By Troy Ribeiro
Film: 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' (Streaming on Amazon Prime). Duration: 40 minutes per episode (eight episodes in all).
Creator: Sara Goodman. Cast: Madison Iseman, Bill Heck, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck and Brooke Bloom.
IANS Rating: **
Sara Goodman's 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' for Amazon Prime is a modern adaptation of Lois Duncan's 1973 novel of the same name.
Earlier in 1997, Director Jim Gillespie and Writer Keven Williamson adapted the novel for Columbia Pictures, and closer home in 2003, Director Anurag Basu was inspired by it to make 'Kucch To Hai', featuring Tusshar Kapoor and Eesha Deol. Both films didn't fare well at the box office.
The premise of this tale is simple. A group of teenagers on a midnight joyride hit a pedestrian. They decide to keep the accident a secret after contemplating all the odds. But, a year later, after one of them receives an ominous note stating, "I Know What You Did Last Summer", they realise they are being stalked by a mysterious killer who knows their secret and wants them dead.
In this edition, while the premise, gores and scares of the book and the film adaptation are intact, the story is complicated by a set of twins, sex, drugs and diversity. The result of this fresh re-imagining is irritatingly convoluted, or so it seems after watching the first four episodes of this eight-episode series.
In the initial episode we are introduced to the characters: identical twins Alison and Lennon, played by Madison Iseman, the duo have contrasting personalities and sibling issues; their classmates Margot (Brianne Tju), a self-obsessed social media influencer; Dylan (Ezekiel Goodman), the guilt-ridden soft guy; Riley (Ashley Moore), a girl from a poor family who is into drug dealing, and the gay Johnny (Sebastian Amoruso), who are close to each other, yet they have secrets hidden in their closets. They all are celebrating their night after graduation. Their party is fuelled by music, sex and drugs.
On noticing the presence of Police Inspector Lyla (Fiona Rene) at the venue, the friends decide to go out for a drive. En route, they meet with the accident. In the middle of a highway, and far away from the party venue, the accident appears to be preposterous, considering who was hit.
Furthermore, the graffiti on the mirror stating, 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', along with the goat head in the closet, appears ghastly. At the same time, it throws a hundred questions becaus of being implausible.
The location of Wai Huna, Hawaii, and its people, add to the intrigue value of the narrative, but the tense moments are frivolously handled. The fear factors pop up often, but the scares neither haunt you, nor tickle your funny bone. Overall, the plot laden with far-fetched situations quickly dissolves into a farce.
(Troy Ribeiro can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)