The Horror Honeys: Identity: You Can’t Even Trust Your Own Eyes

Identity: You Can’t Even Trust Your Own Eyes

A Slasher Honey Slasher Hexmas Review by Chassity

Identity (2003)

“As I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish, I wish, he’d go away.”

If you’ve learned anything about me by now, it should be that my two greatest horror movie loves are: 1) 80s revenge slashers; and 2) mysteries about a group of people stuck or trapped in a central location that are forced to work together to figure out who among them is a murderer. 

And, of the second category, the movie Identity might be my favorite of all. There are so many reasons I love this movie, that I don’t even know where to begin. 

The plot: Bad weather and a car accident one night on a somewhat isolated road lead to a group of people getting trapped at a motel for a night, unable to travel. As they get to know each other, they discover a killer is among them, and people start dying. So they must try to survive the night while also discovering what is going on. It doesn't help that one of the people in this group is a prisoner being transported.

But let’s back up a bit. You should also know that elsewhere, there is a killer by the name of Malcolm Rivers who is facing execution, and he’s in the middle of a last minute appeal due to the discovery of a private journal containing information pertinent to Malcolm’s case. And, ultimately, the contents of that journal reveal a secret that explains how Malcolm’s case ties together with the people at the motel. 

Seriously, ladies? How can you say no to that?
Let’s start with the cast. The perfect, amazing, cast. John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Rebecca de Mornay, Clea Duvall, John C. McGinley, and William Lee Scott (who, if you’re like me, you know better as Bullethead). I could not have dreamed up a better cast full of people I love. You put Ray Liotta and John Cusack in the same movie, and throw John C. McGinley in on top of that (seriously, how can anyone not love him?) and I’m completely invested. 

On top of that is the fact that this is one of those movies that is guaranteed to entertain you. I dare anyone to call it boring. I dare you to not be, at the very least, intrigued by the 2 minute mark, and totally involved by the 10 minute mark. You just know right away that there is something off about all these characters, from the weirdly aggressive and angry limo driver and the sketchy hotel manager to the maybe prostitute and the little boy who chooses not to talk. 

Yet another creepy kid!
And speaking of the characters, they’re the perfect combination of the type you care about and want to root for and the type that make you so frustrated and annoyed you’re almost glad when they die. They’re awful (one woman lies about being pregnant to catch a man; one is a heartless, narcissistic diva actress; another is a misogynistic judgmental jerk; and yet another is possibly abusive) and yet there’s something in each of them that we can relate to (being in a career you love until it stresses you out so much you can’t take it anymore, loving someone so much that you take on their problems, and as a woman being judged for your mistakes much more harshly than you know a man would be judged for the same mistakes). 

SQHF inductee Clea Duvall!
Identity is the perfect slow burn film. It’s the perfect horror movie for those who can’t stand the heavy gore. There’s actually very little action and violence onscreen, and yet it can still move you and get to you without the film feeling bogged down with too much dialogue. 

Who knew Dr. Cox would make such a hot nerd?
Finally. The twist. Oh, that twist. I’ll say it right here, right now that I will never, ever believe anyone who says that they saw it coming the first time they saw this movie. For me, it’s the twist to rival all twists, (and this is coming from a huge fan of one of the most successful horror franchises ever known for its twists). It’s a perfect twist because even with all the clues in the movie and the biggest piece of evidence staring you right in your face, you’d still never figure it out. My brother is someone who, almost 10 out of 10 times, can smell a twist coming a mile away and can figure it out to perfection by halfway through the movie, and even he had not one guess as to what was going on throughout the entire movie when I showed it to him. 

So, all in all, Identity is a practically flawless movie. It has one tiny plot hole involving Ray Liotta’s character and the way he behaves and speaks that doesn’t quite match up with the mini-twist involving his character halfway through the film, but by the time you realize his twist, you’re so on the edge of your seat, you really couldn’t care less.

Slasher Honey Rating: 5 out of 5 Eerie, Old-Fashioned Motel Keys

Identity is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu, Google Play, & blu-ray/DVD

Did YOU see the twist coming/are you a liar?
Tell me on Twitter: @ChassMM