If David Lynch had directed an Italian thriller from the late 1970s or early 1980s, chances are the results would be something akin to I Know Who Killed Me -- a kind of frenetic, Gen-Y giallo that seems tailor-made for Lindsay Lohan's floundering career. While many critics seem eager to dismiss the movie as so-called "torture porn," it definitely has more similarities to the occasionally incoherent Italian thrillers of yesteryear than it does to the likes of Saw or Captivity, and to take that approach seems something of a cop out. Despite being quite an audacious and ambitious effort, I Know Who Killed Me ultimately falls victim to director Chris Sivertson and first-time screenwriter Jeff Hammond's inability to pull off the kind of Lynchian psychological complexity to which they obviously aspire.
Anyone who saw Sivertson's commendably disturbing debut The Lost can attest to the influence that Lynch seems to have had on the emerging director, but here in his sophomore effort that influence has become more a hindrance than an asset (after all, by the time Lynch took a trip to Twin Peaks, he already had an impressive body of work to his name). Yet despite being somewhat overlong and eventually buckling under its own ambition and lack of logic, it is precisely these traits (in addition to some truly repulsive gore) that really make I Know Who Killed Me such a magnificent mess. Veteran cinematographer John R. Leonetti's lush photography does lend the film a highly polished, intoxicatingly surreal look at times, though his skills as a visual stylist are frequently offset by first-time feature screenwriter Jeff Hammond's slipshod script and some truly cringe-worthy acting -- especially by star Lohan. Stated simply, Lohan is awful; she's totally unconvincing as an ivory-tapping suburban good girl, and seems completely out of her element as a seedy stripper (note to actresses who want to seem edgy by playing strippers but are intent on maintaining their "no nudity" clause: don't -- it just looks silly and prudish). In the end, it's I Know Who Killed Me's over-the-top imagery, incoherence, jaw-dropping twist, and mind-bending execution that will likely appeal to genre buffs and fans of the outrageous, but for everyone else, the only draw here is the chance to marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of a falling star.