PSA: I Know Who Killed Me (2007), or How Not To Make A Good Movie

14 02 2009
Oh, man! This movie HURTS!

Oh, man! This movie HURTS!

Hello, all! Welcome to another edition of the PSA, my own public service announcement, where we take a look at movies I have already seen in attempt to widen your horizons and keep you in the know. Now, every now and then, a movie comes along that defies all logic. A movie that makes you wonder why you even bother waking up in the morning. A movie that knocks you out, steals your kidney, and leaves you in a bathtub filled with ice to bleed out on a hot night in Mexico. These movies do not come around often, but when they do, it is enough to make you stop watching films, turn your brain off permanently, and keep up with the weeknight CW lineup. Now, you might be wondering why I am writing about a movie that has taken such a famous beating already. Well, although this movie has won a record number of Razzies and a record number of laughs at its expense (yes, it’s a calculable number) many people around me still do not know about this one enough to stay away from it. It plays on a number of the Encore channels like a sly shark, waiting for some unlucky chum (HA!) to fall into its wide-hinged maw, and one of my friends just last week was unfortunate enough to fall prey into it. Now he’s on eight different medications for melancholy and he needs weekly joy injections just to be able to smile. True story.

So, this one starts out as a typical celebrity-vehicle horror movie. Aubrey Fleming is a straight-A student, a gifted piano player, a great writer, and believe it or not her life is just perfect. Everything is going peachy UNTIL one day after a pep rally/homecoming/school pride event she is abducted by an insidious killer. Her parents are extremely worried and the community she lives in is in a tizzy now as this is one in a series of abductions of young girls. The others have all ended up dumped somewhere dead with amputated arms and legs, and everyone assumes that the same might happen to her. But she is found alive by a roadside, albeit with a hand and a leg missing. Everyone is so overjoyed and the police are mobilized and everything seems normal after such an incident occurs. There’s just one problem. Aubrey keeps saying that she is not Aubrey but rather Dakota Moss, that she has never met these people that are calling themselves her parents. She is very adamant about this, and it seems strange considering the killer’s M.O. is to KILL the girls before dropping them off. So what is going on? Has this girl been traumatized so badly that she is making a separate personality to deal with the pain? Or is she really this Dakota Moss, a girl with a shady past and an unsavory lifestyle? And if so, then what happened to Aubrey, and can anyone save her and stop the killer?

The whole thing is incredibly insane. The premise is laughable, and it really makes you mad because they set it up to be something more down-to-earth that by the time you figure it out it’s already gone off the deep end and expects you to join it. And I’m not just talking about eccentric here. This is the Willy Wonka of screenplays. Just when you think you’re safe from the weirdness, BAM!, a character gets a robot leg! Just when you want to relax and let this horrible experience wash over you, POW!, somebody shoots out a line like, “Do I look like I’m in a fucking coma?!” it’s abrasive, jarring, and just no fun to watch.

Watching this, you will notice a strange red and blue motif throughout the entire feature that probably sounded better in crew meetings than in your face as a viewer. It seems that Aubrey is represented by blue and Dakota red, and these two deep colors will be seen everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Aubrey is given blue roses by her boyfriend, Dakota dances at a club lit in a very red lighting scheme. Hell, even the killer’s murder weapons are made out of blue blown glass! I will say that it is a technically proficient effect, and I respect the process. It does not look too bad in a few places, honestly. But there is a line of overkill and redundancy, and they cross it with abandon. And not only that, but what do the colors even mean? Is that a metaphor that is too high and artful for me to understand? Perhaps, because if the red ans the blue simply underscores the fact that these two personalities are very different, I think I understood that without the help of a visual aid.

Director Chris Siverston is a sad-sack schlocky horror director who fell in way over his head when a star like Lindsay Lohan (more on her later) signed on to act in his film. Looking at the rest of his oeuvre, he seems like a very modest straight-to-DVD kind of guy and I will not fault him for that. But if you want to make your impression on the theater-going audiences you have to step up your game, and it does not look as if he was prepared to do that. He needed some serious, SERIOUS re-writes demanded from first-time screenwriter Jeff Hammond, maybe even a new script altogether. But it looks like he just took this one verbatim, changing not even the slightest thing, which teaches all of us the very important lesson that some things just do not translate well from page to screen, including battery-powered robot appendages and Lindsay Lohan acting sexy.

Ah, and now we get to the heart of the matter. Lindsay Lohan is a household name. With millions of albums sold as a singer and millions of tickets sold as an actress, she is always a huge deal to the world at large. And as everyone knows, people love to watch celebrities fail because it makes the little person feel as if their life is validated by adhering to the rules and not having a lot of money. So when this movie came out and people heard that she was terrible in it, everyone laughed and laughed until they forgot what they were laughing about, then quickly went back to reading their celebrity news magazines and wasting their lives with idle gossip. But if you actually watch this, Lindsay Lohan puts the exact amount of talent into her main role as Aubrey/Dakota as she does with every single role she has ever been given; not much. She is really not very good, and she has never been very good. Being surprised about this is like being surprised at waking up in the morning and not being a giraffe. Her lame performance is actually the least surprising thing about this whole weird movie. So if you nominate her for a Worst Actress Razzie, you might as well nominate her every year she makes a movie and nominate Michael Bay every year for Worst Director.

So it’s a bad movie. A very bad movie. No surprise there, but there are a lot of people who still don’t know about this one. And if we can stave away one more person from this movie, the world might just be a little happier. I recommend this to anyone who cannot see or hear, but all others stay away. Unless, of course, you love unintentional comedy, in which case dig in! I give I Know Who Killed Me 2 fully-charged battery-powered robot legs out of 10.

Tomorrow we take to the river for The African Queen!