This Alexandria Man Became A Horror Movie Icon 25 Years Ago
This week, way back in 1997, a Louisiana native busted onto the big screen in a role that would go on in horror movie history. Now 25 years later, its time to give him the respect he deserves.
On October 17th, 1997, Columbia Pictures released the teen-themed slasher movie I Know What You Did Last Summer. I personally remember going to the Charlevoix Cinema to see it on opening night. This movie was released on the heels of genre defining slasher Scream, and helped fully establish the teen slasher genre of the 1990s.
The movie featured some of the biggest names in young Hollywood; Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddy Prinze, Jr. The movie's pedigree also featured Scream writer Kevin Williamson putting the script together, based loosely on the 1973 novel of the same name.
Upon release, critics didn't LOVE the movie, but in reality, critics rarely love horror movies. Especially slasher movies. So the critical response wasn't as important as it's box office numbers. Which were great. In this week, 25 years ago, the movie opened at #1 at the box office, and stayed there through Halloween. It ended up making over $125 million in theatres, against a $17 million budget.
Now look, the movie is 25 years old. So we're going to get into some spoilers, and not feel bad about it.
The main antagonist in the film is honestly up for debate as far as I'm concerned, but we'll talk about that later. The killer that you are supposed to fear in the film is The Fisherman. His real name in the movie is Ben Willis, and he's the person who stalks and kills the teenagers in the movie.
The Fisherman/Ben Willis is played in the original movie, and the sequel, by Alexandria, Louisiana native Muse Watson. The actor grew up in Alexandria, and attended Louisiana Tech in Ruston for music. He eventually transferred to Berea College before going into acting full time.
Watson has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, including reoccurring roles in NCIS and Prison Break. He also appeared in more horror movies, including The Last Exorcism 2, Meeting Evil, and The Presence.
Going back to I Know What You Did Last Summer, I want to point out that the character meant to be the "villain" was the victim of a hit and run by the kids in the movie. They hit him, thought they killed him, and rolled his body into the water to hide it. Even if he wasn't dead, they left him to drown. So really WHO is the killer in this situation?
Anyway, its time for Louisiana's Muse Watson to get his credit as the iconic Fisherman in horror movie history!