Identity is a 2003 psychological horror-mystery film, directed by James Mangold and written by Michael Cooney. The film stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, Clea DuVall and Rebecca De Mornay.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Malcolm Rivers awaits execution for several vicious murders that took place at an apartment building. His psychiatrist, Dr. Mallick, has discovered his journal that may explain why he committed the murders. With this late evidence brought forth, a new hearing takes place.
Ten strangers find themselves stranded in the middle of a storm in a remote motel, run by Larry Washington. They are a limo driver, Ed Dakota; a 1980s movie star, Caroline Suzanne; a cop, Officer Rhodes, who is transporting a serial killer, Robert Maine; a prostitute, Paris Nevada; a pair of newlyweds, Lou and Ginny Isiana; and a family in crisis, Alice York, who has been hit by Ed's car, her husband George, and mute son Timmy. The group prepares to spend the night; however, they quickly find there is an unknown murderer present, killing off each of the guests. Caroline is the first to be killed. Ed, finding her severed head in a washing machine, thinks Maine killed her; when they check the convict, they discover he has escaped.
All the others become worried, and Ginny flees in terror to her room. Her husband Lou chases after her but is also murdered. Maine runs through the hills, only to be dumfounded when he finds himself back at the motel. He enters the diner, where Ed and Rhodes jump and beat him into unconsciousness, putting Larry on guard duty. However, Maine is later found dead. Paris discovers a dead body in Larry's freezer, which is revealed to be the real hotel manager. Larry attempts to escape in his truck, claiming he did not kill anybody; he accidentally runs over George, killing him.
Each body is accompanied by a numbered room key, whose order of appearance suggests a countdown. The survivors tie Larry up, and as he tells them his story the others start to believe he really did not kill anyone. Subsequently, Alice is discovered to have died from her injuries. Ginny and Timmy die when their car blows up, but their bodies are nowhere to be found. The remaining four discover that all the bodies have disappeared and that all ten share the same birthday; Ed realizes each one's surname is the same as a US state. Paris discovers that Rhodes is actually a convict as well; he killed the corrections officer transporting him and Maine cross state and assumed the cop's identity. Rhodes attempts to kill Paris, but she is saved by Larry, who hits Rhodes with a fire extinguisher, only to be shot and killed by him.
Back at the hearing, the contents of Malcolm's journal are revealed, indicating the prisoner suffers from an extreme case of dissociative identity disorder, harboring ten distinct personalities. Mallick is able to bring forth one of Malcolm's personalities, Ed, revealing that the events at the motel are occurring inside Malcolm's mind; each personality is represented by one person at the motel. Mallick explains to "Ed" that the events at the motel are a result of treatment Malcolm is receiving - i.e., the killings at the motel are Malcolm's mental attempts to eliminate nine excess personalities. Mallick further gives "Ed" the mission of making sure that the hostile personality (i.e., the one responsible for Malcolm's committing the crimes for which he is being tried) is eliminated to prevent Malcolm from being executed.
In the motel setting, Ed believes Rhodes is the murderer, and the two shoot each other to death, leaving only Paris alive. When Mallick demonstrates that the homicidal personality is dead, the Judge decides to place Malcolm in a mental institution under Mallick's care.
As Malcolm is driven in a van, along with Mallick to the institution, in Malcolm's mind, Paris has driven away from the motel to her hometown in Frostproof, Florida. As she tends an orange grove, she discovers the room 1 motel key, and finds Timmy behind her. Timmy, the true homicidal personality, had orchestrated all the deaths at the motel, and made it appear that he had been killed as well; he finishes his task by killing Paris. Now driven only by Timmy, Malcolm strangles Mallick, and the van runs off the side of the road.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- John Cusack as Edward "Ed" Dakota, a limousine driver and a former Los Angeles police officer
- Ray Liotta as Samuel Rhodes, a police officer
- Amanda Peet as Paris Nevada, a Las Vegas prostitute
- Alfred Molina as Dr. Mallick, a psychologist
- Clea DuVall as Ginny Isiana, a superstitious newlywed
- Rebecca De Mornay as Caroline Suzanne, an '80s Hollywood TV actress chauffeured by Ed
- John Hawkes as Larry Washington, the motel owner
- Leila Kenzle as Alice York, a wife and mother who is injured in a car accident
- John C. McGinley as George York, Alice's husband and Timmy's stepfather
- Bret Loehr as Timothy "Timmy" York, Alice's son and George's stepson
- Jake Busey as Robert Maine, Rhodes' partner-in-crime, acting as his prisoner
- William Lee Scott as Louisiana, Ginny's husband
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Malcolm Rivers, a convicted serial killer
- Carmen Argenziano as Marty, the defense lawyer
- Marshall Bell as Gary, the district attorney
- Matt Letscher as Greg, the assistant district attorney
- Holmes Osborne as Judge Taylor
- Frederick Coffin as Detective Varole
- Joe Hart as Bailiff Jenkins
- Michael Hirsch as the naked businessman
- Terence Bernie Hines as a bailiff
- Stuart M. Besser as Larry, the real motel owner found in the freezer
Production[edit | edit source]
The plot draws from a basic structure first popularized by the Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None, in which 10 strangers arrive at an isolated location. However due to various detail differences, Identity is not an adaptation.
All shooting was undertaken in the United States. Some took place in Lancaster, California and other places in Los Angeles County, while the majority was shot on a sound stage at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Identity has a rating of 63% on Rotten Tomatoes out of 165 reviews. It scored 64 (generally favorable reviews) out of 100 on Metacritic. The film was a box office success as it grossed over $90 million worldwide on a $28 million budget.