• Film
  • Thrillers
0 Love It
Here's a Hollywood thriller with a very capable cast, a devious script juggling a host of characters, and top level studio production values, all of which combine to launch a big twist about two-thirds through. But initial admiration soon fades into a feeling of emptiness. Michael Cooney's bustling screenplay is obviously inspired by Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, as disparate travellers converge at a remote motel on a stormy night, only to find their number whittled away one by one. Among the increasingly fearful flotsam, limo driver Cusack, fugitive call girl Peet and hassled cop Liotta seem likely to survive longest in the face of the escalating body count. There are things to enjoy. Cusack is all nuts and bolts professionalism, as he delivers screeds of deftly disguised exposition. Spirited direction milks the isolated tumbledown setting for copper-bottomed suspense and almost masks the mechanical aspect of one inventively grisly demise following another. The scheming narrative ably marshals teasing red herrings and diversionary ruses before hitting us with a doozy of a reversal. But that's it. Plenty of craft and care, yet somehow getting the trick out in the open drains the film of the fun we had in the run-up.

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Mangold
Screenwriter: Michael Cooney
Cast: John Cusack
Ray Liotta
Amanda Peet
John Hawkes
Alfred Molina
Clea Duvall
John C McGinley
William Lee Scott
Jake Busey
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Rebecca DeMornay
2 people listening