Okay, let's admire the I STILL KNOW ending.
Well, it's July 5 and I sadly didn't get to watch any Fourth of July-themed movies yesterday. However, I did dive into I Still Know What You Did Last Summer this morning. And despite it being far from perfect it still holds up pretty well (for what it is). But my biggest takeaway from this recent re-watch, aside from Jennifer Love Hewitt being breathtakingly beautiful? The ending is kind of awesome.
Okay, so we know the story for I Still Know -- Julie James and three friends win a trip to the Bahamas after winning a radio contest and Julie soon realizes that it's all a set-up and the killer from the first movie, Ben Willis, is on the island with her and her friends; murder and mayhem ensue.
The movie itself is pretty generic for the most part, your typical teen slasher (which really isn't a bad thing), but this post is all about the ending, which is pretty fucking strong if you ask me.
Um, spoiler warning?
It's revealed towards the end of the film that not only is the main killer, Ben, on the island, but also his son and killing partner, Will Benson (Ben's son), one of the friends that came on the trip with Julie and company. The two drag Julie out to an old cemetery in the middle of a thunderstorm where Ben has a grave prepared for Julie in the Willis family plots (dated July 4, 1998).
Just as the two are about to finish her off, gun-toting Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) shows up to save Julie (how he knew where to find them is lost on just about everyone, but oh well). Ray points the gun at Ben, who has his hook to Julie's throat and off to the side is Will, ready to pounce on Ray. Ray toggles between Will and Ben before finally deciding to shoot Ben, but THE GUN'S JAMMED, naturally. Will pounces. And I can't really emphasize enough just how badly Will kicks Ray's ass. It's a total beatdown.
Eventually Ben asks Will to stand Ray up so he can kill him, after carelessly tossing Julie to the side momentarily.
Will brings Ray to his feet as Ben charges, hook raised high. But at the last moment, Ray uppercuts Will with his elbow and ducks out of the way as Ben buries the hook in his own son's chest. And here's where we really get a glimpse of the human side of Ben as he's completely devastated in shock and awe as Will basically dies in his arms from Ben's own doing.
Ben drops his son's dead body and yells in anger and turns, ready to charge whoever he sees first. But just then Julie starts unloading the gun on him, shooting him multiple times and screaming, "JUST...FUCKING...DIE!"
Ben's lifeless body falls into the grave he had dug for Julie.
The scene ends up being a great moment of empowerment for Julie, who really didn't get the opportunity to do so in the first movie because, again, Ray sort of saved the day. The only thing that could have made this ending more satisfying would have been if she had attacked him with his own hook (which would've been sort of impossible considering it was attached to him this time around).
And of course, there's the whole "one final scare" thing later, as we flash forward to Ray and Julie living together and the killer surprises Julie and drags her under the bed. But that's all fine and dandy because Ben is dead, and it was already set up early on in the film that Julie has constant nightmares about Ben. It sort of visualizes that Ben, although dead, will alway be with her.
So what are your thoughts on I Still Know and primarily the ending?