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Identity in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Identity

John Cusack • Ray Liotta • Amanda Peet
DIRECTOR: James Mangold

Ed (John Cusack) and Paris (Amanda Peet) THE CONCEPT:
Ten strangers, each with a secret, end up at a desolate motel, attempting to escape a torrential storm – and then they begin to die, one by one.

U.S. RELEASE: April 25 2003, Nationwide • Rated: R


“One of the beautiful things about this genre, and one of the attractive things to me about it, is the audience wants to see something they’ve never seen before.”

“They sent me the script, and on page thirty I thought I had it pegged, but I didn’t. Then on page fifty, I thought that I’d figured it out, but I didn’t. By the end of it, I really hadn’t seen any of (the twists) coming. I thought, ‘Man, that’s pretty cool. The mechanics are pretty seamless, because I should’ve figured this out.’”

RAY LIOTTA (Rhodes):
“I never thought about this as a slasher movie, because I knew that it was smarter than that, and I knew with Jim directing, this would be a good version of this type of genre movie.”

“I was very frightened when I first read the script. I was wandering around my apartment making sure all the doors and windows were locked. It’s very smart. And it really messes with your head.”

JAMES MANGOLD on the horrendous storm in the film:
“You watch the first half hour of this film and you can see me milking it for pretty much every drip it’s worth. By the time we get to the montage of everyone tucked in their room, which is the last thing before things start to happen, I have taken it about as far as I can with just atmosphere and a promise of what is about to come.”

JOHN CUSACK on shooting in the rain on the studio soundstage:
“It was a little less cold, and they did use fresh water. It was on the same soundstage where The Emerald Forest was shot. It’s one of the biggest soundstages that they had, and they built the entire motel and the backdrop on it. It was really incredible. It was like walking into this very surreal playground.”

“I had this very sincere feeling that every character should be carrying a secret. I also wanted to get good actors for each role, people who could thumbnail the characters for us rather quickly, because in a movie like this, you have to be very cautious about how long you indulged in developing and setting up things before the murders start to happen.”

“The characters are all compelling. They’re all fighting to find their way in the world. And it’s a very different kind of movie in terms of pacing. Just a couple of minutes into the movie it jumps into high gear and never slows down.”

“You can’t play the end of the movie, for sure. The structuring of the script was sound. This film was really well put together, because we were never asked to do things that (might give the end away).”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Identity site
Images above © Sony Pictures
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #630, May 2003 cover

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