I would bet that director Chris Sivertson is a fan of David Lynch. Lynch’s 1986 Blue Velvet focused around a young man in a perfect suburb who stumbles across a severed ear while walking through a field, piquing his curiosity to find out whose ear it is. The color blue played prominently due to the inclusion of the Bobby Vinton’s song Blue Velvet. I Know Who Killed Me is a bizarre thriller that leads the audience into an ideal suburb that houses a serial killer who likes to torture girls by severing one hand and one let before leaving them to die, and focuses around the color blue. Like Lynch’s Blue Velvet, the audience is taken on an exciting but confusing ride. Lynch is, however, a smoother director who knows when to include his trademark eccentric scenes, while Sivertson’s piecing of this movie brings a cacophony to its flow. The reliance on symbolism here is strong, but often times the symbols are out of place and have no true meaning in the movie. For instance, the repetitive symbolism of the color blue shows up in flowers, gloves, cars, and entire rooms. Even the marketing for this movie is a blue rose, but it is never explained or alluded to at all.
Aubrey Fleming (Lindsay Lohan) is a smart high schooler who is interested in writing and is admitted to Yale a semester early. She’s pretty, well off, and well liked. Her boyfriend, Jerrod (Brian Geraghty), wants her to fall in love with him, but she doesn’t have time for that type of stuff. Aubrey is realistic and ambitious. We see glimpses of her talent when she reads her writing out loud to the class. It is in this writing that we are introduced to Dakota Moss, a girl who is a stripper to make money. Aubrey and Dakota have nothing in common, but Aubrey is obsessed with her fictional character. Lohan plays Aubrey ok, but she does a fantastic job as Dakota. Aubrey is sweet, smart, and respectful of others. Dakota is mean, rude, and slutty. It’s no wonder why people are wondering if Lohan is truly acting while playing Dakota, but for the sake of separating reality from LA reality, we’ll say she is. Lohan, after all, is a talented actress whose personal life has recently taken center stage. But, her range here is good and the dancing is outrageous.
But before Dakota can make an appearance off the pages of Aubrey’s notebook, Aubrey has to disappear. She vanishes after a football game and has everyone looking for her, and with good reason: another girl who had vanished had been found dismembered and drowned. The FBI comes in with a serial killer outfit, even though there has only been one murder. When a woman driving on a back road who comes across Aubrey and calls 911, the movie really picks up. Aubrey has no memory of being Aubrey and only knows herself as Dakota, and is fiercely confident of who she is despite the insistence of the FBI and her parents. The inclusion of the FBI agents seems almost an afterthought. They don’t accomplish anything that this movie needed, and are always on the wrong track. Aubrey’s heartbroken parents, played by Julia Ormond and Neal McDonough, are determined to make her remember. Ormond is underused here, and I was left with the feeling that she had more scenes but they were cut. Dakota has no explanation for her injuries and no memories of being abducted. Her side of the story is the real mystery here. She found herself becoming injured over the past two weeks for no reason at all. With the help of Jerrod, Dakota begins to unravel what happened to Aubrey and how they are connected. Eventually she follows her instincts and sees what only an outsider can see in a small town: the truth.
This movie is rated R and deservedly so. The stripping scenes are sexy, and the sex is wild. However, there is also a good amount of torture in this movie. We see what Aubrey and Dakota both go through, and it’s not pretty. I have to admit I covered my eyes at one part, and gagging sounds filled the theater at another particularly gruesome spot. The serial killer is vicious in his cruelty.
All in all, this movie isn’t the worst movie of the summer as it is being billed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it found a cult following in a few years. While there are holes in the plot and a few misused characters, it’s interesting. And, there is one character who makes a solid impression on this movie: Fat Teena, played by Bonnie Aarons. This madam puts the weird character quota at the necessary level to push this movie out of the trash bin and into the cult trunk.
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