Based on Lois Duncan’s eponymous 1973 novel, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ is a slasher film about four college students – Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Ray Bronson (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Barry Cox (Ryan Phillippe) – who get hunted down after a drunk and drive frenzy goes terribly wrong when they accidentally hit a fisherman while driving on the coastal road. The four proceed to dump the body in the water and make a pact to never discuss the incident ever.
However, a year later, their secret knocks on their door and begins to haunt them. The four friends are soon stalked by a mysterious hook-wielding man who wants to murder them one by one. Helmed by Jim Gillespie, the 1997 film is a succulent blend of eerie and suspenseful elements. Most horror and slasher movies are shot in the dark, but the locations still set the tone for the scene. If you were spooked by the film and wish to know about the filming locations of ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ we’ve got your back!
I Know What You Did Last Summer Filming Locations
Although the movie is entirely set in North Carolina, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ was actually filmed in and around several locations in North Carolina, California, and New Jersey, with the latter two standing in for the former. Filming for the movie commenced on March 31, 1997, and went on till June of the same year. Cinematographer Denis Crossan is responsible for the gloomy blue and overall dreary color tones present throughout the film.
Interestingly, the cast and crew spent around seven weeks of the 10-week shoot filming at night, which led to a lot of commotion in most places. However, the production team managed to create one of the most memorable slasher films of all time, so everything worked out in the end. Let’s take a look at the specific locations that served as the shooting sites!
The opening of the movie where a man is sitting on a rock, with a beer and pendant in his hand was shot at Jenner, a tiny coastal town. After a high school party, the four characters have a small get-together on a beach. A few beach scenes were from the Goat Rock Beach and Portuguese Beach in Sonoma.
The scene where they sit around the fire and talk about urban legends in the dark was filmed at Schoolhouse Beach. Soon they drink and start enjoying themselves like normal teenagers, and everything is good till they get in the car. The accident that leads to everything happens at a blind curve at the Kolmer Gulch beach, a few miles away from their previous location. The road is known as Coast Highway, which falls at the southern end of Timber Cove. The accident of the movie was filmed approximately 5 miles away from Bodega Bay, and you’ll find the same roads in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, ‘The Birds‘ (1963), where a town is attacked by a hoard of birds.
Marin County, California
Some scenes were shot at Nick’s Cove, a hotel at Tomales Bay’s northeast shore in Marshall, a small community in Marin County. This is an underrated yet ideal location for picturesque shots of the sea. Tourists frequently visit this place for oysters and clams, a delicacy of this place. ‘Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade’ (1989) along with ‘Jurassic World‘ (2015) are two famous films shot at this location.
Fort Lee, New Jersey
A few scenes of the movie were also shot in Fort Lee, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of the American film industry. Most of the population in the city is an employee in the motion picture industry. Fort Lee’s prime location made several notable spots available to the filmmakers, such as New York City, Palisades Cliffs for action movies, and its eye-catching streets. You’ll find it in the Martin Scorsese crime drama, ‘Goodfellas‘ (19900, and even the critically acclaimed series, ‘The Sopranos‘ (1999-2007), along with several other notable pop-culture films.
Durham, North Carolina
A year after the incident, Julie is shown to attend college. This institute is the prestigious Duke University in Durham. It falls in the northern parts of North Carolina and was also showcased in a movie released during the same year, known as ‘Kiss The Girls’ (1997), a crime drama.
Currie, North Carolina
The creepiest location was this one particular house in the woods at Currie in North Carolina. Helen and Julie decide to take matters into their hand and end up at Canetuk Road, outside this not-so-safe-looking house that always keeps you on your toes. But then again, you can say that about the entire movie. And only teenagers in slasher movies can show up at such a place, uninvited, ready to investigate, when someone’s out to kill them.
Burgaw, North Carolina
The jump scare, which happens at The Shivers’ store, ended in a laughing frenzy behind the scenes because the actors realized how scary it would be for the audience. And the fictional store exists as Harrell’s Department Store in Burgaw, North Carolina. So, be careful of the mannequins if you decide to pay a visit. The director wanted to include this specific location in the movie, and he made minor tweaks so it could complement the scene.
Southport, North Carolina
Most of the movie is based in Southport, which was also a prime location for movies like ‘Crimes Of The Heart’ (1986), and an infamous sequel to the original Hitchcock film, ‘The Birds II: Lands End (1994), and even Kevin Williamson’s drama TV show called ‘Dawson’s Creek‘ (1998-2003). David Lynch’s film, ‘Blue Velvet’ (1986), was made at a popular film studio in Wilmington.
The eerie scene where the killer intrudes Helen’s home and scares her was shot at 308 W West Street. When Helen and Julie set out to confront Barry at his home, the filming location was 220 River Drive. Julie’s house, where the first creepy letter occurs, is set at 209 Short Street.
The sequence where Helen is nervously sitting on the chair at a beauty pageant and Barry keeps an eye on her from a distance, the shot was at Amuzu Theatre on 111 North Howe Street. Finally, when Barry has his first threatening encounter in the gym, it’s actually at a seafood stop called Fishy Fishy Cafe at 106 Yacht Basin Drive.
After winning the pageant in the first scene, Helen heads off to celebrate at “Ollie’s Oyster Bar.” The real name of that place is the Old American Fish Company, a beachfront bar on 150 Yacht Basin Drive at the western end of the city’s waterfront.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a beautiful city with serene beaches and delicious seafood. The movie’s finale happened in Cape Fear River that passes through the city. Here, the team struggled to keep up with the turbulent water. They had to hold on to the shoot and return the next day because they struggled to dock the boat. And Julie can move around so quickly in the last scene after she jumps on the ice because it’s fake. They made the ice out of gelatin so she could navigate easily without freezing.