You figure in the world of cynical teenagers, technology, MTV, and the over saturation of slasher films, that the characters in this would be a little less horrified. Hell, they’re all very astonished at the story of a masked killer with a hook who comes after teenagers. And the song goes: a group of teenagers, a prank that goes awry, one year later, they re-unite, and the killing starts. Funny thing is, whether it’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, or some girl we’ve never seen before, the characters here are still very interchangeable. I hated the first two films, so I wasn’t keen on watching yet another sequel, and as I guessed it, “I’ll Always Know” is basically just routine.
It’s not an awful film, but it sure is lame and limp. The Gordon’s Fisherman is no longer some disgruntled fisherman, or the son of some disgruntled fisherman. No, even better now, he’s relegated to another Michael Myers carbon copy. He’s silent, stealth, without a personality or identity, and ends up being more of an entity of vengeance. He’s now an urban myth that frightens the folks of a seaside town in Anytown, USA, and then crashes a ski lodge we’re forced to set down on for the last hour of the film. “I’ll Always Know” is just a ninety minute sleepwalk through the same doldrums of direct to video horror. If you took out the title and inserted something like “Saltwater Slasher,” it’d still basically be a really stupid slasher film that you’ve seen played a million times. Director White tries in vain to add tension and atmosphere, and he does that through jump scares that are very pathetic. Everything makes an explosion, and everything has a resonance of a freight train.
Doors don’t open, they burst! Radios don’t turn on, they blast! People don’t knock, they bash their fists! People don’t arrive, they pop up with a horrible crash! I wish I had that ability. White’s efforts to inject fright into a boring waste of celluloid are desperate, and you can almost hear White saying “When this guy shows up add a loud crash. That will get them frightened.” White never knows how to add or balance tension, or sheer suspense, and instead relies on horribly redundant devices with the twang of the score, and enlisting red herrings that we know will all end up being just dry exercises in mystery. At one point, just to tease us, a character says “I Know What you Did Last Summer” when he easily could have said “I know what happened last summer.” But then, where would the fun be in that? Oh, and I never understood why so many red herrings appear, when the Gordon’s Fisherman never actually turns out to secretly be any of the characters.
What’s the point of alluding that someone is behind this if it never actually turns out to be one of the characters? The entirety of the story is devoted to our characters yammering back and forth about what happened, and our killer just appearing and taunting his victims. In one scene, our killer has the main character Amber up in a lift and has her perfectly cornered, and does nothing but smash the window exposing his hook to her. He disappears only to—you guessed it—re-appear and face off with her in the climax. Not surprisingly, “I’ll Always Know” can’t even be a competent slasher. Alas, the series that was never competent enough to warrant theatrical releases in the first place, is now a direct to video franchise sans the gore, flash, camp, and appeal its predecessors possessed. It’s a very boring, forgettable horror film now forced to have the infamy of being a horrible sequel. Somebody kill the Gordon’s Fisherman, already.