[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Identity_7891.jpg]]

->"''As I was walking 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''"
->[[OlderThanTheyThink "I wrote that."]]

''Identity'' is a 2003 psychological thriller starring Creator/JohnCusack, Amanda Peet and Ray Liotta.

Malcolm Rivers is a psychotic killer awaiting execution for the grisly murders that took place at a motel. His psychiatrist Dr. Mallick finds a new piece of evidence: a journal that may explain what actually happened that night and could exonerate Malcolm of the murders. With this evidence in hand, a new hearing takes place in which Dr. Mallick must persuade the Judge to spare Malcolm.

Meanwhile, 10 strangers arrive by chance at a motel run by the manager Larry Washington in the middle of the Nevada desert, each with their own agendas. The ten strangers are a limo driver (Ed Dakota) chauffeuring an 80s TV star (Caroline Suzanne), a cop (Officer Samuel Rhodes) transporting a convict (Robert Maine), a prostitute (Paris Nevada), a pair of newlyweds (Lou and Ginny Isiana), and a family (George, Alice and Timmy York). When bodies begin to pile up one by one with little explanation, the survivors must discover what connects them in order to save themselves from their fate.

'''This movie depends on a major TwistEnding. Proceed with caution.'''

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AlienGeometries: The desert.
* ArcWords: "Who am I speaking to right now?"
* BadassLongcoat: Ed Dakota sports a black trench-coat.
* BatmanGambit: The killer tricks one of the guests [[spoiler:into getting hit by a truck by standing directly in its path. His mother is similarly manipulated earlier by luring her into the road with an affectionate hand gesture through the window glass.]]
* BewareTheQuietOnes: [[spoiler: Timmy]] only has two lines in the whole movie. [[spoiler: Timmy is the killer, and his brief bit of dialogue confirms this.]]
* {{Bookends}}: The film opens with a recording of Dr. Malick's session with Malcolm Rivers, where he tells the doctor the "man going up the stairs" poem. At the very end, [[spoiler:Timmy, Malcolm Rivers' only remaining personality, forces Malcolm to murder Dr. Malick, and whispers the poem just before the screen fades to black.]]
* ChildrenAreInnocent: [[spoiler:Timmy horrifically subverts this]].
* ClosedCircle: Initially it's a conventional example, with the roads blocked by flooding and the phones and radios down because of the storm, but later becomes a little weirder (see GoingInCircles below).
* ContrivedCoincidence: At first the birthday reveal seems this way. Adding to the fact that all the names come from U.S. states, it turns out ThereAreNoCoincidences.
* CreepyChild: Timmy.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath:[[spoiler:Roger Maine took an entire baseball bat down his throat.]]
* CruelTwistEnding: [[spoiler:It appears that Ed has managed to kill [[SplitPersonality Malcolm's murderous identity]] while sacrificing his own life and leaving only one survivor, making the movie seems like a BitterSweetEnding. But then it turns out that Ed had killed the wrong person, his sacrifice was in vain, and the murderous identity was still alive to kill the FinalGirl while causing Malcolm to kill one of the psychiatrists.]]
* CynicismCatalyst: The suicide of the Mexican girl that Ed fails to stop is what causes him to leave the LAPD.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Ed Dakota is TheHero with dark eyes, dark hair, dark clothes and a DarkAndTroubledPast to top it all off. [[spoiler: In fact, he's the most heroic and moral of all Malcolm Rivers's alter egos.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Ed; he is a John Cusack character, after all.
* {{Deuteragonist}}: Dr. Mallick is essentially the hero of the second plot. Mallick spends the movie working to save a damaged soul from the monster he has inside of him, and thus save him from the death sentence that monster earned for him. In a way, he's the hero of the whole film since, [[spoiler: in essence, he's also trying to save all the characters in the central plot, who are all aspects of his patient's fractured psyche. He actually manages to positively influence the more moral identities against the homicidal one. [[AllForNothing Not that it does him much good.]]]]
* DirtyCop: Officer Rhodes shows signs of this, due to his brutality of Robert Maine and his interrogation with Larry. [[spoiler: As it turns out, the real cop is found dead in the police car's trunk.]]
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler:The entire plot consists of a [[TheReveal massive build up]] to who the murderer will be. Upon reaching the happy ending, it turns out it was the kid all along, and the viewer is treated to a hilarious montage that involves a grumpy looking kid walk away from an explosion and an obese maniac talking in a high voice.]]
