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Girl's gone wild in a thriller gone awry

Not to add to Lindsay Lohan's seeming pile of problems, but 'I Know Who Killed Me' is so bad, it's scary.

July 30, 2007|Jan Stuart | Newsday

When an actor demonstrates as much flair for upstaging the war on terrorism as Lindsay Lohan does, reviews are really beside the point. This was surely the reason for shielding critics from Lohan's newest epic till opening day, a move that also usually signals to one and all that an egg of Jurassic proportions is about to be laid.

You have no idea.

"I Know Who Killed Me," ostensibly a horror thriller in the slice-and-dice vein of "Captivity" and "Saw," bagged as many laughs in its blood-bath finale as anything in "The Simpsons Movie." The moralistic flip side of "Freaky Friday" with unexpected undercurrents of "The Patty Duke Show," it showcases Lohan as a teenager who wakes up one day to discover that she is, yikes, not a mother but a woman of easy virtue.

Lohan's character, Aubrey Fleming, is a culturally inclined student who toils with Chopin on the piano and composes short stories for creative writing class in a thinly veiled third person. But there is another Aubrey that no one sees, a stripper at the Girls Girls Girls burlesque joint who boozes and abuses drugs. (Beware the sequel, "I Know What You're Thinking.")

It is this Aubrey who emerges when -- no later than 15 minutes into the picture -- she is bound, gagged and tortured by a mysterious sadist with a penchant for blue cutting implements. Aubrey magically survives, albeit minus one arm and one leg. But when her distraught mother and father (Julia Ormond and Neal McDonough) come to claim her at the hospital, they find a hard-bitten chippie who calls herself Dakota.

What's going on? Is Aubrey leading a double life? Does Aubrey have a split personality? Is Aubrey a more creative spinner of fiction than anyone gave her credit for? Or could it possibly be that there is an Aubrey doppelgänger that no one seems to know about squirreled away in this once-quiet fishing town?

One can only imagine that Lohan thought this could be her "Three Faces of Eve" when she signed on. (Dakota swears! Dakota sleeps around! Dakota smokes cigarettes!) More likely, it was one of those hasty career moves that young actors make when they are trying to shake off their kid-actor images. Who can say?

As it is, the print of the movie shown to the press was far too bright and immaculate for its tawdry content. "I Know Who Killed Me" is, at bottom, a grindhouse special best observed through scratches, preferably in a beat-up theater with sticky floors.


"I Know Who Killed Me." MPAA Rating: R for grisly violence, including torture and disturbing gory images, and for sexuality, nudity, language. Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes. In general release.

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