WHERE THIS EVIL HAILS FROM: The I Know What You Did Last Summer series
WHY THIS EVIL MADE ME FILLE THE FEAR: I Know What You Did Last Summer came out when I was seven and the sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, when I was eight, so clearly this wasn’t a fear born out of a traumatic movie-going experience. This was one of those fears that snuck up on me when I least expected it.
It was a normal afternoon at day camp and there I was enjoying my snack when I happened to overhear some of the camp counselors discussing a pivotal scene of a movie they saw the previous weekend. In great detail, they described the moment where Jennifer Love Hewitt thinks she is safe from harm, that she has finally escaped, but then catches a glimpse of something shiny in the mirror across from her bed. That glimpse was the hook-handed killer, hiding out, waiting to grab her. And that’s all it took to convince me that a man with a hook would be waiting under my bed for me each night, about to rip through the bottom of my mattress and tear me to shreds.
HOW THIS EVIL STILL DOES: When I did get around to seeing both the first and second installments of Last Summer they weren’t nearly as terrifying as that first impression, but the hook-handed fisherman had all of the classic horror villain qualities that would keep you up at night. Even in the context of a cheesy ’90s serial killer flick, he had a certain haunting quality. The black raincoat, the fact that you never really see his face, and the idea that he will not rest until justice has been served. There seem to be an endless number of places for him to hide and creepy situations from which he can emerge–blending into a crowd, impersonating a mannequin only to pounce unexpectedly, sending threatening notes, creeping into the pretty girl’s room at night to cut off her hair, the list goes on and on. The worst part is the same thing that scared me back in the days of eavesdropping on camp counselors: just when you think you’re safe, you can relax and let your guard down, he’ll be waiting for you. And then you’re toast.
And also, there’s a I Know What You Did Last Summer remake coming out, supposedly starring Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice. So, he’ll have a chance to strike yet again.