Viewed – 30 October 2010 DVD
I had heard good things about this one, that it was a clever murder mystery with one of my favourite actors, John Cusack, who always impresses. So sitting down to it, we have a group of strangers whose varying circumstances cause them to end up stranded at a motel during a rainstorm. With all roads flooded and the telephones not working, they must come together as a killer starts to murder them one at a time.
This classy setup, albeit unoriginal, plays like a cross between an Alfred Hitchcock movie and an episode of Tales From The Crypt, with the setting reeking of dread and tension and each character pointing the finger at the next. Yet this is also a movie that isn’t exactly what it appears to be, and soon events transpire to completely baffle and surprise this viewer. Cusack is uniformly great as the Limo driver / ex-cop who tries to keep everyone calm and figure out what’s going on, joined by an equally brilliant Ray Liotta as a Police Lieutenant escorting a prisoner. A supporting cast of otherwise unknowns also make the grade, and I was certainly caught up in the mystery – but felt somewhat cheated by the outcome, of which I wont spoil for you here. It just came across to me as somewhat too clever and mischievous, ultimately spoiling for me what was beforehand a workman like but entertaining thriller.
But as it stands, this is still a very enjoyable and unique movie with some great moments and keeps you thinking about it well after the credits roll. I just felt it was trying to be a little too clever for its own good.
Verdict: 3 /5
- John Cusack As Edgar Allan Poe In “The Raven” Movie (popcrunch.com)
- Liev Schreiber and Samuel L. Jackson in Consideration for Brad Anderson’s ‘Jack’ (slashfilm.com)