"I Know Who Killed Me" is wannabe De Palma or wannabe Lynch -- and there are worse things to which to aspire than those two -- crossed with the feel of one of those live-action Disney horror films of the early ‘80s. Even as “I Know Who Killed Me” sometimes flounders, or drags, or makes you think, “yeah, I can see where De Palma or Lynch would have done better,” I can’t help but admire the ambition to be a wannabe De Palma.
“Killed Me” follows two girls (Lohan both, not great but certainly not terrible) who might be psychically-linked twin sisters separated at birth, or they might be one girl with trauma-induced schizophrenia. Sounds like “Sisters” and “Vertigo” and “Mulholland Drive” a little, doesn’t it? And the movie features Julia Ormond, who was IN Lynch’s most recent film, “INLAND EMPIRE.” Anyway, the first girl is a spoiled rich goody two-shoes; the second is a potty-mouth stripper from skidrow. We follow both their lives in a twisty chronology. The trauma is being kidnapped by a maniac who’s been cutting one arm and one leg off his victims before burying them alive (yikes!).
The ending of “Killed Me” seems definitive in whether or not there are two girls or one, but even it seems so preposterous that you could just as easily interpret the ending as being an hallucination or a daydream being had by the other possibility. If the girls really are twins, then we have to buy psychic links and so forth. If there’s only one girl and she’s schizophrenic, or imagining the whole thing, then what we’re seeing is Miss Good Two-Shoes finally engaging in all the reckless behavior she’s been repressing.
The first part is the best, with really disjointed editing (I couldn’t resist the pun), as characters appear without introduction in a way that seems both methodical and random. About halfway through, the detectives introduce themselves formally and “Killed Me” settles slightly into a more conventional feel. Perhaps the shortcoming of director Chris Sivertson is in not being MORE preposterous. He beats us over the head with red imagery for the bad girl and blue imagery for the good one. “I Know Who Killed Me” comes up feeling like De Palma Junior and, even though it’s probably ruined the careers of its writer and director, I hope they get another chance in the future. I’d rather see this movie again than “Juno.”
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