CAN YOU SEE THE CONTRAST OF RED AND BLUE?
After last week’s review of Movie 43, I assumed there could be nothing worse than a terrible movie trying to be funny. Turns out, I was forgetting the equally kind of movie that is a terrible movie trying to be artsy.
I Know Who Killed Me is an awful movie cobbled together from paint by numbers artsy cliches and visuals. It’s like one of those cheap video games made from stock assets and character models that lacks any kind of originality, only rather than generic stock characters, it’s full of generic symbolism, colour coding, and some of the worst shot transitions I have ever seen.
This film is the story of a girl known as Aubrey who is kidnapped by a serial killer who amputates his victims’ limbs. However, when her mutilated body is discovered, she is now calling herself “Dakota”, denying being Aubrey, and refusing to say how her limbs were truly lost. Whether or not she is just pretending, or is in fact a whole other person, remains a mystery.
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “hold on, that’s not actually a bad premise”, and you’re right, it’s not. The idea of a torture victim who wakes up supposedly a different person, with the mystery as to whether she’s telling the truth, she’s lying, or she’s developed some kind of alternate personality as a coping mechanism being carried out throughout the movie doesn’t actually sound so bad.
Unfortunately there are three specific problems with the plot. And yes, we’ll be going into spoilers in case you were desperate to find out for yourself.
SPOILERS: THERE’S A LOT OF BLUE
Problem number one is the sheer lack of support you’ll have for either Aubrey or Dakota. Aubrey’s barely characterised at all due to the sheer lack of establishment at the beginning (more on that later), while Dakota is just a jerkass throughout. I do not care about either of these characters enough to be engrossed in the mystery.
Secondly, the entire mystery around who the murderer is receives barely any conclusion. Oh sure, we know it’s her piano teacher by the end (or half way through, given the clumsy foreshadowing of piano music when Dakota reaches for an award belonging to the first victim), but do we know why he wanted to kill these girls? Nope. The most we get is prosthetic limbs hanging around his house. Yes, the big mystery behind the murderer was he was a guy with an amputee fetish.
Given the movie’s visuals I can only assume on of the creators was too. ALSOLOOKBLUEBEDSHEETS
Finally, we have the absolute biggest reason the mystery of this movie just doesn’t work. See, in order to have a compelling mystery that leaves you scratching your head all the way through, you need compelling arguments and evidence for both sides. In the case of the mystery as to whether Dakota is “real” or not, side number one suggests she is Aubrey’s alternate personality, developed due to the trauma she went through, and based off of a character Aubrey was writing about. Okay, that’s quite convincing and has a good amount of evidence The other side of the argument? Dakota is Aubrey’s long lost twin sister who lost her limbs at the same time because of a psychic stigmata connection she had between Aubrey. Let me just repeat that, she lost her limbs because of a psychic stigmata connection she had between Aubrey.
So, even ignoring that absolutely beyond belief ridiculousness of the mystery, why is this such a terrible movie? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been harping on the use of colour coordinating throughout this review. Consider how unsubtle I was about that, times that by about one hundred and two minutes, and you’ll understand just how pounded into your skull the colour “symbolism” of this movie is. Every scene has some kind of sloppy use of red and blue. Sometimes when the scene or shot transitions, everything lights up red or blue for a moment. Like I said, this kind of stuff is like stock assets when it comes to artsy movies, and yet this movie wants us to be constantly aware of it throughout the entire run time.
Now, I Know Who Killed me is clearly trying to be a very visual movie. To the point where the beginning of the movie takes far, far too long to actually establish anything, be it plot or character. Now, I don’t mind movies that like to just present visuals without much story to them, and allow the audience to figure it out for themselves. But there’s two problems with this movie attempting it. For starters, it’s a torture porn. Torture porns are of course. horror movies that rely on excessive gore for cheaper-than-cheap scares. I really don’t need to see gratuitous gore at the best of times, but especially not when so little about the plot and the character being tortured has been established
Secondly, this movie’s visuals are so incredibly bland and uninspired. Yes, we fucking get it, red and blue, yin and yang, good little girl and crackwhore’s daughter.If you’re making a visuals heavy movie, you need the visuals to be interesting and original. Eraserhead this fucking ain’t.
Oh and speaking of David Lynch, why is there a goddamn owl constantly popping into shot during the burial scenes? Is that the real reason amputee-piano man wanted those girls dead? He was just being possessed by Killer BOB from Twin Peaks? Or is it just another lousy stock asset piece of symbolism?
In that case, the owls are exactly what they seem.
To conclude, I Know Who Killed Me is a fucking awful piece of shit movie. It explains exactly who killed her, but never why he killed her, or whether he did in fact kill her literally or metaphorically, as shown by Dakota “rescuing” Aubrey at the end of the movie. But, let’s be honest, they were the same person, because there is no way in hell I am going to believe in that psychic stigmata explanation BS.