Review By Paul Mount, 3.5 out of 5 Ten strangers, a ferocious rainstorm, a couple of nasty accidents, loads and loads of terrible secrets? Michael Cooney and James Mangold? tense thriller, somewhat overlooked theatrically, finds its way onto DVD where it? likely to find a more appreciative audience.
IDENTITY starts as it means to go on. Its narrative is fractured and unsettling, recounting events over and again from slightly different perspectives. From the outset the audience is uneasy, off-balance from this unorthodox style of storytelling. But once the key cast are together – stranded by the weather in a desolate motel not far from the middle of nowhere, the story strays into more traditional territory. One by one the group are bumped off in increasingly-grisly fashion. Is one of them a murderer? What secret has brought them together in the first place? Is the fact that the motel built on an old Red Indian burial ground a complete red herringUr is something more?
IDENTITY is short, sharp and to the point. The story twists and turns like?ell, dare I say a twisty, turny thing and risk the wrath of BLACKADDER fans everywhere? What the Hell? IDENTITY requires your absolute attention from the first scene as the characters come together and everyone is under suspicion. Nothing is quite what it seems and by the end of the film we?e never really sure what? real and what? a fantasy of someone? very vivid imagination. What might otherwise seem to be a routine pot boiler, little more than a stylish stalk??lasher, is lifted considerably by a stylish cast. John Cusack turns in another rousing performance as the driver of a fading 1980s TV star (De Mornay) and Ray Liotta? maniac energy has rarely been better captured on film.
Part psychological thriller, part supernatural horror, IDENTITY works because of the games it plays with its conventions. It? never quite what you expect and while the twist ending might not be as big a surprise as its makers intended, it? still a startling and effective final sequence. Highly recommended.
THE DISC: The DVD gave my new (ahem) surround sound system a real work out. The constant rain and thunder, coupled with the bangs and creak expected of this genre of movie-making, are spectacularly delivered by the rear speakers and the dialogue is carried crisply and cleanly from the front speakers. Extras are interesting if not numerous. There are two commentaries, a short behind-the-scenes piece, deleted scenes, trailer and an alternative ending which doesn? offer much more than the theatrical one.,