I Know Who Killed Me

Movie Information

The Story: A young woman -- minus a few body parts -- escapes from a mad killer and claims not to be the person everyone thinks she is. The Lowdown: Hysterically funny, impossibly convoluted, totally unbelievable, frightfully embarrassing and occasionally distasteful.
Genre: Horror Mystery
Director: Chris Sivertson
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Neal McDonough, Julia Ormond, Brian Geraghty
Rated: R

In a word: “Wow!” The new Lindsay Lohan vehicle (I think it’s a hearse) I Know Who Killed Me is quite possibly the single most demented and incoherent movie of the year. As an expression of bad cinema, it’s an accomplishment of some note. And, oh yes, it’s bad. It’s very bad. It’s so bad it almost comes out the other side of badness to become good. Well, that’s an overstatement, but it’s at least so incredibly wrongheaded and laugh-out-loud funny that it earns enshrinement in the pantheon of cinematic two-headed cows. (At the same time, I’d be willing to bet that if the movie were in Italian and signed by Dario Argento, there’d be a horde of Euro-horror fans proclaiming it as a masterpiece and dismissing its complete lack of coherence as “dream logic.” Perspective accounts for much.)

I don’t think I understood just how singularly whacked out this movie was while I was watching it. I knew it was, well, peculiar, but it was only later when I was describing it to someone that I truly grasped the enormity of its cosmic weirdness. Now, if you insist on seeing this thing and want to preserve its marginal mystery value, read no further.

As you may know from the trailer, Lindsay Lohan, the once-promising actress now known as just so much tabloid fodder, stars as Aubrey Fleming, a hotshot high-school student with the requisite coterie of friends and the hunky jock boyfriend, Jerrod (played by 33-year-old Brian Geraghty, We Are Marshall). Aubrey’s kidnapped by a movie-style unknown madman, who takes her to what appears to be an autopsy table in a dank basement where he applies dry ice to her to induce frostbite in extremities various and sundry, and then amputates (sans anesthetic, of course) the damaged body parts with a—wait for it—special array of blue-glass surgical tools. Then one day Aubrey is found lying by the roadside minus her right hand and the bottom half of her right leg. Ah, but is it Aubrey?

When Aubrey regains consciousness she claims to be Dakota Moss, an itinerant pole dancer of easy virtue who appears incapable of constructing a sentence without some permutation of the f-word. She is not, she says, the upper-middle-class daughter of Daniel (Neal McDonough, The Hitcher) and Susan Fleming (Julia Ormond, Inland Empire), but rather the spawn of a dead crackhead (played as a decomposing corpse by Tracey Evans, who perhaps finds this a step up from previous roles as “Woman No. 1” and “Restaurant Customer” in movies I’ve never heard of). To support this revelation, we are given glimpses of Dakota’s life as a pole-dance specialist—all of which take place in a kind of bargain-basement, David Lynch world—throughout the film.

But Dakota’s DNA matches Aubrey’s, and more, Aubrey had written a story about the exact character of Dakota Moss, so obviously Aubrey is merely delusional. Or is she? Did her middle finger really turn black and split open in the shower as she insists (we see it), and did it indeed fall off in the middle of a pole dance (we see that, too), and did she laboriously sew the blackened digit back on in her dressing room (yes, we see it happen)? Believe it or not, seeing is believing.

How is this possible? Well, Aubrey and Dakota are “stigmatic twins.” Internet research (you gotta love it) leads to a video link to a lecture by no less an authority than Art Bell (yes, the Art Bell) that reveals that “stigmatic twins” suffer whatever evil befalls the other. Therefore, Aubrey must still be at the mercy of the crazed killer or else Dakota would be dead, too. Now, how is any of this possible? Well, seems that at the same time that Aubrey’s mom had a stillborn child, the junkie down the hall gave birth to twins and good old dad bought one of them (Aubrey) and pulled the old Omen switcheroo on his wife. (Presumably screenwriter Jeffrey Hammond thought that having the birth mother turn out to be a jackal would have made the whole thing unbelievable.) The question then becomes whether or not dad and Dakota can get to Aubrey in time. That part, I’ll leave unresolved, except to note that the robotic Darth Vader hand that the hospital fixed Dakota up with earlier comes in mighty useful.

