“With slowly growing horror she stared at the letter, at the one black sentence that peered up at her from the smudged paper… I Know What You Did Last Summer.” – Lois Duncan

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Written by Lois Duncan
Published 1973
Rating 3/5

In October of 1973 the world was introduced to a group of teenage friends who after partying in the New Mexico Mountains accidentally ran over a child returning home from a friend’s house. Reacting to panic and fear of being arrested, the friends leave the scene of the accident and wait to call the authorities till they are miles away from the accident.

Unfortunately their poor decision to drive while intoxicated cost the life of the young David Gregg. Ten months later the friends begin receiving eerie messages and phone calls. Someone knows what they did and they want revenge.

The novel, which was written by Lois Duncan, targeted young adult readers. The title, I Know What You Did Last Summer.

After the success of Scream, Kevin Williamson was approached to write a screenplay based on the novel. Sticking to his usual formula that made Scream so popular, Williamson penned a script that focused on teenagers using witty banter, suspenseful overtones, and even a few laughs to ease the tension within the theatre.

Like most adaptations, other than the characters name shakes, the film is vastly different from the novel. And it’s said that Duncan was vehemently opposed to the changes made in the film. Primarily because the movie was made into a slasher film while the book is a mystery. 

Harrell’s Department Store served as a key location for the film. In 2018 we made a three part documentary vlog series visiting the locations for the film AND compared the book to the movie.