I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
I sat down to watch I Know Who Killed Me wondering what the results would be. On one hand, there was the promisingly talented Chris Sivertson; on the other hand, there was the celebrity disaster area of Lindsay Lohan and the public ridicule that I Know Who Killed Me had received. Was it one of those films like Glitter (2001), Crossroads (2002) and Gigli (2003) and anything that Madonna appears in where the negative tabloid headlines or diva reputation of a star turned the film into something that was laughed off screens? The question that existed was take the anti-Lindsay Lohan sentiment out of the equation and is it possible that I Know Who Killed Me might have been a halfway reasonable psycho-thriller? The answer, alas, turns out to be a resounding no.
You can credit Lindsay Lohan in some respect. At the time I Know Who Killed Me was made, she was attempting to break away from being typecast as a family-friendly teen actress in Disney films like The Parent Trap (1998), Freaky Friday (2003) and Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), and other teen roles in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Mean Girls (2004) and Just My Luck (2006) and had started to take on more serious parts in the likes of A Prairie Home Companion (2005), Bobby (2006) and Chapter 27 (2007). Its just that at the same time Lindsay Lohans very public private life party girl persona, public rebuke from studio heads for highly unprofessional behaviour on set due to all-night partying, very public parental spats, alcohol and drug use problems including a variety of car accidents and then a DUI arrest and a stint in rehab had attained a tabloid critical mass that was working against her. Not long after I Know Who Killed Me came out, Lohans negative public profile had reached a point that both Matthew Brights Manson Girls and the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace (2013) were stalled in production because he was unable to find anybody to insure Lohan, forcing her to be axed from the cast. It could be said at the point that I Know Who Killed Me came out Lindsay Lohans once ascendant career was well and truly on its way down the toilet.
Maybe you could excuse some of Lindsay Lohans dreadful performance here to the fact that she was doing so much partying, drinking and coke snorting that she had to enter rehab at the same time as the film was released. As it is, she looks either wasted or so self-absorbed in her own celebrity that she believes she can carry the film simply by turning up on set rather than actually making any effort to act. She certainly displayed talent on earlier films like Freaky Friday and Mean Girls but that now seems replaced by overinflated ego or else forgotten in a substance-induced haze.
You are not sure what happened to I Know Who Killed Me. Some of it gives the impression that studio heads were pushing Chris Sivertson to turn it into a copy of recent torture films like Saw (2004) or Hostel (2005). Thus we get nasty scenes of Lindsay Lohan tied up and the killer clamping a block of ice to her hand and then tearing the skin off as he removes it, followed by him snipping her fingers off, as well as later scenes with her trying to sew fingers back on. However, I Know Who Killed Me is not a Torture Porn film and these scenes only seem there for the sake of it.
The biggest thing that hangs over I Know Who Killed Me, other than Lindsay Lohans detached performance, is a screenplay that leaves one constantly asking what the fuck is going on? The initial puzzle that comes after Lindsay Lohan returns from her abduction but insists that she is another person is intriguing. It makes one think for a time they are watching some variant on Lost Highway (1997), which started off as a thriller starring Bill Pullman and then had him inexplicably replaced by Balthazar Getty. Even more than Lost Highway, one is reminded of the low-budget Doppelganger (1992), which featured a writer puzzling over flatmate Drew Barrymore who kept being replaced by her twin sister. Or perhaps even Passion of Mind (2000) where we had two Demi Moores living separate lives on other sides of the world and each dreaming about the other and wondering who was real and who dreamed.
There is certainly an intriguing premise looming somewhere inside the film. Unfortunately, the film is stuck with a lame script one that offers a variety of possible explanations for what is going on but fails to put any twists on them or offer up unexpected surprises as a good thriller script should do. Scriptwriter Jeffrey Hammond eventually opts for an explanation that makes sense it is just that he has served it up in a script where everything depends on a series of whoppingly improbable coincidences. [PLOT SPOILERS] That good girl Lindsay Lohan was abducted, that the twin sister she (and nobody else) never knew she had happens to stigmatically feel the same pain of her being tortured (something that appears to have caused the stripper twins fingers and entire leg to fall off). For some reason, she is then driven to turn up in town (despite missing leg) and collapse on the side of the road in a bloodied mass where she is found and everyone thinks that she is Aubrey.
Chris Sivertson conducts a colour schema with the use of blue to represent the scenes with Aubrey and red for Dakota. The blue colour scheme through the first half of the film where everything from the surgical smocks, Lindsay Lohans clothing, the rubber gloves the cops and killer wear, the custom-made glass torture instruments in the killers lair to even the bright blue roses that Brian Geraghty presents Lohan that is undeniably striking. The corresponding contrast of red once the Dakota character emerges is not as intensely maintained but the effect is still striking. Aside from the colour schema, the rest of I Know Who Killed Me is drab in terms of directorial style. On the plus side, the film does have an extremely listenable and well-chosen soundtrack of songs.
Previously, Chris Sivertson has co-directed the slasher film All Cheerleaders Die (2001) and written the fantasy film Barbarian (2003). It has took him several years after the ridicule of I Know Who Killed Me to mount another film, which came with the non-genre Brawler (2011), followed by co-directing a remake of All Cheerleaders Die (2013), the psycho film Dont Wake Mommy (2015) and the stalker film Heartthrob (2017). Elsewhere, Chris Sivertson has written the script for the horror film Wicked Lake (2008) and acts as a producer on another twin horror film The Absent (2011).