classic horror film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe, the new Amazon series has its work cut out for it based on reputation alone. Having already dropped four episodes of I Know What You Did Last Summer the series is already filled with plenty of nods to the blood-soaked content that came before, yet the creative team knows exactly what to do to avoid being another simple rehashing of horror.

So what is it about Amazon’s I Know What You Did Last Summer that works so well?

I Know What You Did Last Summer features characters you can simultaneously love and hate

Anyone who is familiar with the cult classic ‘90s film knows that Helen Shivers (Gellar) gave us the iconic role of Helen. The pageant queen turned robbed final girl provided one of the most gripping chase scenes in slashers, with layers to perceptions of popularity.

Similarly, Brianne Tju’s role of Margot feels like an Instagram-era version of the character, with a little less kindness and a little more chaotic energy to navigate. Given the fact that this is a broader, over-arching story, the choice to give these characters grittier secrets only serves as incentives for the series ability to create an overarching dramatic narrative to simmer in the background.

Getting to see the character of Margot transition from her comedic take on murder to an emotional ploy gives her particular character a duality that viewers are drawn to. With the suggestion that others like Madison Iseman’s notable portrayal of twins, or Ezekiel Goodman’s stoic role of Dylan, we might just have the potential for greater horror icon reveals along the way.

I Know What You Did Last Summer respects what came before and establishes something new

Similar to the MTV series Scream, which also starred Tju, Amazon has learned how to maintain some familiarity with the intention of passing the torch to a new generation. Finding a way to create a satisfying horror series is no easy feat, so its ability to feel compatible with the ambiance of the films suggests that I Know What You Did Last Summer is kicking off an extensive world of its own.

Part of why people fell for the sometimes campy fisherman-led horrors of the film franchise to begin with was its notion that the protagonists aren’t simply victims. The recurring element of I Know What You Did Last Summer comes from the protagonists’ accidental “murder” that leads to a year-long coverup and paints them as killers and targets.

This series is no different, and even replicates a car accident with a familial twist that brings much greater intensity than the film was able to muster. We immediately see that the character killed in the accident plays a great role in the young group’s bonds, which has a much larger ripple effect on the central roles. There are bigger questions that appear around every corner, and the long-running mystery of the series feels like it has the potential to deliver a much bigger endgame reveal than the original film.

I Know What You Did Last Summer is keeping slashers series in the spotlight

Possibly one of the best things to come from the horror series is the fact that the slasher sub-genre lives on!

Looking at the roster of horror titles, It isn’t very often that slasher series are introduced to the world. As far as prominent titles over the years, there’s Slasher and MTV’s Scream that have helped carry the torch, however, Scream has since ended and Slasher is now more established on its own accord. Getting to see slasher-esque stories adapted in a television format feels like a rarity across networks and streaming services, so Amazon’s desire to reframe expectations for something like I Know What You Did Last Summer comes at a perfect time.

Interestingly enough, slasher properties are currently thriving in film, with the fifth chapter of Scream and the upcoming conclusion of David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy viewed as highly anticipated horror staples. Now that I Know What You Did Last Summer has dropped several episodes worth of stories to break down and engage in, it absolutely feels worthy of keeping the televised slasher spirit alive in Hollywood.

I Know What You Did Last Summer drops a new episode on Amazon Prime Video every Friday, so make sure to check it out!

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