As screwy as all this is, it compounds its sins by never even making marginal sense. Characters appear and disappear at will. What becomes of the boyfriend after he helps Dakota sneak out to visit the bereaved parents of another victim? Where is mom during the climactic scenes? Just who is the madman? It appears that he’s (maybe) Aubrey’s music teacher, but he also seems to be a glass blower, glass sculptor, stained-glass artisan and collector of prosthetic legs, but who is he really and why is he doing this? Even assuming we buy into the idea that Dakota sewed her finger back on, are we also supposed to believe she sewed up her wrist after the hand dropped off? And what about the leg? Can you wonder that I said “Wow!” about all of this?

If anyone still cares, Lohan is credible enough as Aubrey, but her foul-mouthed Dakota is just silly. Every time she spouts the f-word, it’s hard not to imagine Beavis and Butthead chortling and remarking, “She said f**k.” As concerns her pole dancing, it’s simply embarrassing, and her coy sex scene is no better. (Was Lindsay’s mom on the set screaming, “Keep that bra on!” and “Pull that sheet up!”?) That Lohan was arrested for her real-life antics just prior to the film’s release and therefore unable to appear on TV to plug it, may well have been a blessing in disguise. Rated R for grisly violence, including torture and disturbing gory images, and for sexuality, nudity and language.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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26 thoughts on “I Know Who Killed Me

  1. Orbit DVD

    So being a fan of the “so bad it’s good” category, is this worth checking out on the big screen?

  2. Ken Hanke

    That’s a tricky question. It’s worth it if your movie budget is up to it. I mean, how often do you get a pole-dancing Lindsay Lohan whose finger inexplicably falls off and a mad (not just extremely annoyed, mind you) killer whose own hand goes astray (thanks to La Lohan’s robotic prosthesis) in one movie? This is choice stuff.

    But if it’s a question of seeing this or PAPRIKA or THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, then I’d advise against this. If you insist on I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, though…don’t dawdle. Every theater that got stuck with it already cut it back to two shows a day. Since DADDY DAY CAMP opens on Wednesday, there’s a chance that this one could be history on some screens after Tuesday. Gee, think about it — wouldn’t it be the height of personal embarassment to have your movie dumped for something with Cuba Gooding, Jr. standing in for Eddie Murphy?

  3. Orbit DVD

    I’m also a huge fan of career killers and I feel that this one is TOO good to pass up. There will always be PAPKRIKAs and BOURNE ULTIMATUMs, but a film like this is getting harder to find these days.

  4. Ken Hanke

    Well, you do have a point, though I’ve gotta say I’ve seen very few PAPRIKAs.

  5. jhon recy

    I like the settinsg of the movie and really gives an excitement and fun to the viewers. i paid for a much worth thriller.


    if you dont get how this movie makes sense then you must be pretty dumb. why does the killer do this? well obviously it was her music teacher and pay attention to what he says while teaching miss lohan, “you have a gift” but she chooses to waste it by quitting. so this leads to beleive that maybe his last victim was his last student, thats why he cuts off their right hand and leg, he wants them to learn whatever that peice of music was with her right hand mainly, and they use their right leg to hit the pedal. they waste their talent, he takes it away. simple

  7. Hillary

    It makes the movie make sense because now you know WHO the killer is and WHY he was killing these people. I think that would be obvious since you were the one who said he MIGHT have been Aubrey’s music teacher, which then implies that you did not know. Although it doesn’t make the entire movie make sense it helps to clear up the confusion.

