[28 July 2007]
Star Tribune (Minneapolis) (MCT)
I KNOW WHO KILLED ME
Starring: Lindsay Lohan
Directed by: Chris Sivertson
The meltdown soap opera that is Lindsay Lohan seems to have found its metaphor in “I Know Who Killed Me.”
In this odious crime thriller, Lohan plays a lewd, pill-popping entertainer of marginal talent, given to erratic behavior and life-endangering outbursts, a role that could be seen as a cry for help if her performance weren’t so unintentionally hilarious.
Attempting to walk the line between psychological chills and horror gore, the film trips and tumbles into the status of instant camp classic. When a police psychiatrist evaluating her character puts Lohan’s mug shot on a widescreen TV and electronically writes DELUSIONAL over her forehead, as if mimicking Perez Hilton, the blogger who defaces celebrity photos with mocking graffiti-style captions, there’s no choice but to laugh.
The film is so cheap, lurid and overwrought it could be made up of lost reels from “Grindhouse,” except it lacks the knowing, self-referential humor of that B-movie parody.
Lohan’s character, Aubrey Fleming, is the only child of a wealthy family, a Yale-bound academic star and a crack pianist. When she is kidnapped and attacked by a serial killer who dismembers his victims, she escapes with her life, but minus her right hand and leg (prosthetics and computer imaging make her limb stumps look uncomfortably realistic.)
Also missing is her identity; when the girl regains consciousness in her hospital bed she claims to be Dakota Moss, a down-and-dirty pole dancer with no recollection of her parents, home or old boyfriend. Her spotty memory gives FBI investigators little to go on, and they warn that she will not be safe until the fiend that mutilated her is in custody.
This leaves the door open for more attacks and grisly torture, and director Chris Sivertson goes through that door as often as he can. This film contains more sawn-off extremities than a battlefield hospital. Some are cut away with the killer’s collection of blue plexiglass blades, fanciful designs that look like something to be sold at a Wizards of Warcraft convention.
Other limbs just mysteriously separate from the bodies on their own, a phenomenon that requires a cameo by late-night radio whackjob Art Bell to explain. I doubt that even Stephen Hawking could explain the scene in which the kidnapping victim/amputee takes her boyfriend up to her bedroom for a protracted, noisy session of lovemaking while her agitated mother scours the kitchen sink.
The film’s deliberately murky chronology and point of view makes it difficult to know what is happening, when and to whom. Aubrey/Dakota experiences visions that could be flashbacks to her earlier torture, extrasensory perception or fantasies. After all, the film opens with Aubrey reading her class composition about a girl who had the ability to “make her life into a movie” and imagine that it is happening to someone else.
Viewers trapped in this gratuitously sadistic fiasco will wish they had that power.