I Saw What You Did Film Details
Overview: Teenagers Libby and Kit innocently spend an evening making random prank calls. These calls lead to murderous consequences.
Review: A young teenager called Libby Mannering (Andi Garrett) invites her best friend Kit Austin (Sarah Lane) over whilst her parents are away on an overnight business trip. Together with Libby’s little sister Tess (Sharyl Locke), whom they find themselves babysitting, they amuse themselves by making prank phone calls teasing whoever answers by saying “I saw what you did, I know who you are.” Things take a sinister turn when they accidentally call a psychopath called Steve Marek (John Ireland) who has just brutally murdered his wife in the shower so he can be with his neighbour and lover Amy (Joan Crawford). The dangerous and deranged Marek is convinced that they really “saw what (he) did” and sets about finding them so he can kill them too. Libby becomes fascinated by Marek, whom she has only ever heard over the telephone, and attracted by his voice she thinks that he might be after a date with her. Despite protestations from Kit and Tess, she finds Marek’s number in the phone directory and drives to his house hoping to catch sight of him through his window. However, she is caught by the jealous and possessive Amy and she steals her registration card before throwing her off the property. Amy confronts Marek about Libby and proceeds to blackmail him into marrying her since she now knows what he did to his wife. Marek kills her with a kitchen knife and tracks down Libby via the registration card. Kit’s father has arrived to collect her, which means that she and Tess are now all alone in her parents’ remote and large farmhouse. In a nerve-jangling finale, they find themselves playing hide and seek with the deranged killer who is determined to silence them… I had long wanted to see this because when I came across by chance in my indispensable film encyclopedia it looked as though it was a forerunner of the kind of teen horrors I used to go to see at the cinema in my student days – I Know What You Did Last Summer, Final Destination and Roadkill all sprang to mind. I had never seen it advertised anywhere until it was featured as part of a marathon Joan Crawford season at the National Film Theatre this autumn. It isn’t as gimmicky as some of William Castle’s other films that I have looked at over the years such as The Tingler, but it is fun to watch at and it does display some of the skill that Castle had for staging sudden and unexpected shocks that even now are still sufficient to make you jump in your seat. The murder of John Ireland’s wife is without doubt the movie’s most ferocious shock moment and it is effective despite being a rip off from the superior Psycho. Castle had talent but he was no Hitchcock, no indeed. The climax will also be sufficient to keep a modern audience clutching at the sides of their seats too. There are moments of humour as well such as the two older teenage girls forever being teased and pestered by Libby’s little sister Tess and, on the whole, Libby and Kit who get into hot water here are likeable and good natured and are not making malicious prank calls. In fact, most of the people they pick on take it as it is intended – as fun. There is one funny scene where they phone up a man who is kissing his girlfriend and in reply to “I saw what you did”, he says “You did, nothing’s sacred!” Garrett and Lane’s performances were not as wooden as I thought they might be and they just act believably as teenage girls who are generally well behaved but get up to mischief now and then. Joan Crawford is a joy to watch as she doesn’t take the film too seriously and treats it as a sort of send up of the melodramatic roles for which she was famous. John Ireland is convincing and suitably unnerving as the psychopathic Marek and look out for John Crawford who was the leading man in that splendid British b-thriller The Impersonator in a small role as a policeman. The film moves along at a rather stately pace at times, but there is still enough here to make I Saw What You Did worth the trip – likeable performances, one or two neat shocks that are sufficient to make one jump even though the film is fifty-three years old and it is fun to see how today’s so called teen horrors compare with those of yesteryear too. It is atmospherically shot in b/w by Joseph Biroc and the set of the farmhouse owned by Libby’s parents is absolutely stunning.
Country: United States
Duration: 82 min
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
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