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Hear me out: why I Know Who Killed Me is not a nasty film

On 23 August 2007, Lindsay Lohan issued a press release to TMZ within the Hollywood dialect {of professional} contrition that hints at behind-the-scenes PR injury management. In its 11 transient sentences, she makes a plainspoken admission that she’s “hooked on alcohol and medicines”, that her damaging conduct is nobody’s accountability however her personal, and that she’s able to take the steps required to get her again on the trail to wellness. Whereas not fairly a turning level for her profession, which has remained stagnant over the previous decade-plus of self-referential display screen roles and regrettable pop singles and swiftly shuttered Grecian nightclubs, that press launch did present a becoming coda to the odd and sordid story of I Know Who Killed Me.

Launched one month earlier, the mid-budget slasher automobile for Lohan was derailed time and again by her private life, at the same time as its textual content was inextricably certain up in the identical. Although DOA on the field workplace upon its critically savaged theatrical run, this broadly, wrongly maligned movie has been embraced by a rising mini-cult attuned to its aesthetic of surreal artifice and grim interaction with actual life. We admire the irony of a woozy-headed meditation on the luster and tragedy inherent to the traditional celebrity-in-peril archetype – which its star couldn’t seem on Leno to advertise because of a DWI arrest earlier that week.

The troubled manufacturing course of concerned working round its main woman’s mandate to spend 30 nights on the Wonderland rehabilitation facility, bouts of the often-euphemistic Tinseltown ailment “dehydration”, a not-at-all-euphemistic appendectomy, an contaminated surgical incision, and a paparazzi presence so relentless that just a few shutterbugs ended up within the background of some pictures within the completed movie. However the baggage she dropped off at set solely served to deepen and enrich the subtext of a stealth noir gem, one which gestures to a long-bygone period of film stardom by means of the framework of a less expensive and dirtier type of serial killer thriller. As a woman nextdoor seemingly remodeled in a single day right into a vamp with a cigarette-rasped voice and formidable pole-dancing prowess, she brings the thought experiment of “what if Barbara Stanwyck had been fed by means of Disney’s wringer as a baby?” to life in exhilarating style.

Lohan is first launched as Aubrey Fleming, the healthful sort of all-American excessive schooler who nonetheless takes piano classes and stops her boyfriend at second base. Aubrey promptly falls sufferer to a psycho with a predilection for utilizing dry ice to peel off layers of pores and skin like lasagna sheets, besides that Lohan returns quickly after on the facet of the identical street Cloris Leachman ran on to in Kiss Me Lethal. When she wakes up within the hospital quick an arm and a leg, she insists that she’s femme fatale Dakota Moss, the hard-living daughter of a crack addict. The hyperlink connecting these two girls goes past being the figurative yin to the opposite’s yang, and past the kooky Corsican-sister rationalization for why Aubrey and Dakota have matching wounds.

They represent a hysterical parody of the cautionary story projected on to all younger girls, teenaged starlets specifically, that their virginal innocence could be tarnished into slatternly ethical dissipation with one fallacious transfer. Director Chris Sivertson works in a lurid playfulness, offsetting the gratuitous gloved-hand gore some have likened to giallo with a tone of wry melodrama extra redolent of the cleaning soap opera from Twin Peaks, one other of his professed influences. He lets the Aubrey/Dakota duality bleed into the material of the movie by utilizing the combatting colours blue and crimson the best way others may use black and white, rendering shadows as luminescent splotches and fading out between scenes to not literal darkness or mild, however to hues suggesting an elemental good and dangerous. Lohan’s enacting a fame-ritual courting again to the leisure business of the 20s and 30s, gamely being the madonna and whore the tabloid-readers of the world demand she be, if solely to point out how absurd and outmoded the dichotomy is.

A lot of Lohan’s post-dry-out work has tried to play on her public persona, to lower than encouraging ranges of success. (The much less stated of her addled, scantily clad, gun-toting nun from Machete, the higher.) However for a minute there, it regarded like she might need a future as a extra skillfully scare-quoted model of herself, nonetheless possessed of the canniness and precocity she confirmed as a rising expertise in The Mum or dad Entice and Imply Ladies. A detailed-minded America dismissed I Know Who Killed Me as working nadir of a lady hitting her personal all-time low. Little did they notice they had been getting a glimpse of the Lindsay that might’ve been.

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