Film Torments: I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

In this scene, Herbie wasn't the only one who was fully loaded.

WE’RE back on Film Torments, and to celebrate Oscar season, we’re dedicating the month to those liquid farts that swept the Razzies, the Bizarro version of Tinseltown’s favourite awards. Up first is Rich’s take on I Know Who Killed Me.

Back in 2007 the Razzies set a new record for most awards won by a single film with eight awards for Lindsay Lohan vehicle I Know Who Killed Me. The brains behind the awards buffed this number up with an interesting approach to the introduction of new categories, introducing a “Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie” category and expanding “Worst Remake” to “Worst Remake or Rip-Off”. As a result, this dumb little waste of time made Razzie history in the same year as Norbit, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Daddy Day Camp, all of which seem so much more revolting in retrospect. Racism, homophobia and cash-grabbing in abysmal comedies are surely far worse sins than just being horror schlock.

It’s sadly obvious why this bomb was such a popular punching bag, despite very few people having actually seen it. No doubt it’s a bad movie; it wasn’t screened for critics (always a bad sign) and the critics who did see it weren’t kind. It currently holds a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, and frankly that’s a little generous. And yet, I can’t really hate this film because it just doesn’t give you anything to hate. It’s just not good enough for that.

The reason this film had so much more negative publicity is the presence of child star turned teen star turned has-been by 30 Lindsay Lohan in the lead role(s). Tina Fey’s Mean Girls is widely regarded as the best 21st Century high school movie and I’m in absolute agreement with that. Lohan’s performance in that film, made when she was just 16, is flawless. While Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan and Amanda Seyfried have gone from strength to strength in their subsequent careers, the film’s star performer made a real-life transition from sweet girl with tons of potential to partying sex symbol to trainwreck to disinterested nobody that conversely nobody wants to work with. Her arc in Mean Girls seems prophetic in retrospect.

In this scene, Lindsay Lohan isn't the only one having a Freaky Friday

In this scene, Lindsay Lohan isn’t the only one having a Freaky Friday.

I hope that someday Lindsay will see a revival in her career, most likely in a role which parallels her actual life and makes us all feel guilty for ruining her. But the sad truth is that while she has grown into adulthood the hard way, her skill-set hasn’t advanced at all. She was at the height of her talent as a teenager and has gone downhill from there, and seems to take what acting jobs she can get regardless of content. Even Lindsay herself didn’t think casting her as Elizabeth Taylor in Liz and Dick made any sense, but Lifetime did it anyway because she’s a big name. Nobody wanted a fifth Scary Movie, but the pay cheque was there and she had expensive addictions to feed and Charlie Sheen is about the only person she can look good next to.

As for I Know Who Killed Me doesn’t matter. It’s a nonsensical, boring film where the big twist is that the girls played by the same actress are identical twins with a psychic connection. Before the film was released, the bulk of hype revolved around teen starlet Lindsay Lohan playing a stripper, but she refused to do nude scenes (a policy she would later undo in The Canyons) so it doesn’t even deliver on that front. Lohan seems to be trying in her dual role as the twin sisters, but more than anything she just seems tired and lost in a film which underachieves in every single regard. If nobody famous was in it, I Know Who Killed Me would go straight into the bargain bin and wouldn’t see a cinema release, but unfortunately they hired an imploding star at the height of her self-destruction.

Courtesy of IMDb, here’s a synopsis

‘Aubrey Fleming (Lohan) is a regular high school student with friends and family. One night, she unexpectedly disappears. Two weeks later she is found unconscious in the middle of the woods. When spoken to, her loved ones realize she has forgotten her identity and the personality living in her body is Dakota Moss (Also Lohan), a character that Aubrey created in one of her stories for an English assignment. Dakota denies ever being Aubrey knowing that they look identical. Now, Dakota must try to unravel the mystery of how her and Aubrey co-exist and find out who abducted Aubrey that night…’

In this scene, even Machete was... ahh fuck it.

In this scene, even Machete was… ahh fuck it.

The film is terrible and not even in a fun way. Director Chris Sivertson has only two other directing credits, both of which are different versions of the same movie All Cheerleaders Die, which I’ve never heard of. He doesn’t have much worth as a screenwriter either. Some people argue that I Know Who Killed Me is an underrated psychological experiment in the vein of Brian DePalma and David Lynch, but I wasn’t convinced it was any better than a Poundland shelf filler. It might be trying for profundity on some level but it’s nowhere near as clever as it pretends to be.

Looking back, it’s surprising it earned enough vitriol to win so many Razzies, especially when the enraging Norbit took home the second-most that year. The only logical conclusion is that the Razzie voters ignored the film and simply wanted to gang up on Lindsay Lohan at the nadir of her public perception. Giving her one Worst Actress award wasn’t so bad, because it’s certainly a rubbish performance, but giving her two as a joke on her dual role and giving her “Worst Screen Couple” for playing two characters at once? That’s just headline fodder, and that was the last thing Lindsay Lohan needed more of. The record-setting eight wins were stretched out for the sake of a piss-take of dual-roles, much like a few years later when Jack and Jill beat the record in similar fashion. And, in defence of I Know Who Killed Me, it may be a pile of crap but at least it didn’t make me hate anybody. Adam Sandler on the other hand…

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