MOVIES THAT MOTIVATE & MORE by MOTIVATORMAN

Identity


Quick Take: Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rainstorm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they`re being killed off one by one.

Mangold, James
Director

90 minutes
running time

2003
year released

Horror
genre

R
rating

Torifanís Rating...

Torifanís review: I went into this film thinking it was your average serial-killer slasher type, set at a motel. I had no idea it was loosely based on Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians. There's a story that's been done countless times, in countless ways. But great stories tend to do that¡get recycled.

This film was incredibly intricate in its plot, and if you got up for a bathroom break and missed a moment, you'd need to rewind. It starts by showing us how these 10 people are all interconnected, and all end up at the same motel. Soon after they arrive, guests start getting knocked off, one by one, and the killer is there among them, in plain view. They just don't know who to trust. The thing that makes your spine tingle? Each victim is found with a motel room key, counting down from 10. Even the guy you think dies by accident, has a key in his hand. There's a police officer there with a serial killer in custody, but if you think he's behind all of this, you might be wrong. No one can escape, of course, due to washed out roads. Even when they all agree to stay in the same room together, they're still not safe.

This film avoids the obvious answers and keeps you guessing right up until the end. There's also a psychotherapy session taking place involving ANOTHER serial killer, who has Multiple Personality Disorder. It all ties together perfectly by the end, believe me. And the very end, well, it will haunt you for days. I have to admire this writer/director as he managed to keep even the most veteran viewer of suspense stories guessing. I'm pretty good usually at figuring these things out, but this one was a surprise. And unlike most suspense stories, it avoided the cliches and was refreshing and entertaining.

Our humorous moment came when the remaining motel residents started seeing the dead bodies disappear. They had all been left at the crime scenes but suddenly, they were gone, and the motel looked spotless. So Bean says, "That's some good housekeeping!" We got tickled as we pictured the older ladies doing the cleaning and complaining, "These *bleeping* kids today! We clean and we clean, and what do they do? Bloody up the place! I'm telling Ed I'm not going to take much more of this!"

"You tell it, Thelma! Kids today......" Kids today, indeed.....

Cast:
Cusack, John
Liotta, Ray
Peet, Amanda
Hawkes, John
Molina, Alfred
DuVall, Clea
McGinley, John C.
Scott, William Lee
Busey, Jake
Vince, Pruitt Taylor


Emmanuel Lopez

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