In the late-90s, “Scream” helped inject new life into slasher films, after Jason, Freddy and the like began showing their age. Often forgotten, however, is the tag-team effort echoed by another hot Kevin Williamson script released in theaters between the first two “Scream” films: “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze, Jr., the film is focused on a group of youths who, while driving down the coast for a beach party, hit a pedestrian by the name of Ben Willis. They make an impetuous decision to dispose of the body, and face no repercussions for the hit-and-run — until next year, when the group finds itself terrorized by a mysterious figure in a black raincoat, a black face covering and a black hat, coming at them wielding a rusty fishing hook.
His aesthetic is clearly inspired by the classic urban legend of the Hook, a campfire story usually concerning a hook-handed killer who escapes from a mental asylum. Despite “I Know What You Did Last Summer” being a fairly big hit at the box office, very few people ever mention Ben Willis (or “The Fisherman”) as a memorable slasher on par with the likes of, say, Ghostface. While not a completely ineffectual murderer, this killer character just isn’t interesting enough visually, or in terms of his backstory, to leave much of an impact.