When some mystery thrillers reveal their secrets at the end, you say, “Aaaahh,” in a mix of surprise and satisfaction. When “I Know Who Killed Me” unveils everything, you say, “What? Are you serious? That’s stupid.”
I have to assume that this was not the filmmakers’ intention.
Lurid, over-sexualized, and boring when it’s not being actively unpleasant, “I Know Who Killed Me” stars Lindsay Lohan as Aubrey Fleming, a talented high school senior with a football player boyfriend (Brian Geraghty) and a scholarship to Yale. She writes fiction and plays the piano, both allegedly with great skill, though the examples we’re shown aren’t very impressive.
Aubrey goes missing one night after a football victory, and the town fears she may have been abducted by the same maniac responsible for several other girls’ disappearances in recent months. Sure enough, we see Aubrey as she’s strapped to a table, drugged up, and subjected to a painful-looking removal of the fingers on one hand. Her piano-playing days are over!
Next thing she knows, she’s in the hospital. Her right leg and hand are gone. Oh, and she has no idea who “Aubrey Fleming” is. She says her name is Dakota Moss, that she’s a stripper (obviously; if your name is Dakota Moss, you have no choice but to become a stripper), and that she was raised by a crack-addicted mother in some dirtbag town elsewhere in the state. Aubrey’s parents (Julia Ormond and Neal McDonough) seem nice enough, she says, but they ain’t hers. Hers are dead.
Naturally, this puts everyone in a bit of a dither. The psychiatrist (Gregory Itzin) thinks Aubrey is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The FBI agents (Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Spencer Garrett) are annoyed that Aubrey, or Dakota, or whoever she is can’t — or won’t — give them more details on what happened to her and who her captor was. How did she escape when all of the guy’s other victims were never found alive?
If Aubrey’s faking it, she’s doing a convincing job. Whereas Aubrey was holding out on sleeping with the football player boyfriend, Dakota jumps right into the sack with him, upstairs in Aubrey’s bedroom while Aubrey’s mother stands helpless in the kitchen. If you think the lad will be concerned about his sexual partner’s missing limbs, then you underestimate the horniness of a teenage boy.
The film’s director, Chris Sivertson, seems to consider himself clever for having discovered that you can use colors to distinguish different types of scenes. All the scenes involving Aubrey are heavy on the blues. When Dakota tells us her story, we’re shown flashbacks full of reds. This is a fine thing to do when you’re making a movie with themes and messages and subtleties. When you’re making a movie about a girl whose hand and leg got chopped off by a madman, and who now has a split personality that swears and smokes and sleeps around, then I posit that using colors to differentiate moods is probably a wasted effort.
Even less serviceable is Jeff Hammond’s clunky screenplay, which has huge spaces of time where no new information is revealed, leaving us to sit around and wait for something to happen. When things finally do unfold and the mystery of Aubrey/Dakota is explained, you’re liable to feel like you’ve been had. Can this possibly have been what they had in mind the whole time? Yes, apparently: All the clues lead up to it. Can someone have thought it was a good idea for a movie, and that the conclusion would work? Yes, apparently.
D (1 hr., 45 min.; )