Projections - Movie Reviews

Identity

Identity

A classic set up in thrillers is used to great effect in this scary new James Mangold (Cop Land) film.

A ferocious storm brings 11 people together in a motel that could easily be a second home to Norman Bates.  The electricity flickers on and off, the phone lines are down and the road is washed out in both directions, so the guests are stuck as each one of them is killed off in gruesome fashion.

The guests of the run down Nevada motel are, a limo driver (John Cusack), his passenger, a has-been actress (Rebecca DeMornay), a middle aged couple with a young son, a cop (Ray Liotta) and his prisoner (Jake Busey), a young newly wed couple (Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and a hooker (Amanda Peet) who wants to retire to an orange grove in Florida.

They're given a room to wait out the storm by (John Hawkes) a creepy desk clerk who rivals good ole Norman on the weirdo scale.

In the spirit of "Ten Little Indians," one by one, the characters are murdered, although much more viciously than Agatha Christie ever depicted.

Tempers flair and suspicions leap from one to another inside as the storm rages outside.  In fact, there's so much rain pouring down on their heads, we almost expect them all to die from drowning.

As this drama plays itself out, there's another one involving a hearing for a last ditch effort to save a serial killer (Pruitt Taylor Vince) on the eve of his execution.  The two stories go back and forth as the audience attempts to piece together a link.

Better than most psychological thrillers this film keeps us on the edge of our seats as it keeps us guessing to the very end.  It moves swiftly and as each character is introduced faith connects them all through fateful events.

If you're checking into this motel, believe me, clean towels will be the least of your worries!

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
Identity
B
B
B
C+
B-
B
B-
B-

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