Top 365 Films – #326 – Identity (2003)

Top 365 Films - IdentityDIRECTED BY: James Mangold

STARRING: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes, Clea DuVall, John C. McGinley, William Lee Scott, Jake Busey, Leila Kenzie, Bret Loehr, Rebecca De Mornay, Alfred Molina and Pruitt Taylor Vince

BUDGET: $30m

EARNED (Worldwide): $90.2m




Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they’re being killed off one by one.


In the middle of a rough rainstorm, eleven strangers from different walks of life end up stuck in a Nevada motel for the night due to the weather conditions. Tensions begin to flare as they begin to realise they’re being killed off one by one. Meanwhile in another location, a psychiatrist is trying to prove the innocence of a man accused of murder.


Granted, Identity may not be the best film ever and the plot twist revealed in the beginning of the final act will either have you go ‘meh, i’ll go with it’ or cry bullshit, I fell in the former and ended up enjoying this film (so guilty pleasure no.3 at this point?). The cast assembled here is really good, with Cusack playing straight as the limo driver with a dark backstory, Ray Liotta chewing up the scenery as a cop with an interesting backstory and Amanda Peet as a prostitute looking to move to a new chapter in her life. I also enjoyed the setting of the motel confiding the cast close together, even if it does follow the horror cliches of those wondering off one by one when they’d be better sticking as a collective group (which Ray Liotta’s Rhodes) and I actually began to care what happened to a few of the characters. It won’t win points for originality but it’s a slasher film done well, in my opinion.


FAVOURITE SCENE: Ed discovers the first victim….well, part of their body. Liked the way the scene built up and revealed.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Listen, I understand the bleeding person has medical condition, okay? But so do I. My lung walls have… depleted cilia. If I stay here, I could asphyxiate!’ – Caroline Suzanne

DID YOU KNOW?: There was some location shooting in Lancaster and other places in Los Angeles County, but the majority of the movie was shot on an enormous sound stage at Sony Studios in Culver City (the same studio that once housed the set for the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz (1939)).

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