Where was I Know What You Did Last Summer filmed?
Southport, North Carolina; Bodega Bay, California
American, Beach/Oceanview, House, Restaurant, Schools/Colleges
Beachfront, Sport Car
About I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Know What You Did Last Summer — those seven words are guaranteed to send a chill down the spine of any fan of ‘90s slasher flicks. Released in 1997, this cult classic has all the ingredients of a memorable horror movie: four good-looking young friends, a terrible secret, and a bloodthirsty killer keen on getting their violent revenge.
The film tells the story of teens Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Barry (Ryan Phillippe), and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.). It’s the fourth of July and the four friends have the world at their feet, so they head out to celebrate in Barry’s new car. But their drunken shenanigans turn into a disaster when they run over a pedestrian on a secluded coastal road.
After much debate, they decide to dump the body in the water and never speak of it again. But sometimes the past has a way of coming back to haunt you.
One year later, with each of the friends pursuing their dreams, Julie returns home from college for the summer. But when she receives an anonymous note with a chilling message — “ I know what you did last summer!” — Julie knows she’s in big trouble.
She and Barry are quick to suspect Max (Johnny Galecki), Julie’s friend who happened to pass by on the night they hit the pedestrian. But when Max is brutally slain by a hook-wielding maniac, it quickly becomes obvious that he is not the killer.
In fact, the mysterious murderer has his sights set on making Julie, Helen, Barry, and Ray pay for their sins of last summer. If they’re going to avoid being picked off one by one, they’ll need to put up the fight of their lives.
Written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Jim Gillespie, I Know What You Did Last Summer was a raging commercial success. If you’d like to relive some iconic memories from this 1997 classic, we’ve gathered the details of where the best scenes in I Know What You Did Last Summer (spoiler alert!) were filmed. Keep reading for the lowdown.
I Know What You Did Last Summer Locations
If you want to hit the road and visit some iconic I Know What You Did Last Summer locations, you’re in luck. The film was largely shot on location in South Carolina and California, so it’s quite easy to check out some of the movie’s more memorable settings.
You might want to start with the road where the teens have their shocking accident, hitting a pedestrian. You’ll find these tight and twisty bends at Kolmer Gulch on Coast Highway in northern California, roughly 40 miles from Santa Rosa.
But most of the other I Know What You Did Last Summer locations can be found on the other side of the country in North Carolina. The film is set in Southport, North Carolina, and — surprise, surprise — that’s exactly where most scenes were shot.
There you’ll find the gym where Barry has his first encounter with the killer, Julie’s childhood home, and the theater where Barry meets his untimely demise. There are several other important locations nearby, so here’s your detailed guide to the filming location of I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Though I Know What You Did Last Summer was released after Scream, Kevin Williamson actually wrote the screenplay for I Know… before penning Scream.
Sharing horror stories around the campfire scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
After a hair-raising drive along the coast, during which Barry manages to give Julie the fright of her life, the teens head for the beach to share a few drinks around the fire. As the two couples snuggle up together, Ray regales them with the horror story about the lunatic killer with a hook for a hand who has escaped from an insane asylum.
Of course, all his friends have differing ideas about what exactly happens in the story and how it should be told. And as far as a cynical Julie is concerned, it’s simply a “fictional story created to warn girls of the dangers of having premarital sex.” But Ray has other ideas: “It’s really an urban legend — American folklore — and they all usually originate from some real-life incident,” he says. What had previously seemed like a bit of light-hearted fun now feels just a little more sinister.
This I Know What You Did Last Summer film scene was shot at Schoolhouse Beach in northern California, around 25 miles west of Santa Rosa. The beach is easy to find just off Coast Highway. It’s referred to as Dawson’s Beach in the film as a nod to Dawson’s Creek, which was also created by Kevin Williamson.
Car accident scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
It’s the end of their night on the beach and the four friends are heading home. Barry is way too drunk to drive, so Ray takes the wheel while Barry continues partying. With his head stuck out of the sunroof, hooting and hollering, Barry swigs from the bottle, unconcerned that they’re approaching Reaper’s Curve.
Barry drops the bottle into the car. It splashes everywhere, covering Ray, and while he’s distracted, disaster is about to occur. “Watch out!” screams Barry from the roof, just before the car plows into a mysterious shape on the road.