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler:All of the other personalities are dead, leaving only the killer personality to take over and force Malcolm to strangle the therapist.]]
* DullSurprise: You'd expect a bigger reaction from John Cusack after seeing [[spoiler:the decapitated head of Caroline in a washing machine.]]
** It makes sense later, though, when his DarkAndTroubledPast is elaborated on and you find out he's very used to seeing horrific things.
* DwindlingParty
* TheEndingChangesEverything: [[spoiler:None of the people at the motel are real. They are only the figments of Malcolm Rivers' imagination, each of them a separate personality of his mind.]]
* EnemyWithin: [[spoiler:The entire treatment is set up to deal with this.]]
* EnfanteTerrible: [[spoiler:Timmy committed all the murders.]]
* EveryoneIsASuspect: Everyone, that is, except for [[spoiler:the true killer]].
* EveryoneIsATomato: About two thirds into the film, it's revealed that [[spoiler: every single character at the motel is a personality of Malcolm Rivers, and the whole movie was a plot to kill off his alternate identities, curing his Multiple Personality Disorder.]]
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The movie is set in one rainy night, and the next morning.
* FakePregnancy: Ginny confesses to her new husband that she lied about being pregnant [[DevelopingDoomedCharacters immediately before he is murdered]].
* FakingTheDead: The killer manages to elude the remaining guests this way, until [[spoiler:the very end]].
* FinalGirl: [[spoiler:Subverted. At the end it seems like Paris is the only one who made it... but then Timmy shows up to violently kill her with a rake]].
* FlatWhat: Ed's reaction when Dr. Malick tells him that [[spoiler:he is one of the split personalities of Malcolm. As it turns out, [[TomatoInTheMirror he wasn't kidding]]]].
* FromBadToWorse: The situation escalates from stormy weather and car accidents to grisly murders and vanishing corpses in just a few hours. It is no wonder the characters are all so on edge.
* GoingInCircles: What happens when one character tries to escape the hotel on foot.
* HeManWomanHater: This seems to fit Larry, at first, given the way he treats Paris from the moment they meet. [[spoiler: It definitely fits with Timmy at the end.]]
** Malcolm Rivers qualifies, as well, [[spoiler: since he ''is'' Larry and Timmy.]] This aspect of him is derived from his mother, who would abuse him when he was a child and abandon him in motel rooms while she was out working as a prostitute.
-->'''Malcolm Rivers:''' I remember my mother... I remember my mother... I remember my mother was a whore...
* HellHotel: All the characters are stranded at a motel in the middle of nowhere that no one can leave. Then people start dying...
* TheHeroDies: [[spoiler:Both Ed and Paris, being the main heroic characters themselves, were killed in the end.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Ed reaches this point [[spoiler: when he discovers that he was never a real person but a split personality made up in the mind of a crazy person. And so are all the people he's met throughout the film.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Ed pulls a TakingYouWithMe against Rhodes to save Paris. [[SenselessSacrifice Too bad Timmy's the real murderer.]]]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Paris Nevada.
* HopeSpot: They think they have things solved and under control a couple times.
* HostileWeather: By the time everyone arrives at the motel it is dark and storming.
* InterruptedSuicide: Ed Dakota describes how he failed to stop a suicide, and it caused him to crack up and leave the LAPD. As he describes it, the girl planning to kill herself gave Dakota the perfect opportunity to save her: She asked him for something worth living for. Dakota froze for just a moment, unable to think of anything, and the girl jumped.
* IronicNurseryTune: "Antigonish" by Hughes Mearns, as shown in the page quote.
* KillEmAll: [[spoiler:By the end of the film, every split personality in Malcolm, except Timmy, is dead.]]
* TheKillerInMe: [[spoiler:The ultimate goal is to eliminate Malcolm's killer personality.]]
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler: Timothy York wears all white and exudes ChildrenAreInnocent. He's the monstrous killer everyone fears.]]
* LittleNo: [[spoiler: Paris' last word, spoken when Timmy appears wielding a rake and telling her (the only time he speaks in the movie) "Whores don't deserve a second chance."]]
* LocationThemeNaming: All characters are named after U.S. states.
* MaleGaze: Paris is subjected to this a few times.
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler: Timmy. When he's not straight-up murdering people with his own hands, he'll trick people into stepping in harm's way so that they get themselves killed.]]
