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Identity (2003)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Psychological Thriller, Thriller, Whodunit
Director:
James Mangold James Mangold
Starring:
John Cusack John Cusack
Ray Liotta Ray Liotta
Amanda Peet Amanda Peet
John Hawkes John Hawkes
Alfred Molina Alfred Molina

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Nirrad
Added: February 22, 2008
There have been very few movies that have been released lately that send chills down my spine and scare me. No, Iím not talking about the cheap ďjump out and scare youĒ scares, Iím talking about the ones that start to get my heart pounding and want me to cover my eyes. What makes that occur is the tension building from a certain scene. The wait for that certain scare is a lot more frightening than the scare itself, as it can last for quite a while, and may not even end with a quick jolt -- This is what Identity is fantastic with. There arenít that many scares in the film, but the tension and suspense throughout the movie is what makes it chilling.

The movie starts on a dark and rainy night, with a family driving down a highway only to have their tire popped from what appears to be a high heeled shoe. After the father George (John C. McGinley) and his wife Alice (Leila Kenzle) start to fix the tire, Alice is hit by a car right in front of her child and husband and is seriously injured. We then find out that the person that hit Alice is limo driver Ed (John Cusack) who was driving actress Caroline Suzanne (Rebecca De Mornay). Since the roads are flooded, they decided to look for the nearest place for help, which appears to be a motel. Unfortunately because of the storm, the phones arenít working (typical), so Ed decides to brace the bad weather and look for help. Only after a mile he is greeted with water that is a few feet deep crossing over the road. Trying to pass it, he eventually gets his car stuck. This is where he meets Paris (Amanda Peet) and newly weds Lou (William Lee Scott) and Ginny (Clea DuVall) who apparently were about to enjoy their honeymoon. Ed decides to hitch a ride with them back to the motel where they get the idea to stay for the night until the weather is calm. We are then greeted to the last of the bunch being Rhodes (Ray Liotta) who is a cop transferring criminal Robert (Jake Busey) to another town for his sentencing.

This is where the movie really starts to shine. After each person was given their key to their room to stay for the night, Caroline decides that she should try her cell phone to get a hold of anyone who can help. But because of the bad reception in the motel, she decides to wonder outside where she can eventually get the phone to work. But little does she know is that someone is watching her. She is eventually killed, and itís now up to the bunch to figure out who the killer is, and what their motive is.

One of the neat things I liked about this movie are the flash backs of each individual to show their side of the story, and what they did before they met, and how they all meet each other. Itís nothing that hasnít been done before as movies like Snatch have done it years prior, but it fit perfectly into the movie to help clarify each scenario for the viewer.

If youíre a fan of suspense, then look no further. I find this movie to be almost perfect when it some to tension and suspense. Some people may not agree with that, but I believe it is. There are so many suspenseful scenes in this movie that it should please most people fans of the genre. None of them are overdrawn or ineffective. Iíve never been so scared to see whatís inside a dryer in all my life. There is also a fair amount of blood and violence in this movie too. Nothing like any true Horror movie, but itís enough to keep some gore whores happy. I would have to say though, that some of the killings are more brutal then some you may find in a Friday The 13th film. A baseball bat shoved down a throat? Oh hell yeah!

The acting is quite superb in Identity as well. We have the great Ray Liotta who never seems to let me down in any of the movies that Iíve seen. Fans of John Cusack will love his performance as Ed. Everyone else, while not quite up to par with these two gentlemen, still put on quite a stellar performance. Is anyone a fan of twists? I would say probably not thanks to a one trick pony. You know who Iím talking about. While Iím kind of sick of twists, Identity is full of them, and I thought they all were great. Just when you think you have a grasp on how it will end, youíre hit again with another, but good, twist.

Was this movie perfect? No, it wasnít. I had very high hopes for this movie, and it didnít fail to please me. Not everyone will think this movie is good, as I know a few people who donít care for the movie at all. But for me, it was a great experience that I would hope to enjoy again in the future with another suspenseful movie. In the end I give this great movie 8.5/10.
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