I Know Who Killed Me has been nominated for 9 Razzies. It deserves to win every single one of them. This isn’t one of those movies that gets bad reviews, but is actually quite good; it’s one of those movies which everyone tells you is bad, and then turns out to actually be worse. It’s dreadful. It just sucks.
And it hurts me to say that, because I wanted it to be good. I don’t hate Lindsay Lohan; I don’t particularly like her any more, either, but Mean Girls is one of the greatest films of our time. I like horror movies. I loved LonelyGirl15, and was all excited about seeing Jessica Rose making her big screen debut. And director Chris Sivertson made a movie once upon a time with Lucky McKee, who is one of the most exciting horror directors currently working today. So, y’know, the signs were pointing in the right direction, and the fact that every other critic in the world has poured scorn on a film doesn’t usually put me off. But on this particular occasion, popular opinion was bang on the money: this movie is dross.
The plot is bizarrely convoluted from the outset: there’s a serial killer out there who likes to chop up young girls, so when Lindsay Lohan’s character, Aubrey, goes missing one night, everyone fears the worst. Then she turns up on the side of the road one night: mutilated, but alive. Cause for celebration? Well, not quite. Because this Lindsay Lohan doesn’t remember her life; she won’t answer to Aubrey, claiming instead to be a girl called Dakota. And instead of being an aspiring writer and pianist, Dakota is hard-done-by pole dancer. And instead of being kidnapped and chopped up by a lunatic, Dakota’s injuries have all just… happened. Spontaneously.
A quick search on Ask.com suggests that what Dakota is experiencing is a kind of non-religious stigmata; Dakota theorises that she’s Aubrey’s long-lost twin sister, and that the killer still has Aubrey. She’s merely experiencing what her twin’s being put through… which means Aubrey is still alive, still in danger, and Dakota is the only one who can save her.
That, or Aubrey’s traumatic experience has caused her to create this bizarre alter-ego and become convinced she’s actually someone else.
The whole these-two-people-are-actually-multiple-personalities-of-the-same-person has been played out to the point of tedium, but I Know Who Killed Me plays it from a slightly different angle: the viewer is always allowed to see both narratives at the same time. Either Aubrey is less than sane, OR she’s a twin. That duality is what’s at the heart of the movie, but it’s clumsily done. It gets to the point where you know that either outcome will actually be unsatisfying, because it’s not a cleverly executed twist; you’re just given two options and a promise that one of them will turn out to be the truth.
And then the ending comes, and you still don’t know what was going on. Is the film using the conceit of the unreliable narrator (all we have to go on is Aubrey/Dakota’s version of events; she’s always alone when she sees anything that might consistute “proof”) or is it playing around with the psychic link some twins claim to have? Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? By the time you’ve ploughed through this film to its conclusion, you won’t. The script is clumsy – it’s hard to know whether Lindsay’s really bad at acting or if the writer is just really bad at writing – and the direction more so. Someone somewhere thought that ripping off Dario Argento would be a good idea, and thus colour becomes important in the movie: everything connected with Aubrey is blue, up to and including the roses she gets from her boyfriend and the knife she’s tortured with, while everything connected with Dakota is red. But the colour themes are overdone – they hurt your eyes after a while. Sometimes, you can sort of squint and see what the filmmakers were trying to do, but they failed. Spectacularly.
Plus it just looks cheap. The CGI is appalling, particularly the scenes where bits of Dakota fall off. It’s just… ludicrous. That’s the only word I can think of to describe it. If the lead actress was some complete unknown, I could understand it – but somehow they got Lindsay Lohan. It’s just mindboggling. I can’t understand how this film happened. It’s depressing. The scenes where Lindsay “dances” onstage at a seedy strip club are probably the worst: she looks ill, and she barely moves. She steps and twirls in slow motion, looking for all the world as if she really doesn’t want to be there. And she probably didn’t. And neither do I.