||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (September 2011)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James Mangold|
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad|
|Written by||Michael Cooney|
Rebecca De Mornay
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Cinematography||Phedon Papamichael Jr.|
|Editing by||David Brenner|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Identity is a 2003 horror film directed by James Mangold from a screenplay written by Michael Cooney. Ten strangers are brought together because of a savage rainstorm. All take shelter at a desolate motel run by a nervous night manager. Relief in finding shelter is quickly replaced with fear as the ten travelers begin to die, one by one. They soon realize that, if they are to survive, they'll have to uncover the secret that has brought them all together.
A man named Malcolm Rivers (first name Vincent, but not mentioned), who was abandoned at a motel by his prostitute mother as a child, awaits execution for several vicious murders that took place at an apartment building. Malcolm's 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.
While this is going on, ten strangers find themselves stranded in the middle of a severe torrential rainstorm at a remote Nevada motel, run by Larry Washington. They are a limo driver, Ed Dakota who is also an ex-cop; Caroline Suzanne, a 1980s movie star; Officer Rhodes, who is transporting a serial killer; Robert Maine, the serial killer being transported; Paris Nevada, a prostitute; Lou and Ginny Isiana, a pair of newlyweds; and Alice York, whose family is in crisis because she has been hit by Ed's car, her husband George, and mute son Timmy. With both ends of the road completely flooded, 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 clothes dryer, 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 dumbfounded 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 Malcolm 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.
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Vincent Malcolm Rivers, a convicted serial killer
Malcolm Rivers' personalities
- John Cusack as Edward "Ed" Dakota, a limousine driver and a former Los Angeles police officer
- Ray Liotta as Samuel Rhodes, a convict posing as a police officer
- Amanda Peet as Paris Nevada, a Las Vegas prostitute
- Clea DuVall as Ginny Isiana, a superstitious newlywed
- William Lee Scott as Lou Isiana, Ginny's husband
- 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
- Alfred Molina as Dr. Mallick, a psychologist
- 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
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 and get mysteriously killed off one by one. However, due to various substantial differences that make the story more complex and intriguing, Identity can't be considered an adaptation.
All filming 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.
The film was a box office success as it grossed over $90 million worldwide on a $28 million budget.
- Identity at the Internet Movie Database
- Identity at Box Office Mojo
- Identity at Rotten Tomatoes
- Identity at Metacritic