My eyes blistered and the sound of my own screams, so distant to me, tore at my sanity and burst my eardrums as Lindsay Lohan's shrieking face and be-speckled vagina filled my television and destroyed my faith in any beauty that could possibly exist in the world.
I had knd of hoped I could begin my review with something like that, but, unfortunately, I Know Who Killed Mewas not the unmitigated disaster that had been reported by the film-reviewing media and the tool(s) that give out Razzie awards to decently-made but not-very-good mainstream movies every year instead of really terrible films that no one has heard of.
I Know Who Killed Me is the tale of a serial killer, removing appendages from young girls and leaving them to die. A high school girl named Aubrey, played by Lohan, is torn away from her blandly idyllic life in New Salem, writing and playing piano between chaste bouts of canoodling with her football player boyfriend, by said serial killer. And so begins a story that is either a psychological thriller, mystery, adult fairy tale, or complex hallucinatory mindfuck, depending on how the viewer chooses to read it. The critics seem to have chosen "crap", but I like to take the higher road and say that it was a flawed but intriguing film.
Lohan's body is found, damaged, on a roadside and her hand and leg are amputated. She awakens to her parents, claiming she doesn't know them and isn't their daughter. Not an amnesiac, she claims to be an entirely different girl, named Dakota. Dakota goes along with things as much as possible while maintaining her distrustful "world-weary tough girl" persona and begins to investigate her doppelganger's disappearance while staying with her alleged parents.
The mystery continues, leaving you unsure for much of the movie whether Lohan is crazy, making it up, dreaming, dead, or otherwise. The ending will bring finality to the question with either a mental shrug, anger, or a smirk at some level of cleverness on the filmmakers' parts.
The direction from Chris Sivertson is surprisingly interesting. Sivertson took the visual tack of washing everything in the film in either a blue or red light. Dakota's tawdry stripper life is washed in a deep, burnt-out red; Aubrey's life is filled with a soft blue light and objects. Certain scenes are lit by police lights, flashing blue and red across faces. Dakota and Aubrey's respective wardrobes consist almost entirely of their single color. It makes for a visually interesting movie and shows how lazy, hackish and retarded the Razzies are, yet again. For someone that worked with untalented assclown Lucky McKee, I was surprised that the direction showed so much visual grit and excellent use of color.
Also a major surprise was the heavy layer of gore the movie featured. I never would have imagined that a film like this would have had such a viciously dark streak to it, but some of the more brutal events are a bit of a shock based on the limited advertising of the movie.
The acting wasn't bad, overall, and I was reminded why I liked Lohan so much in films like Mean Girls. Aside from being tabloid fodder and yet another sad case of a starlet, unable to cope normally with her existence and abrupt stardom, there is something genuine and enjoyable about Lindsay Lohan. If she made more films with a bit of edge (and hopefully better than this) and took better care of herself, she'd still be a name to watch instead of a Hollywood joke. The other principle actors, like Neal McDonough and Julia Ormond, all do a good job with what they're given, but it's mainly Lindsay's show.
The big flaw in the whole thing is the script. While intriguing, you have to wonder what the original plan was, as this couldn't have been what was originally set to paper. Though it doesn't make much sense, it still isn't bad. It's just not really good at all, either. The visuals are forced to make up for a spotty but interesting story that mainly keeps us involved through the question of whether anything in the film is real or if Dakota/Aubrey is insane or still being tortured outside of the dream that is the movie. The real answer is strange, unexpected and probably not as compelling, but it gets points for being unpredictable. Though crazy, left-field ideas are always unpredictable.
While the movie is and was unsatisfactory to many, I feel that it's unfair to lump it in with other, meritless disasters of film-making. The movie is worth a viewing, at very least for some interesting turns and an impressive visual pallette that breaks from the modern mold of the typical horror film, be it Japanese movie remake or gory splatter film. Hopefully the film didn't kill Lohan's career, or the director's for that matter.