The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies - SlashFilm (2024)

The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies

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The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies - SlashFilm (4)

Columbia Pictures

BySlashFilm Staff/

It's doubtful that when Lois Duncan published the slow-burn mystery "I Know What You Did Last Summer" for young adult readers, she predicted it would become the basis for a horror movie franchise over 20 years later. That, however, is precisely what happened — much to the chagrin of junior high English teachers everywhere. Written by the now legendary teen horror screenwriter Kevin Williamson, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was written years before it finally hit production, but after the massive success of "Scream" in 1996, producer Erik Feig knew the best course of action was getting another Williamson slasher into theaters.

Using Duncan's novel as a loose basis, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" is about four friends named Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), and Barry (Ryan Phillippe) who after partying on the Fourth of July after high school graduation, hit a person in a drunk driving accident. Instead of reporting the accident, they dump the body in the ocean and promise to take the secret to their graves. They head off to college a few months later but when summer rolls around once again, they all start to receive threats from a fisherman claiming, you guessed it, "I know what you did last summer." Now, this quartet must figure out who is killing them off, what they know, and who they've told.

The movie was a massive financial success inspiring two sequels, a TV series, and a recently announced legacyquel from "Do Revenge" director and "Thor: Love and Thunder" co-writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Slasher timelines are notoriously convoluted, but does this hold true for the fisherman's reign of terror? Here's the correct order to watch the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movies.

The release order

The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies - SlashFilm (5)

Columbia Pictures

Fortunately, the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" movies don't have any prequels, unconnected sequels, or random tie-in films, and the release order is the same as the chronological order in terms of story. Unfortunately, the films also decline in quality as the franchise goes on, so watching the films in the order of release also means starting on a high note and ending on a ... well, a direct-to-video release from a time period when that was definitely the mark of the beast. But, unless you want to have plot elements spoiled for you as they appear in the latter films, your best bet is to watch the franchise in order:

  • "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997)
  • "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (1998)
  • "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer" (2006)

For what it's worth, "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" is nowhere near as bad as the 7% on Rotten Tomatoes would indicate. "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer" has a whopping 0%on the site and ... well, we were taught that if someone doesn't have anything nice to say they should keep their mouth shut so that's all we'll say on that.

The correct order

The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies - SlashFilm (6)

Prime Video

While there's no objective "correct" way to watch the franchise, we certainly have a recommendation for the ultimate viewing experience. And yes, it includes completely foregoing "I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer" because life is too short to watch a slasher movie trying to bring the kills of a "Final Destination" flick but without the self-awareness required to pull it off (even if the snowblower kill is hilarious). Instead, watch the first two films, and then strap in to binge nearly eight hours of the 2021 "I Know What You Did Last Summer" series on Prime Video. Meaning, the correct viewing order is as follows:

  • "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997)
  • "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" (1998)
  • "I Know What You Did Last Summer" series on Prime Video (2021)

Another victim of the streaming-series-canceled-after-one-season curse, the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" series attempted to deliver a story a bit closer in tone to Lois Duncan's novel with elements of a slasher film littered throughout. This series is a murder mystery above all else, with a fantastic cast of young actors including Madison Iseman, Brianne Tju, Bill Heck, and Ezekiel Goodman. And given the legacyquel heading our way, it's likely that the film will be closer in line with the series than the original films, making this a must-watch.

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The Correct Order To Watch I Know What You Did Last Summer Movies - SlashFilm (2024)

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