Directed by James Mangold (Cop Land, Girl, Interrupted, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) and written by Michael Cooney, who also wrote one of the funniest B movies Jack Frost, Identity is a great thriller. Set in a hotel, over one night of chaos it’s very well paced although it’s most reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s work. And Then There Were None is the name of the novel, although this is not an adaptation. The atmosphere was also great, with the thunderstorm only amplifying the palpable tension. This is a classic Who Done It movie, with ten characters dying one after another by the hands of an unknown assassin. The setup is also very clever, never taunting the viewer and leaving ample space for those “this is my guy” discussions. Twisting and turning, the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. When you’re making a movie like this, it’s very important to nail down the characters right because if they are there just to be elements in some “grand” idea, the movie will feel fake and simplistic. Here, almost all the characters are fleshed out with some magnificent performances coming from Cusack, Liotta and Molina.

Identity [2003] Movie Review Recommendation PosterTen strangers find themselves in one hotel during a very heavy storm. With the weather worsening they are practically cut off from the rest of the world. The group is diverse as fuck, featuring ex-cops, cops, lawyers, prostitutes and fucking convicted murderers. This combustible situation is about to explode as the first victim of an unknown killer turns up and everybody starts suspecting everybody.

There was a certain, I would call it cleanly and vividly saturated, style of filming that became quite popular at the turn of the century. Movies like Gothika, Skeleton Key, Ghost Ship, House on Haunted Hill and many more are good examples. I believe that this style emerged in the early nineties with the Scream series that proved highly profitable. Identity also features similar cinematography that visually expressed the chaos going on with the murders and mystery surrounding them. There are a lot intense and very interesting scenes as the characters are trying to figure out who is the killer and how to stop him. Also, a very original ending was a refreshment in movie industry that fabricates horror movies that after first ten minutes are so predictable that you do not want to watch them. Enjoy this uniquely original movie.

Director: James Mangold

Cast: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, John C. McGinley, Carmen Argenziano

Fun Facts: The poem “As I was going up the stair / I met a man who wasn’t there. / He wasn’t there again today / I wish, I wish he’d go away” which one of the characters claims to have written when they were young, is really a poem by Hughes Mearns.


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