Reviewbr> A small town is rocked when local college student Aubrey Fleming is abducted and tortured by a media-dubbed serial killer. When she manages to escape, the traumatized girl who regains consciousness in the hospital insists that she is not who they think she is and that the real Aubrey Fleming is still in mortal danger.
I Know Who Killed Me has one claim to fame: it stars an actress on the decline in Lindsay Lohan. Ms Lohan first came to prominence via a number of disposable Disney tween chick flicks, the sort everyone forgets about the day the movie disappears from cinemas. Now there’s nothing wrong with this; Kurt Russell, for example, also started out appearing in House of Mouse family fare before making a number of successful horror flicks. In Lohan’s case, I Know Who Killed Me was something of a last chance hotel after her career went off the rails and spiralled down the hill to forgetville due to a fog of drugs and alcohol. Lindsay was something of a pariah around Hollywood circles so took the only option available: “B” grade horrordom. Not surprisingly most of these movies are straight to DVD, however I Know Who Killed Me got a theatre release due to Lindsay appearing as an exotic dancer in the movie, oh and because she was all over the media due to an upcoming court appearance. Apparently having cocaine in your car is a no-no in the U.S., though if you are some hack of an actor you apparently avoid the prison time the rest of us would end up with. I call that the “Paris Hilton Defence” (trademark pending). Anyways, I Know Who Killed Me got a cinema release and prominent advertising, and then went down quicker than a beer on a hot Saturday arvo.
The movie opens to the first of three flash back scenes of some chick named Dakota doing the most unerotic pole dancing you could imagine. Lohan manages to
overcome a triple dose of Viagra with this outing. It might work for lesbians or something, I don’t know. Having informed the world that U.S. exotic dancers
are anything but, the movie next introduces us to Audrey, a sort of pristine U.S. high school student that suburban matrons dream about having rather then the
rebellious anarchists currently residing under their roofs. Not only does Audrey write prose, which strangely she thinks is her major talent, but she is also
a dab hand at the piano. Previously Audrey won young talent time or something with her virtuosity, but she informs her piano teacher that she is flagging it
away due to needing to spend more time with her creative writing. Considering Audrey’s writing ability can be summed up with, “<
Just so much wrong and limited space to report it, I feel like a celestrial fist has hit me in the gut!
We also learn the next day that the body of Jennifer Toland has been found, which leads to one of the more humorous scenes in the movie. Audrey is in biology class dissecting worms with the rest of the future of America – you are not going to need shades folks – when her teacher is given the bad news. She naturally informs the class of the grisly find but is quick to point out that there’s no need for questions as she doesn’t know anything more. Well considering she only just found out in a five second hushed conversation, it would be pretty apparent that she wouldn’t be heading the five o’clock news with an exclusive insight. Got to love Hollywood scriptwriters and their ability to flog a dead equine with even more rain forest. The actual humour in the scene is meant to be Audrey’s line to her boyfriend about needing to know more on the female anatomy; sorry Audrey, but you aren’t helping with the knowledge there so keep it zipped, sister.
Okay, so we have a serial killer on the loose (his/her motives are hilarious), Rex, Audrey and Dakota looking to be one and the same, anyone having any problems joining the dots at this stage? And by the by, how exactly do we have a Jason Voorhees stand-in when we have exactly one body? The locals keep mentioning a serial killer despite an apparent lack of corpses; maybe they forgot to mention all those bodies they discovered out at Lake New Salem camping ground. Damn they shouldn’t have re-opened Camp Blood, if only they had listened to Ralph. To cut a long story short, Audrey and a couple of her posse of MFFers go to see the boyfriend play football (surprising he doesn’t score the winning touchdown in extra time really). After the game Audrey becomes lost, and naturally serial killer fodder. I really wish I could give the killer’s motive here, it had me rolling on the floor laughing my arse off. But for the sake of any errant Taswegians, Southlanders, or Utah residents who are presumably the target audience of the movie, I’ll keep the motive under wraps.
Unlike the unfortunate Jennifer Toland, Audrey manages to escape, albeit with a few body pieces missing. For those wondering, it’s a foot and a hand, and yes you were given a clue about this earlier in the movie – and the game was pretty much given away in this review. Normally I wouldn’t do that but gee, is anyone really going to be upset that I did? Sorry for the digression, while not exactly being all beer and skittles this is certainly a better result than Audrey’s parents could have hoped for. Except when Audrey comes to and has no idea who Audrey is and wants to be called Dakota. Now doesn’t that just hit you in the gut like a celestial fist? For the rest of the movie, assuming you haven’t worked it out already, we are left wondering who the serial killer is and whether or not Dakota is Audrey’s way of coping with her new found situation. I still think they could have given her a hook and a peg leg, thus allowing her true talent as a children’s party pirate to come to the fore. Let’s face facts friends, her writing isn’t going to bring home the bacon, and her piano-playing days are over. I call that tough love by the way, she really would thank me for it later I think.
