Plot: Complete strangers stranded at a remote desert motel during a raging storm soon find themselves the target of a deranged murderer. As their numbers thin out, the travelers begin to turn on each other, as each tries to figure out who the killer is.
My Review: I recall seeing this movie when it first came out. I was super excited for this murder mystery movie, and as it played out it really reminded me of “Clue” (a favorite movie and board game of mine) with a mix of a slasher film, and of course something unexpected.
Quite frankly if I go on about it too much I’ll be giving everything away and well that will ruin it for those of you who have not seen it yet. So I’m going to try to make this quick and to the point with no spoilers.
The movie starts off about a con, Malcolm Rivers, who’s about to be put to death the following evening for the murders of six people four years before. He’s being transported to an emergency meeting in the hopes of staying his execution due to mental illness. However, he and his escort don’t show up.
Meanwhile a group of people all find themselves stranded at a motel due to a storm flooding out the roads. Ed, the former cop turned limo driver carting an actress, Caroline Suzanne, around; Rhodes, another officer with a con in tow; Paris the ex-hooker with dreams of making something for herself; Larry the motel manager; Ginny and her new husband Lou; and last but not least George, Timothy and Alice York. A family struck by an unexpected accident that gets the ball rolling at the motel. I like how each character has a short to the point background story. Soon people are being killed one by one, each murdered in semi gory manners. At the scene of each murder a hotel key is left, counting the victims off one by one. Eventually the bodies go missing, and you know something else is going on here.
I loved the plot and location but the first time I saw this movie I was VERY let down by the ending. But now that I’ve seen it 2-3 times I actually don’t find it that bad. For the time I think it was sort of unique. I just sort of wish I could go back and rewatch it not knowing the ending to see what my first impression would be now 9 years later.
HOWEVER, I did not like who the killer turned out to be. So for me, this is really a mixed bag. I can’t really go on and say more without giving anything away. I loved the actors, characters, story, background stories of the characters, but was a little iffy on the whole ending/killer/explanation.
Gore/FX: There are some bloody moments in the film. Nothing crazy other then a baseball bat used in a specific fashion and a head in a dryer.
Sexual Content: No sex, no nudity. Not really “needed” in this sort of movie. Too much stuff going on as it is. Would have been out of place. There are a couple of “titty” magazines out in one of the hotel rooms.
Acting: Great. One thing I loved about this movie was that there were so many good well known actors throughout. John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John C. McGinley, and Rebecca De Mornay to name a few.
Overall: I really enjoyed this movie this time around. As I said in the beginning its sort of like a Murder Mystery with a dash of a slasher film with a twist of something else mixed in. I’d definitely recommend the movie and I would gladly watch it again in a few years. However, because of my mixed feelings about the ending, I gave it an extra half star instead of a full one.