  8. Ken Hanke

    That one point will not make the movie make sense. It will not explain the whole prosthetics collection, the glass surgical instruments, if this is the music teacher’s standard approach and how he’s never been caught, Lindsay’s bionic body parts, the whole stigmatic twins business, the sudden disappearance of good Lindsay’s boyfriend from the proceedings, etc. There’s nothing you can come up with that will make this movie make sense — including the idea of a demented music teacher who lops off wayward pupils’ “piano hand” and “pedal foot.”

  9. Frances

    I watched it with my little sister, and we both thought it made perfect sense. Plus, we both loved it!

  10. Laren

    Personally, I really liked this movie!!
    I saw it in the theatres and then got it for Christmas!
    I would highly recommend it to anyone..
    And being a teenager I rarely find mystery movies worth watching but this one, I really enjoyed! :)

  11. Michaela

    I rented this movie earlier tonight, & i loved it!
    it made perfect sense to me..
    ive already watched it twice.. just to see if i missed anything the 1st time around.
    i rarely buy movies, but this one, i think i just might.

  12. Ken Hanke

    I find this love-fest for a movie that almost no one went to see when it played theaters and which was awarded 56 scathingly bad reviews vs. 5 sorta good ones (three of which liked it because of its preposterousness) absolutely fascinating. Incomprehensible, but fascinating.

  13. Brandy

    I enjoyed this movie. I watched it with my fiance the other night. He usually falls asleep when we watch a movie, but he stayed awake and wathed this movie all the way through, so I assume he liked it too. Although not all of the movie made complete sence (why the prosthetic legs, where did the boyfriend go) it was very interesting. There were many things in the movie that did make sence and I would recommend this movie to friends. Maybe not in the theater, but for a sit at home movie, I really enjoyed it.

  14. Ken Hanke

    Well, cheer up. It’s been nominated for the Razzie Awards. Lohan has picked up two nominations for worst actress (one for each role) and for worst screen couple. It’s also received nods for worst horror picture, worst screenplay and worst director. And for just plain worst picture.

  15. Alexandra Sullivan

    i agree with ken, the movie was retarded. total waste of time. lohan is a very good actress. i’ve been fortunate enough to work with her. but i have to tell you, the fact that this movie sucked was not her fault. i think she played the roles well. i realize that she curses a lot. but as dakota she is some unscrupulous stripper. the director did a shitty job, and the screenplay was full of holes that successfully inhibited any type of understanding of what was happening. i was puzzled the entire time. i went to the screening and most of the authority on cinema had less then flattering things to say about the film. i’m glad that people on this blog think this movie was good, buy the DVD so they make a little money of this film. ha.

  16. David

    Well, I rather liked it… for the most part. I’ll agree right now with Rupert Grint however, when I concur that Lindsay Lohan CAN’T act.

    That aside, this isn’t the first twin movie she’s done, either. The remake of The Parent Trap comes to mind.

    The CONCEPT of the movie is good. Brilliant, even. However, you guys are right. It does tend to unravel a bit, near the end when it comes to the characters. The FBI however, was portrayed dead-on. Mulder and Scully, these guys WEREN’T. I imagine when the girls are found, heads WILL roll… administratively. Ah, well. Nothing like unimaginative minds, when a life is on the line.

    In either case. It tries to be M. Night Shyamalan… and comes close, but no cigar. I think if the boys who came up with the Saw movies were directing this… and they cast ANYONE other than Lindsay Lohan for it… it would have stood a better chance with critics. At the very least, we’d have some character continuity. Still and all… it wasn’t AS bad as I’d feared.

    Maybe in a few years they’ll remake it, or do a sequel, and get it right.

