During the annual July 4th festivities in a North Carolina fishing town, Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) wins a local beauty contest and departs with her boyfriend Barry (Ryan Philippe) and pals Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.). On their way back home, Ray hits a fisherman with her car. The teens panic, drop the body in the water, and abandon the scene. Many months later when Julie returns from college, she gets an anonymous note: "I know what you did last summer." The four teens suspect the note was written by their classmate Max (Johnny Galecki), but then Max is murdered -- and the terror begins. (In the original Lois Duncan novel, the teens hit a small boy on a bicycle instead of a fisherman.) The screenplay is by Kevin Williamson, whose credits include the 1996 box-office hit Scream.