When several characters from different walks of life converge on the same isolated roadside hotel on a dark and stormy night, it’s fair to say that confrontation and mystery await.
The dweeb. The call girl. The limo driver. The cop. The killer. The young couple. The mute child. The butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker…
Ok not the last three.
John Cusack is the limo driver. He brings the victim of an apparent car accident to the scene. Ray Liotta arrives in a cop car, complete with a convicted killer that he is taking to face trial.
What a bizarro treasure hunt indeed.
Cut off on all sides and with no means of communicating with the outside world, tensions run high. Within hours one guest ‘checks out’. Then another. And a third… Paranoia reigns. A theory is floated that the killings are happening in a certain order, and not necessarily the order in which you might expect.
Meanwhile in an entirely different location, lawyers and cops bicker and argue about the fate of a convicted killer.
Identity grows stranger and stranger before arriving at a clever and satisfying conclusion. The cast is solid, with Cusack and Liotta doing most of the heavy lifting, though with Amanda Peet, John Hawkes and Alfred Molina all contributing at various times.
It is a film that doesn’t warrant much explanation for fear of spoilage, but nonetheless one that I think most fans of well plotted thrillers will appreciate.
It is not a film that demands sequels or even multiple viewings – though a second might clear things up a little for those that didn’t quite ‘get it’ the first go around. It is ultimately a one trick flick, but that one trick is a damn good one.
Final Rating – 7.5 / 10. A clever adult mystery thriller for those lamenting the death of creativity. Identify it and get ready for some under-rated fun.