(PaPa, LL, VVV, S, D, M) Pagan worldview; 25 obscenities, mostly strong; very strong, excessive violence includes car wreck, woman hit by car, multiple stabbings, chokings, shootings, car explosions, and gore; sexual content includes allusions to sadomasochism and prostitution; some smoking depicted; and, lying, stealing and cheating.
In IDENTITY, ten travelers, caught in a savage rainstorm, are forced to seek refuge in a strange desert hotel where there is a killer, and one by one, they are murdered. With lots of blood and gore and no redemptive elements, moral audiences may choose to ignore IDENTITY.
IDENTITY is for people who just don’t get enough violence on TV. Nerve jangling, shocking and knee jerking in its intensity (all in just the first 10 minutes), viewers may well indeed wonder how they will last through the other eighty minutes of the movie!
John Cusack plays a limo driver who, while transporting his spoiled, waning movie star across the desert on a rainy night, connects forever with a family stranded on the side of the road, when he accidentally runs over the wife and mother. Quickly putting the victim into the limo against the movie star’s protests, he finds a rundown motel where he hopes they can find a working phone and a dry place for the dying woman. As the story progresses, several other guests arrive also stranded by the flash flooding that is blocking all roads out of the place.
Meanwhile, viewers learn of a psychotic killer being transported this same night to a hearing on a stay of execution, IF his psychiatrist can convince an impatient Nevada judge that the criminal is actually suffering from a multiple personality disorder and should be put in a mental hospital instead of an electric chair. As it turns out, unknown to the unlucky crew at the Motel, they are all “related” in some way to the killer and people start dying in particularly horrible ways!
For its genre, IDENTITY absolutely delivers the scares. The movie draws viewers into the story. It is unrelenting in its ability to strain one’s nerves. Directed by James Mangold, who also directed KATE AND LEOPOLD, it is as far from a romantic film as possible!
Well cast, with John Cusack and Ray Liotta in starring roles, IDENTITY does some nice twists on “what is reality, and what is in our minds.” Initially, the movie seems to be just another, “strangers-caught-in-a-haunted-motel-are-systematically-killed-by-an-unknown-boogie-man” B movie. To the director’s credit, he allows the viewer to settle “comfortably” into that storyline before twisting the plot in several different directions.
There is, however, no real redemptive point to this movie, which includes enough blood and gore to sicken Sam Peckinpah.
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