A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Lindsay Lohan movie is emphatically not for kids. She plays a stripper who becomes involved in a serial murder case, appearing not only in pole-dancing scenes and scenes where she drinks and smokes cigarettes, but also in very violent scenes. This imagery includes bloody dismemberment, bondage, fights, a chase in a dark house, a creepy basement with prosthetic legs hanging from the ceiling, and a couple of dead parents discovered by high-school-aged children. Sexual imagery includes pole-dancing, lap-dancing, and much writhing on stage, as well as a sex scene between Dakota and Jerrod (all close-ups, with moaning, as her "mother" overhears from the kitchen downstairs). The strippers and their clients smoke cigarettes and drink hard liquor. Language includes frequent use of "f--k."
What's the story?
In I KNOW WHO KILLED ME, high school student (Lindsay Lohan) Aubrey finds her perfect suburban life in New Salem disrupted by a serial killer who preys on girls much like her. Under increasing pressure to be a success, maintains an admirable distance from her football star boyfriend Jerrod (Brian Geraghty) while also flirting with the lawn-man (whose salacious solicitation in the driveway is embarrassingly corny). Such effort to keep chaste is for naught, however, when Aubrey is snatched by the killer and tied up in his basement, where he proceeds to torture her mercilessly. She screams and groans a lot. Several worried-parents scenes later, Aubrey seems to reappear by the side of a road, minus an arm, a leg, and her memory. She insists that her name is Dakota, that she's a stripper who grew up with a crackhead mother, and that she has no idea how she was injured: Her limbs were "just gone." Aubrey's mom and dad don't believe this, and neither do a couple of FBI agents (Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Spencer Garrett) and a shrink (Gregory Itzin, who played President Logan in 24, and so looks immediately suspicious). But even when they badger her, Dakota resists righteously ("You're going to use me as bait unless I cooperate?"). Insisting she's right, she sets off on her own, pursuing hunches, tracking keywords on the Internet, and suddenly believing that she has a missing twin sister whose life she must save.
Is it any good?
The film has a banal premise that leads to an egregiously violent and incoherent plot. While much unkind fun has been made of Lohan's off-screen drama, Chris Sivertson's movie indicates that she's made at least one very bad professional decision too (this even though her performance in the film, playing two characters, is fine).
And as preposterous as the plot sounds, the film's structure is worse, at once clichhd and outrageous: flashbacks to Dakota's pole-dancing days are shot through a red filter and in slow motion; the FBI agents' dialogue is clumsy and obvious ("The cutting is about punishment," says one, stating the obvious, "but [the killer] doesn't like the dying part"); and cuts between one scene and another make little sense (Dakota and Aubrey's dad have a showdown in one moment, then set off on an ill-advised rescue mission in the next). While it's clear enough that the murderer is psychotic, the movie leaves you wondering about everyone else as well.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this film role as a choice for Lindsay Lohan, who is trying to make a transition from Disney films and kids' parts into more mature fare: How does this film help or hurt that transition? What sorts of movies should she be making? Does her party girl image overshadow her acting talents? Should young actors have to be role models?
- In theaters: July 27, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: November 27, 2007
- Cast: Julia Ormond, Lindsay Lohan, Neal McDonough
- Director: Chris Sivertson
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Horror
- Run time: 105 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: grisly violence including torture and disturbing gory images, and for sexuality, nudity and language.
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