Because of a severe storm that has washed out the road in all directions, 11 strangers happen upon a motel by way of various circumstances. Each person brings their own set of problems which seem to exacerbate the situation.
Caroline Suzanne (Rebecca De Mornay) is a Hollywood has-been with an attitude; Ed (John Cusack) is her forever patient Limousine driver who is also an ex-cop;(George York (John C. McGinley) with his mute son and injured wife; Paris (Amanda Peet) a Las Vegas hooker headed to Florida to retire; Newlyweds Ginny (Clea DuVall) and Lou (William Lee Scott); not to mention Officer Rhodes (Ray Liotta) and his murderous prisoner.
The group isn't there for more than an hour when the first one is picked off. Then slowly but surely as the night passes on, one by one each one begins to die. The likely suspect is the prisoner, but no one can figure out how he is getting around to doing these dastardly deeds. All that doesn't matter when he is found dead and the killings continue.
At this point they all realize that they have something in common and they've all been brought there for a reason, but other than to kill them all, they have no idea what that reason is or why they must die.
Buried deep in Ed's subconscious is the reason. Can he figure it out before he and the rest of the group are killed?
This movie was one of the creepiest and scariest movies that I've seen in a long long time. Even when the truth is revealed, it managed to keep me engaged despite the implausibility of that particular truth. All the acting was stellar with only one or two weak spots. For the most part the script and plot and were solid too only had a few weak spots. The weakest spot being the plot device of why they are all together. While original, it was a bit much to digest and I found myself saying, "Yeah, Right". But the twist at the very end redeemed the movie for me.
All in all, I left the theater feeling like that watching the movie was 90 minutes well spent even if I looked at most the movie hidden behind my hands.
This is not a movie you'll want to watch by yourself. Take your sweetie so you can have something to hold on to during the icky parts.
The story manages to keep the audience engaged even when it falters and loses its identity.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003
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