They say there's no such thing as bad press, but I'm not sure it holds water when considering the trajectory of someone like Lindsay Lohan. Over the course of only a couple of years, she's gone from being one of Hollywood's brightest young stars to a tabloid punching bag (with a few visits to rehab along the way). While such a high-profile crash and burn may make for riveting spectacle, it certainly hasn't helped her film career. Although I'm sure 'I Know Who Killed Me' would have been a bad movie no matter who starred in it, Ms. Lohan's personal descent has only served to elevate this film to the level of a truly monumental train wreck.
Meet Aubrey Fleming (Lohan), a once happy-go-lucky high school student living the small town life whose world gets turned upside down when one day she's abducted by a sadistic killer. After a frantic search, Aubrey turns up alive, but mutilated both inside and out. She's not only lost her right arm and leg, but her whole personality. In fact, after waking up in the hospital, she's now believes herself to be an entirely different person, named Dakota Moss. Her parents and the FBI think she's suffering from delusions, but if "Dakota" is just a trick of her mind, why do strange wounds keep appearing all over her body? And how is it that she can remember her alternate past in such vivid detail? Desperate and alone, Aubrey must unlock long-buried family secrets in order to unmask the mysterious villain and end his deadly obsession.
'I Know Who Kills Me' commits the three cardinal sins of a bad horror-thriller -- it's illogically constructed, pretentiously directed, and (worst of all) just plain boring. Although the film swipes its entire plot from 'The Double Life of Veronique,' it bears little resemblance to such high-brow foreign fare. Instead, chock full of bargain-basement film school symbolism, this one's trash through and through. First-time director Chris Sivertson seems to think that he can imbue some sort of deep, philosophical meaning to it all by color-coding the entire film with a red and blue motif and throwing in a bunch of Z-grade Brian DePalma surrealism (complete with white doves, blue roses, visions of stigmata and endless scenes of Lohan doing a dirty strip tease), but it only comes off as sloppy art direction.
Had 'I Know Who Killed Me' simply been an inept attempt at a thriller, it might have just been ignored like any other recent Lohan misfire. But the film is so lurid and needlessly brutal that it invites scorn on principle alone. Aubrey isn't just abducted, we see her prolonged humiliation in excruciating detail (including close-ups of flesh being ripped and fingers slowly being severed), making 'I Know Who Killed Me' just as much torture porn as the Hostel movies, but far less honest about its intentions.
Considering that Lohan was reportedly coked out during most of the production of 'I Know Who Killed Me,' her performance actually isn't that bad. Her glassy eyes and hollow screams actually add an unsettling verisimilitude to her dual performance as Aubrey/Dakota. And to their credit, the filmmakers also managed to attract such otherwise fine actors as Julia Ormond and Neal McDonough into this mess, and all valiantly treat the material as if it were Masterpiece Theater.
I've heard one definition of camp as being "the failure of seriousness." By that standard, 'I Know Who Killed Me' is an immediate classic, and true to form, I'm not sure I've enjoyed quite as many unintentional laughs since 'Showgirls.' Along the same lines, I have to admit that there's a part of me that wants to be brave enough to actually recommend 'I Know Who Killed Me,' if only because as bad and as interminable as the movie is, I can't say that I wasn't strangely fascinated by the whole lurid affair. As such, not unlike stopping at the site of an accident to gawk at the wreckage, this film will probably hold an undeniable attraction for lovers of bad cinema. The cinematic equivalent of an autopsy, 'I Know Who Killed Me' is a strong candidate for the worst movie of 2007.
Sony presents 'I Know Who Killed Me' in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 video, framed at its theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. It's a generally good transfer -- perhaps better than the film itself deserves, although at times it overdoses on style to the point of distraction.
It may be laughable, but the film does attempt to make a "symbolic" use of color -- specifically intense red and blues. Usually these are colors that can really trip up even the best transfers, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well they're rendered here. I was expecting an avalanche of noise and excessive bleeding, but even the most shocking hues are quite clean and stable. Unfortunately, it still feels a little excessive, which is most obvious on fleshtones. This doesn't do the actors any favors, with every last blemish and freckle magnified due to the skewed colors. Brightness is also a bit too hot, which adds to the overall digital cast of the presentation.
On the plus side, blacks are incredibly deep, shadow delineation is quite good and black crush is generally not a huge problem. The image also retains a fair amount of depth, with the pushed contrast definitely giving this transfer "pop." Finally, I noted no obvious compression artifacts, such as posterization and macroblocking.
Is 'I Know Who Killed Me' a new reference disc? Hardly. But considering the material, it holds up surprisingly well.
Does 'I Know Who Killed Me' really need dual uncompressed PCM and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround tracks (both 48kHz/24-bit)? No. But Sony has delivered 'em, so far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth.
The film's sound design is pretty aggressive. Seeing as it's a thriller, there's plenty of discrete action and atmospheric effects (creaking doors, buzzing instruments of torture, etc.), as well as a strong use of score bleed. The rear soundfield is fairly prominent throughout, and it's generally effective. The mix is also up to snuff technically, with healthy dynamic range including some punchy bass. I was bugged by the overuse of rock songs, however -- anytime Lindsay Lohan gets anywhere near a pole, some blaring tune overwhelms the soundtrack and smothers dialogue. It's irritating, but it's the only major problem in an otherwise well-modulated soundtrack.
Given that 'I Know Who Killed Me' is the most critically-eviscerated flick in recent memory, one can only guess that everyone involved with the film would rather just see it disappear. As such, there's no audio commentary or making of material included here, although judging from the quality of the extras that do appear, perhaps that's a good thing...
Believe what you've heard: 'I Know Who Killed Me' is a complete disaster -- a tawdry, exploitative and needlessly gory movie that doesn't work on any of the levels intended. If you can get past that, this isn't the worst Blu-ray release -- both the video and the audio are actually quite good, and the slim supplements package may be a blessing in disguise. Still, unless you happen to have a particular affinity for really awful movies, I can't in good conscience recommend this title.