One Of I Know What You Did Last Summer's Most Famous Scenes Was Directed By A Random Kid

Fandom can be a viciously opinionated part of pop culture. Make us fall in love with a franchise and quickly watch as we designate ourselves as the chosen experts of everything about it. This passion often means we hold strong opinions about the way things should play out on screen, but rarely do we ever get the chance to make our versions of the story come to life (unless, of course, you count good old-fashioned fanfic). 

Fandom also has a tendency to latch onto moments in movies or shows that seem drastically overdone or out of place. We love ridiculous scenes that we can quickly turn into fodder for the meme mill. James Van Der Beek ugly crying on a dock in "Dawson's Creek," Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson screaming at each other in "Marriage Story," Joaquin Phoenix dancing down the stairs in "Joker," and if you really want to dive deep into the meme world, Robert Pattinson wearing a tracksuit and standing in a mediocre kitchen from behind the scenes footage for "Good Time." Give the fans an overblown or out-of-place moment in your movie and watch us make the best of it on the Internet.

Rarely, though, does a meme-worthy moment and the realization of a fan's true desire align in real life. However, when it does, it arguably makes something exceptionally special. Take, for example, that famously cringe scene from Jim Gillespie's 1997 slasher, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" where Jennifer Love Hewitt stands in the middle of the street and screams, "What are you waiting for, huh?" to everyone's dismay. It's a moment that's been memorialized in meme form, yes. But it's also a moment that was conceived and directed by an actual, honest-to-God fan.  

The genius of giving the people what they want

"I Know What You Did Last Summer" is about four friends who believe they accidentally killed a man in a car accident one summer night. A year after the supposed death and subsequent cover-up, the group begins receiving threatening letters from a mysterious killer who claims to know their dark secret. The movie, which was written by Kevin Williamson (who would go on to create "Dawson's Creek"), achieved great success when it came out on the heels of Williamson's first feature film, "Scream," directed by Wes Craven. However, over time, the "What are you waiting for, huh?" scene has managed to set itself apart from the rest of the movie, taking on a life of its own online.

In a 2018 interview for US Weekly, Jennifer Love Hewitt — who plays the lead, Julia James in the film — talked about how this now-iconic scene came to be. "That scene was actually directed by a kid who won a contest to come on and create a moment for the movie, and it became the biggest part of the movie," she said. Hewitt claimed the young director had a vision of her character standing in the middle of the road, screaming out to the killer in desperation. It seemed like a crazy idea even to Hewitt, who said, "I was literally like, 'Are you kidding me right now? This is what I'm gonna do?'" 

But it turns out the kid was actually kind of a genius (a young Dawson Leery, methinks?) since the scene has become the film's most memorable moment.

An unforgettable scene

Today, Hewitt's frantic meltdown in the middle of the street is used as a reaction meme all over the internet. It's something that Hewitt cannot seem to separate herself from either, hard as she might try. She told US Weekly, "Every Halloween, I'll be wherever with friends in different neighborhoods and somebody will have a little too much of something while they're trick or treating and they'll come around the corner and be like, 'What are you waiting for, huh?' I'm like, 'Not you buddy, keep moving. Keep moving.'" But even though people still remember her for the scene, she's a good sport about it, telling US Weekly that it "makes [her] laugh." 

In fact, Hewitt even envisioned a world in which a sequel or remake to the film was created with a special part included just for her. "I'm gonna be the creepy old lady who's still turning around in the street screaming into the air and the kids are gonna hit me," she said. Who knows? Now that a legacy sequel is officially in the works, maybe Hewitt will get her chance to do just that. And if you want my opinion, somebody needs to find that young director and ask him to help out because it seems like he knows just what the audience wants.