What if every choice we ever make was already made for us? What if there really were no coincidences in life and our destinies were already predetermined? Ten strangers with secrets are brought together in a savage rainstorm: A limo driver (John Cusack), an '80s TV star (Rebecca DeMornay), a cop (Ray Liotta) who is transporting a killer (Jake Busey), a call girl (Amanda Peet), a pair of newlyweds(Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and a family in crisis (John C. McGinley, Leila Kenzle, Bret Loehr), all take shelter at a desolate motel run by a nervous night manager (John Hawkes). Relief in finding shelter is quickly replaced with fear as the ten travelers begin to die, one by one. They soon realize that, if they are to survive, they'll have to uncover the secret that has brought them alltogether..
With an ace up its sleeve, Identity
does for schizophrenia what The Silence of the Lambs
did for fava beans and a nice chianti. On the proverbial dark and stormy night, this anxiety-laced thriller offers a tasty blend of And Then There Were None
, with a dash of Sybil
for extra spice and psychosis. Things go from bad to worse when 10 unrelated travelers converge at an isolated motel and proceed to die, one by one, with no apparent connection... until they discover the common detail that's drawn them into this nightmare of relentless trauma. Even as it flunks Abnormal Psychology 101, Michael Cooney's screenplay offers meaty material for a superior ensemble cast including John Cusack and Rebecca DeMornay (who wins the Janet Leigh prize in a bitchy comeback role). Director James Mangold pivots the action around one character (played by his Heavy
star, Pruitt Taylor Vince, in eye-twitching cuckoo mode), and half the fun of Identity
comes from deciphering who's who, what's what, and who'll be the next to die. --Jeff Shannon