Although horror spoof Scary Movie was borrowing heavily from Scream (itself, weirdly, also quite openly a spoof), it was leaning just as heavily on I Know What You Did Last Summer. Sans an iconic baddy with a plastic mask you could wear on Halloween, I Know What You Did Last Summer isn’t remembered quite as well as some of its slasher brethren, but is your ur-example of the ’90s teen slasher flick, and was influential enough to be what people reached for when they wanted to mock the genre.
While the trend these days is for film reboots, like It and Child’s Play, I Know What You Did Last Summer isn’t being remade for the cinema, but rather as a series on Amazon Prime. Attached to direct is James Wan, who’s now best known for the 2018 Aquaman film but has plenty of experience with horror under his belt, having kicked off the semi-annual horror franchises Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring, and The Conjuring’s spin-offs Annabelle and The Nun. (This perhaps explains his suitability for Aquaman, also an entry in a large and unwieldy cinematic universe.) Shay Hatten, co-writer of the third John Wick film, is attached as a scriptwriter.
Although Wan’s previous horror credits aren’t exactly the cream, they have been consistently successful at the box office, and I Know What You Did Last Summer’s brand of slasher isn’t the hardest formula to get right. You assemble a cast of attractive people a good ten years older than the supposedly teen characters they’re playing, you have some great ham run around tormenting them, and from there it practically films itself.
Having got his fingers into the DC pie, Wan’s now introducing a bit of horror to that franchise too. He’s developing this iteration of I Know What You Did Last Summer alongside the Aquaman spin-off The Trench, using the superhero’s recurrent baddies as the face of a straight-up monster movie.