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Identity (2003)

A couple of weeks ago I watched yet another great film that I hadn’t seen for ages!

Identity (2003)

I’d actually forgotten just how good this film is. In fact it had been so long since I last watched it that I’d forgotten some of the plot which actually made for a great re-watch because there were a few surprises.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a mystery/thriller directed by James Mangold (Logan).

It stars an ensemble cast comprising of John Cusack (High Fidelity), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Amanda Peet (2012), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), John Hawkes (From Dusk Till Dawn) and Pruitt Taylor Vince (Constantine) among others.

The movie is loosely based on Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel, “And Then There We’re None”.

This is what it’s about:

“When a vicious storm breaks out in the Nevada desert, 10 people seek refuge at an isolated motel. Each drawn there by different circumstances the group soon find that they’re being killed off one by one by an unknown assailant.

Meanwhile elsewhere, a serial killer under the care of his psychiatrist awaits the decision on whether he’ll be granted a stay of execution just hours before he’s due to be put to death. With tensions rising, paranoia setting in and fingers being pointed, the group must discover the identity of the killer before there’s no one left.”

I love this film! Who doesn’t love a good whodunnit? And in my opinion this is one of the best modern takes on the idea.

I’ve always been a big fan of John Cusack. High Fidelity (2000) is one of my favourite films of all time so the fact that he’s one of the lead actors in this movie is just icing on the cake for me. Whether it’s comedy or drama he always seems to deliver, adding at the same time a certain credibility to whatever he’s in. He’s excellently cast in this, as is Ray Liotta, and although everyone puts in a great performance (John Hawkes especially), it’s theirs that really carries the movie in my opinion.

The story is brilliant! As I said, it’s a slightly different take on the typical whodunnit idea but it’s done really well. It’s one of those movies that has you going, “oooohhh….!” at the end when it’s revealed who the killer is. Believe me though, there’s even more to it than that.

One of the things I love about this film is the Motel itself. It’s such an iconic looking set and the stormy imagery is so striking that it almost feels like another character in the movie. I felt the same about how Gotham City was portrayed in The Batman (2022).

As it happens it’s called the Four Aces Movie Ranch and is a professional film studio and permanent fixture at a location outside Los Angeles. Over the years it’s been used for several other films, TV shows and music videos including, House of 1000 Corpses (2003), The Devil’s Rejects (2005) and Race to Witch Mountain (2009) as well as Steve Carell’s recent Netflix series, Space Force and Lady Gaga’s music video to the song “Telephone”.

It’s such a great set, and being in the middle of nowhere you really feel the sense of isolation.

There’s not a lot more I can say about this film without ruining it for people who haven’t seen it but if you like a good mystery thriller with great performances and a twist, I can highly recommend this movie.

Seen it? Let me know.

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