EIGHT THINGS TO HATE ABOUT I KNOW WHO KILLED ME:
1. The plot
Aubrey is a smart, rich kid who excels in writing and piano playing and has a set of devoted, supportive parents. Conversely, Dakota is a sleazy stripper, raised in poverty by a single, crack-addicted mom. The only thing that these two share is that they’re twins, but neither of them know it due to a clever arrangement between Aubrey’s dad and Dakota’s mom. When Aubrey is kidnapped by a serial killer stalking her town, Dakota begins exhibiting the same wounds. It’s not until she is limping along the side of the road when a car hits her, landing her in the hospital and leading the cops to mistakenly believe she’s really Aubrey. Even upon her insistence that she is not Aubrey, Dakota moves in with Aubrey’s parents and begins to try and find out how to save Aubrey.
Does that sound stupid to you? It certainly is, and I haven’t encapsulated half the stupid contained in the movie in the above paragraph. The term stigmatic twins is misused in the movie (stigmata implies the wounds of Christ, not just random wounds that you some how telepsychickinetically or…whatever…share with your unknown twin) and at face value, it’s awful. Expounded upon, it’s cringingly bad.
2. Heavy handed foreshadowing
This is one of the first things you see, before you see Lohan’s name in the credits, even. You also see this:
Aubrey and Dakota both wind up having a hand and part of a leg chopped off. Look, I think things like symbolism and foreshadowing are important in storytelling. This is just way too heavy handed for me in an irritating sort of way. Call it a pet peeve.
3. Gratuitous Stripper Lohan
I don’t mind Dakota being a stripper at all. Honestly, whatever works, man. There are two separate strip scenes, though; an introductory strip scene and a minutes long scene toward the middle of the film that only serves as fodder for the males in the audience who coughed up good money for the Lindsay Lohan Stripper Movie. For the record, I am not a professional screenwriter. My sole exposure to the wide world of being a professional screenwriter is two dusty copies of Story and The Screenwriter’s Bible that I own and Kevin’s blog. That’s it.
But I vaguely recall from Creative Writing 101 (where they do indeed teach introductory screenwriting – at least the class I took) that every scene is supposed to advance the plot. The long strip scene does nothing to advance anything whatsoever. You already know Dakota’s a stripper; you already know she’s not the classiest of dames; you already know she subjects herself to leery old men for money. It is nothing more than Lindsay Lohan no longer playing a stripper and practically being one. There is something vaguely icky about that which caused me wince.
4. The good twin/bad twin overkill
Aubrey is the good twin! She’s practically perfect. She’s a “good” writer; she dates the quarterback of the football team. Her piano skills are so good she’s going to a competition and she lives in a swanky house in the suburbs, while her parents are the most doting, caring people ever.
On the other hand, Dakota is not putting the “fun” back in dysfunctional.
She smokes, she drinks, and she’s so bad that when Aubrey’s boyfriend comes to the house bearing flowers upon hearing the news that “Aubrey” has been found, she totally puts the moves on him and sleeps with Aubrey’s boyfriend. Dakota is a fountain of profanity and is barely scraping by in life.
What makes it obnoxious is that every cliche in the book is rolled out. The bad twin wears skanky clothes and wears dark eye makeup (ladies, put away that MAC makeup right now, thanks), the good girl stays away from the “bad” boys in favor of the squeaky-clean high school boyfriend. The pathetic sob story they give about Dakota’s mom dying is clichéd to the extreme.
Taking the good/bad thing to the extreme is part of what is so exhausting about this movie.
5. The serial killer is a freak and a half and not in a good way
Question: Isn’t it a little odd to continually highlight a serial killer who uses grossly ornate instruments of torture, like, for example, sharp pointy/cutty things made out of blue glass, and then never explain that to your viewer? Wouldn’t you think that would be…confusing?
You would be right.
6. The symbolism behind the color blue
Trick title. I’m not sure the color blue has anything to do with anything at all in this film; maybe the director just really loved him some blue.
It is, however, thrown at you in nearly every shot of the movie. The gag Aubrey’s killer binds her with is blue; Dakota receives blue roses; many scenes are shot in blue light; the killer uses blue colored glass instruments to torture people. The ending shot is pretty much dark blue. It all seems like it’s supposed to mean something. Except…it doesn’t. It’s just annoying.
7. The unsatisfying ending
This is what we’ve waited to see, right? (Unless you rented this because it was the Lindsay Lohan Stripper Movie and by now, you’ve already hit the “good” parts.) Dakota discovers through looking in a mirror – yes, I typed that correctly – that Aubrey has been buried alive. After a standoff with the killer where Dakota manages to go crazy on his ass, Dakota unearths the buried alive Aubrey and then… curls up next to her and that is all. Wait, they stare at each other for a minute and make weird motions with their eyes. Then Dakota crawls in next to her and that..that is the end.
What the hell is that shit?
8. The identity of the serial killer
Serial killers are overused in movies, but one thing that hardly ever changes is that they have something deep seated that drives them to kill repetitively. Hannibal Lecter, for example, is the greatest on screen serial killer and there was a method to his madness that made some sort of creepy, insane sense.
However, you can’t expect such things from I Know Who Killed Me. No, it turns out to be Aubrey’s piano teacher that you saw for .05 seconds during the beginning of the movie.
Why? Aubrey, that utter bitch, had the audacity to quit piano to focus on writing. The teacher is punishing all of his students that had the gall to quit his brilliant instruction and Aubrey is just the next in line to be taught a lesson.
I think it speaks for itself. I don’t think that requires me snarking on that premise any further.
Ultimately, there are some movies I watch where I actually start out the movie expecting to write an attempt at a humorous review. This was one of them. It was notoriously ill-received when it hit the box office; it cleaned up at the Razzies and when it premiered Lohan was in all sorts of legal trouble.
By the end of the film, though, I was uninspired to write anything at all. It’s a really somber movie, in the sense that you understand you are watching something that hits so far off the mark that it was intended to hit that you feel uncomfortable. In addition, Lohan looks very much like she was on drugs during this film. I don’t think her performance is as bad as everyone made it out to be because she’s really not given a lot of meat to proverbially chew on, because even the supporting cast who are normally very good (Julia Ormand, for example) are all very terrible looking.
It is misguided at best. And at worst, it marks a very low point for Lindsay Lohan who has wasted an awful lot of talent at these sorts of movies with this being the apex of her terrible movie-making spree.
I am not sure what the makers of I Know Who Killed Me intended for this to be, but I’m fairly sure it wasn’t this tripe. Who greenlit this, anyway?