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I Know What You Did Last Summer
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Orchestrated by:
Brad Dechter
Frank Bennett
Don Nemitz
Jeff Atmajian

Produced by:
Mick Stern
Ford A. Thaxton
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Promotional release by the composer (JDCD 007), very rare to find in its original pressing.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate even the more predictable, standard entries in the orchestral scores of the 1990's reincarnation of the slasher genre.

Avoid it... if you expect John Debney's work here to exhibit an intelligence that elevates itself beyond the stereotypical noise that accompanies such films.
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WRITTEN 1/19/99, REVISED 8/29/08
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I Know What You Did Last Summer: (John Debney) They thought it was over... but no, there was more money to be made! The splashy teenage horror flick I Know What You Did Last Summer breathed continued life into the concept of the 1980's urban teen thriller genre. With this franchise paralleling the Scream films (among others), young, impressionable audiences couldn't get enough of the idea that out there, somewhere, is a deranged maniac who is going to come and use some nasty tool to disembowel you. In this case, two young hunks and two young babes (all of which moving on to pop culture careers of their own) kill a man on an oceanfront rode in an automobile accident. They decide to dump him in the ocean and hope nobody discovers the event, but when they are eventually stalked and friends start dying, they begin to reconsider the choice they made. Composer John Debney was fresh off of a typical comedy routine for that period in his career, having finished Liar Liar just before tackling I Know What You Did Last Summer. As stereotypical horror scores go, this one is a whopper. Debney makes use of a frighteningly strong orchestral approach to create a highly effective and thrilling listening experience. In the film, it extends the horror felt by the lead franchise character (Julie) and her dumb, but somewhat guilty friends to a convincingly realistic level, surpassing the expectation of trashy electronic scores that existed for similarly minded films in their previous generation. The John Carpenter approach to the genre (established, of course, with his classic work for Halloween), sometimes utilizing a catchy theme but always keeping the music grounded in pop culture by using synthetic sounds, was the industry standard until the 1990's. Debney's choice of sound, however, takes the typical minor key applications of horror master Christopher Young and elevates them to a massive level. As can be expected, it is a very choppy and disturbed score, with four distinct cues of soft, suspense-building music, six cues of similarly built, foreshadowing suspense that is occasionally rocked by sudden blasts of horror, and eleven cues of consistent, fully developed chase rhythms with pounding percussion or slashing brass and strings.

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Average: 3.01 Stars
***** 55 5 Stars
**** 57 4 Stars
*** 57 3 Stars
** 48 2 Stars
* 57 1 Stars
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greg - March 6, 2004, at 4:26 p.m.
1 comment  (2590 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 50:44
• 1. A New Beginning (Julie's Theme) (1:52)
• 2. Barry's Underwater Adventure (2:33)
• 3. Homecoming (0:53)
• 4. Crabhouse Gaffing (1:10)
• 5. Someone's Watchin'/Chased (3:26)
• 6. Missy's Story (2:10)
• 7. The Houseguest (1:57)
• 8. A Little "Trim"/Trunk Surprise (3:12)
• 9. His Name Was.../Car Trouble (3:29)
• 10. Hiding the Body (3:15)
• 11. In Pursuit of Helen (2:50)
• 12. The Note (1:39)
• 13. Gaffing Barry/Missy's Home (3:19)
• 14. No Escape for Helen (2:32)
• 15. Julie Discovers the Truth (3:21)
• 16. The Night Softly Whispers (1:49)
• 17. Fond Memories (0:43)
• 18. Julie Takes a Cruise (2:56)
• 19. Taking a Stand (1:09)
• 20. Final Confrontation (4:03)
• 21. Julie Takes a Shower (1:20)

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The insert includes the following note (by an unknown author) about the film and score:

    "They thought it was over...
    Last summer four friends made a desperate pact to conceal a shocking secret. But now, someone has apparently learned the truth of their heinous act and the horror is starting again. There is an unknown avenger out there stalking them in a deadly game. Will he stop at terror - or is he out for revenge?

    So sets the stage for Columbia Pictures/Mandalay Entertainment's horror/thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer with a screenplay by Kevin Williamson whose last project was for the mega-hit Scream. Handling the scoring duties is Emmy winning composer John Debney.

    Coming off the recent success of Universal's blockbuster comedy Liar, Liar starring Jim Carrey and two Emmy nominations for the television pilot The Cape, John Debney is quickly becoming one of the most sought after composers in Hollywood. Still in his 30s, Debney has utilized both his classical training with a strong knowledge of contemporary sounds to create a wide range of musical styles depending on the project. Recent film credits include back-to-back projects with Peter Hyams; the contemporary action/adventure Sudden Death starring Jean Claude Van Damme in which Debney used a driving, techno-style score and Paramount's Science Fiction thriller, The Relic. For Renny Harlin's pirate adventure CutThroat Island starring Geena Davis and Matthew Modine, Debney created a large scale score recorded by the 120 piece London Symphony Orchestra along with a 60 voice choir.

    Debney's recent success follows on the heels of several projects for Steven Spielberg and Amblin Productions, which began with the ambitious two-hour drama Class of '61, directed by Gregory Hoblit and continued with the heroic theme and orchestral scores for Seaquest DSV (for which Debney won an Emmy for Best Main Title). These led to his first major feature, Amblin's Little Giants, a kid's football comedy. Debney's whimsical score for the lighthearted Bette Midler vehicle Hocus Pocus led to a unique three-picture deal at Disney."

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or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from I Know What You Did Last Summer are Copyright © 1997, Promotional and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/19/99 and last updated 8/29/08.
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