The first thought I had on the film was to wonder why on Earth director Chris Sivertson kept throwing the colour blue onto the screen. We have lots of blue props and if I’m not mistaken the blue filter gets a run from time to time. It finally dawned on me, sort of like getting hit in the guts with a celestial fist, that blue was the preferred colour of our serial killer and was also being used to codify Audrey’s rather withdrawn view of the world. You know, all sterile and cold and such. I really wish Directors wouldn’t go down the David Lynch path if they have to neon signpost visual clues. Yes, you will get sick and tired of the colour blue after a while. Sivertson has Dakota decked out in red, there’s a joke there but I can’t figure it out, as a sort of juxtaposition. Dakota is alive and vibrant and ready to grab life experience by the scruff of the neck or something.
The second thought I had on the movie was whether or not Julia Ormond (Susan Fleming) would make my list of the ten most embarrassing moments in horror. Nice work with the teddy bear Julia, bet you couldn’t look at yourself in the mirror the next morning after that schlock. Ms Ormond also has to scrub the kitchen bench into submission during rather loud amputee sex as Dakota goes hammer and tongs with Audrey’s boyfriend. But the bear remains the defining moment for Julia’s character, and that defining moment would be retarded.
Problematic for the film, and this was reflected in pretty lacklustre box office results, was the insistence by the Director that the movie would have gore. This generally comes out of the blue, no pun intended, and has minimal purpose in I Know Who Killed Me. We have gore for gore’s sake, if you will, which undermines whatever else director Sivertson may be trying to achieve. By now even the most uninformed Hollywood executive must be aware that horror from the Eli Roth end of the spectrum is flat-lining in the various international and home markets. Gore has once again been marginalised and reduced to its essence, the preserve of Directors with no ability to even spell the word “tension”.
You get a general feeling watching I Know Who Killed Me that there may have been multiple scripts floating about, each taking a different approach to the subject. In the wash up it would appear that the Producers simply threw everything into a pot, boiled the crap out of it, and served up the burnt remains. Well before this cinema de merde hits the fan you will be left wondering exactly what sort of movie you are currently watching. Don’t spend too much time on that as it’s simply not worth the effort. The film starts with a sort of Psycho vibe going down, doing its best to channel Silence of the Lambs. Okay I’m cool with that, who’s the antagonist and all that … oh wait, we figure that out in about five minutes so it’s not going to hit us in the guts like a celestial fist. Having established the standard Psycho opening gambit, and in the process perhaps committing to film the worst ever police force, director Sivertson drops the ball on that and looks to be going all teen slasher on us. And just when you think that mercifully some Shatner-masked serial killer might empty the movie of some less than engaging characters, we jump to a sort of psychic vibe as Dakota channels Audrey. We end up going all TCM for no apparent reason, but I was pretty dazed and confused at this stage so they could have introduced space aliens from Uranus and Mel Gibson for all I cared. Throughout this prolonged journey into the heart of bad moviemaking, subplots kept popping up and then kept disappearing as the script (term used loosely) demanded. Don’t get me started on the red herrings thrown in here to try and disguise who the psycho is, and while on the subject of the psycho, what was his modus operandi anyway?
Lindsay Lohan (Dakota/Audrey) phones it in and looks like she may be worried about the kilo of coke in her car, or of course she might be trying to get over the effects of the previous evening’s binging. Lohan might be able to carry those tween rom-coms over in Disneyland but she’s out of her depth in a horror outing. Julia Ormond (Susan Fleming) has quite possibly destroyed her career with this outing, what were you thinking Julia! Neal McDonough (Daniel Fleming) is simply there or thereabouts to deliver the big plot twist that will hit you in the gut like a celestial fist; assuming you are still awake and have a single figure IQ. And finally Brian Geraghty (Jerrod Pointer, Audrey’s blue rose toting boyfriend) was disposable.
The score for I Know Who Killed Me is schizophrenic to the extreme, pretty much like the movie really. For the first few blocks we get the typical safe rock options Hollywood executives think the kids will love, before going all classical in the final block for no apparent reason. If this score neighed they would shot it.
I Know Who Killed Me, and yes that clunker of a line gets used, is disposable studio fare that would normally get dumped direct to DVD. The movie got a studio release due to its star *snigger* Lindsay Lohan quite possibly facing a prison term at the time, and oh, the possibility of some nasty girl stripping action. Lindsay was having nothing of the nekkid stuff as she had her reputation to protect, I do crack myself up sometimes, and missed a bullet on the prison term. Unfortunately for anyone silly enough to catch the actual movie a bullet wasn’t missed. To a certain extent I was mesmerised by this flick as I couldn’t believe it could get any worse. There’s a certain amount of entertainment to be taken from watching a train wreck in the process of happening to be honest, but end of day there simply wasn’t enough in I Know Who Killed Me to warrant anything approaching a recommendation.
The only question I have remaining is why on earth they gave so much screen time to that hairless cat with the big nuts. That wasn’t an experience I want repeated and remains the only impactful part of Lohan’s latest flop.