  17. Anna

    This movie was made for the masses. Statistically, this world is filled with simple-minded people and to them, all that mattered was the WHY of the movie, the motive. That is, why this crazed piano teacher was chopping off former students’ limbs? For most, if you have the WHY of the movie, who cares if the rest doesn’t make sense. Who cares to understand what in the world all the prosthetic limbs were about or where or why he would use glass knives and instruments to mutiliate Aubrey. These matters are of true concern to those who have deconstructed the movie to find the slightest bit of logic. The truth is, this movie was TERRIBLE. but because it had a glimmer of logic, Lohan in tiny outfits while pole dancing, and a lot of gore, people love it. Most of the people who loved this movie and say it makes perfect sense clearly skimmed the above review. They were probably too confused by the big words and strange expressions and took them to be nothing but space takers. You’re right Ken, this movie was astoundingly dreadful. For every part that made sense, there were about 10 that had nothing to do with the story line. And for the record people, what was the whole big deal with the creepy gardener?! And did anyone else notice that the director clearly intentionally put Aubrey in all blue outfits, and Dakota in all red outfits.. From the beginning he was setting up a duality of roles for Lohan to play. Not to mention that when Dakota was in the hospital and the shrink asked her for her social, all of Aubrey’s information was in blue ink and Dakota’s was in red. If that’s not cliche and unoriginal, I don’t know what is. Lohan was good as the two twins of “The Parent Trap” remake. In “I Know Who Killed Me,” she definitely could have used the help of a twin, some better acting, and the ability to say the “f” word and not sound like a total imbicile. Good luck explaining all this to the masses Ken.

  18. Ken Hanke

    This movie was made for the masses.

    It may have been made for them, but they didn’t exactly flock to it. In fact, it was one of the bigger box office disasters of the year.

    Lohan was good as the two twins of “The Parent Trap” remake.

    She was also good in Freaky Friday, Mean Girls and A Prairie Home Companion. I don’t especially blame her for this one — except that she chose to make it.

    Good luck explaining all this to the masses Ken.

    I long ago gave up trying — the movie’s simply not significant enough to get worked up over. It’s ultimately disposable.

  19. John

    I loved this movie! I watched it withh my grandparents and five year old son and altho some parts didnt make since, we all thought it was fassinating! :D

  20. Rafal

    Overall, I found this movie to be a neutral production; at first, however after watching it again the following day I found it much more enjoyable. Now I realise that the movie makes perfect sense and understanding the whole twin affair and how the proposed ‘parents’ of aubrey are not actually related to her is crucial in comprehending the movie as a whole. If you did not enjoy ‘I know who killed me’ the first time round, I recommend that you watch it a second time, because even if you weren’t confused the first time you will definitely see this production in a differen light.

  21. Rafal

    Overall, I found this movie to be a neutral production; at first, however after watching it again the following day I found it much more enjoyable. Now I realise that the movie makes perfect sense and understanding the whole twin affair and how the proposed ‘parents’ of aubrey are not actually related to her is crucial in comprehending the movie as a whole. If you did not enjoy ‘I know who killed me’ the first time round, I recommend that you watch it a second time, because even if you weren’t confused the first time you will definitely see this production in a differen light.

  22. not sayin xx

    i love this film so much i watched it last night its totally amazin, i love the plot to it, the should bring a second one out :) xx

  23. Tammy Heater

    I was so confused after watching this movie I had to go on-line and read the reviews to find out what happened!! I’m sad I wasted two hours watching this while I could have watched……well just about anything else would have better!!

  24. noname

    i think the symbolism behind the red and blue clothes of the characters is explained when Dakota finds the blue ribbon at the grave. her entire life Dakota was the loser of the two and Aubrey the winner; this also explaines the colour of the ring and freaky glass instruments. as for why the prosthetic legs – do you seriously want to logically explain the thoughts of a guy that kidnaps girls, makes sure they are completely aware of all the pain he is inflicting, while he is chopping them into pieces? dude, he’s a PSYCO no logic there!!! o, and a lot of artist have more than one form of art, example music and painting or glass blowing. and it’s a movie not a documentary.

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