This crucial scene was shot on Coast Highway at Kolmer Gulch, around 20 miles further north along the coast from Schoolhouse Beach. There’s some spectacular coastal scenery in this part of the world that’s well worth checking out, but just make sure to keep your eyes on the road while you do.
Julie receives the note scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
209 Short Street
One year after the night of the accident, the four friends have grown apart and are making their own way in the world. But when Julie returns home from college to Southport for the summer, she’s about to get a blast from the past.
Julie is reluctant to return home, and she’s soon being grilled by her mom about what’s going on in her life. The happy, outgoing, straight-A student is a shadow of her former self, and her mother doesn’t understand why.
But we do. And when Julie gets an anonymous letter at home, she’s in for one very nasty surprise: “I know what you did last summer,” the letter reads.
Julie’s house is found at 209 Short Street in Southport. It’s less than a half-mile walk from the heart of town and within easy reach of a number of other I Know What You Did Last Summer locations.
The killer threatens Barry scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
106 Yacht Basin Drive
Barry is at first quick to dismiss the letter sent to Julie as a hoax, nothing to worry about. He thinks Max is behind it, but he’s about to learn that’s not the case.
He heads to the gym to work out and blow off some steam, but then there's a suspicious noise when he heads to the locker room. Though it seems deserted, he can’t shake the feeling that someone else is there. Then, when he’s in the shower, Barry notices a shadow moving along the wall — someone else is definitely creeping around the gym. “Hello?” Barry calls out, but no one’s there.
Yet when he gets to his locker, Barry finds a picture of his car in the door, with a chilling message scribbled on the back: “I know.”
Southport Muscle, as the gym was called in the film, is found at 106 Yacht Basin Drive in Southport. It’s where you’ll find a seafood restaurant known as Fishy Fishy Cafe and is just around the corner from Julie’s house.
Barry bites the dust scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
Historic Amuzu Theater
It’s the fourth of July once again, but this year’s Croaker Festival has a very different feel from last year’s. As the four friends are stalked and tormented by the deranged killer, they struggle to keep it together and pretend that everything is normal. For Helen, that means taking to the stage to pass on the crown of Croaker Queen to this year’s winner.
Barry is there to watch over her and keep her safe, promising to watch the action from the balcony and keep a vigilant eye out for the killer. But while a pageant entrant struts her stuff on stage, Helen is horrified to see him appear directly behind Barry — and brutally murder him.
“Somebody help him, please! Somebody help him!” she screams, leaping from the stage, but it’s too late.
This theater, which also appears earlier in the film when Helen is crowned Croaker Queen, is the Historic Amuzu Theater in Southport. You can find it at 111 North Howe Street, just half a mile away from Julie’s house.
Helen runs for her life scene in I Know What You Did Last Summer
Harrell’s Department Store
After Barry’s brutal demise, Helen is being escorted home by a policeman when the killer strikes again. He slays Helen’s police escort in a dark alley, forcing the terrified beauty queen to flee through the nighttime streets. She’s panicked and frantic, but there’s a sliver of hope when she spots her family’s department store.
Helen races to the store and pounds on the window, desperately begging her sister Elsa (Bridgette Wilson) to let her in. “Elsa, open the door!” she screams. Elsa and Helen definitely don’t get along and, not realizing the danger, Elsa takes her sweet time letting her sister inside. But she eventually does and once Helen has convinced her sister that she’s actually in danger, Elsa rushes to lock the doors.
But she’s slow, complacent, and doesn’t realize the killer is already inside. Elsa lets out a bloodcurdling scream as the killer plunges his hook through her throat.
Shiver’s Department Store is actually found in the town of Burgaw, around 55 miles north of Southport. It’s Harrell’s Department Store on South Wright Street, and another memorable I Know What You Did Last Summer filming location well worth checking out.
It may not have received the same level of critical acclaim as Scream, but I Know What You Did Last Summer still has a whole lot to offer for any fan of the horror genre. With plenty of shocks, twists, and brutal killings, there’s plenty to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing all the way to the end.
Best of all, it’s easy to visit some of the most iconic I Know What You Did Last Summer locations for yourself. It’s a shame that they’re on opposite sides of the country, but whether you’re driving along Reaper’s Curve or re-enacting your favorite scenes in Southport, North Carolina, checking out any of the great locations featured here will make your summer one to remember.