* MeaningfulName: Malcolm '''Rivers'''. [[spoiler: "Rivers" like the divergent multiple personalities that exist in his head, separate and unique streams of life whose rushing currents eventually intersect until they all lead back to the same place.]]
* MentalStory: [[spoiler:It's presented as being weird events happening in the real world until the reveal.]]
* MultiGenderedSplitPersonalities: The ending reveals that [[spoiler:all of the ten main characters, consisting of seven males and three women, are alternate personalities of Malcolm Rivers.]]
* MutualKill: [[spoiler:Ed and Rhodes kill each other this way in a gunfight, with Ed himself dying after talking to Paris.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Ed gets hit with this hard when [[spoiler: he tells Ginny and Timmy to flee the motel in a car, only for the car to explode when they get in.]]
* NoBodyLeftBehind: One of the major clues that something is off happens when the bodies of the victims up to that point completely vanish. This is because [[spoiler:none of the people at the motel are real.]]
* NotHelpingYourCase: When Rhodes accuses Larry of being the killer, he responds by holding Paris at knifepoint while babbling that he did not kill anyone.
* NothingIsScarier: Played straight when [[spoiler: Ginny's boyfriend goes from frantically pounding on the door to sudden total silence.]]
* ObviouslyEvil: Robert Maine. [[spoiler: Too bad he's not the killer.]]
* OedipusComplex: Rivers's mother was a prostitute, and [[spoiler: one of his personalities]] is as well - and most of the male characters find her very appealing.
* [[OffWithHisHead Off With Her Head]]: The first victim's head is found in one of the laundry dryers.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted with Larry who shares the same first name as [[spoiler:the actual motel owner]].
* OntologicalMystery: All the guests are trapped in the motel during a bad rainstorm that flooded the roads and knocked out the power lines, ensuring that no one can leave or call for help.
* PsychologicalThriller
* PsychopathicManChild: This is ultimately [[spoiler: all that remains of Malcolm Rivers/Timmy York.]]
* RabidCop: Officer Samuel Rhodes.
* RedHerring: Numerous examples.
** [[spoiler:The B-Plot is set up as being related to Roger Maine, until Malcolm Rivers shows up and the proceedings begin]].
** [[spoiler:The hotel is supposedly on an ancient IndianBurialGround]].
** [[spoiler:Nearly every character is set up to be the killer except for the actual killer]].
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: At a certain point, Ed decides that the safest bet would be for the surviving characters to just get in the car and try their luck in the storm, since people keep dropping like flies at the motel and no one knows who to trust. This plan goes out the window as soon as someone gets in the car [[spoiler: and it explodes.]]
** [[spoiler: Rhodes drops all pretenses and goes to murderous lengths to escape once he realizes the others know what kind of person he truly is and, naturally, peg him as the killer.]]
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:Timmy kills both his parents over the course of the story.]]
* SignificantBirthDate: A group of seemingly unrelated people are [[DwindlingParty slowly being killed off]] while trapped at a remote motel during a storm. At one point it's revealed that every single one of them have the same birthday, which [[ContrivedCoincidence simply doesn't seem possible]]. [[spoiler:This is because they're all imaginary identities of a man with multiple personality disorder.]]
* SplitPersonalityTakeover: [[spoiler:After his treatment all of Malcolm's alternate personalities are gone... except for the single psychotic one.]]
* TenLittleMurderVictims: The usual formula is played with in that there are [[spoiler:two unrelated killers.]]
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:With an actual mirror. TheReveal was done using a pretty slick editing technique. Ed Dakota picks up a mirror, sees Malcolm Rivers in the reflection, and drops it in shock only for the camera to pan back and reveal Malcolm]].
* UnflinchingWalk: The killer pulls one off when the vehicle that Ginny and Timmy run to explodes.
* TheVoiceless: Timmy. He makes sniffs of sadness when Larry and Rhodes were arguing with each other, was shocked to [[spoiler:find his mom dead in her deathbed]], and [[spoiler:spoke to Paris before killing her.]]
* VorpalPillow: How the killer finishes off [[spoiler:Alice York.]] Played slightly more realistically since [[spoiler: he uses hands instead of a porous pillow]], and [[spoiler:Alice was already seriously injured in a car accident]].
* WhamLine: "It's your birthday next week? My birthday's next week."
** Also, [[spoiler: "Where the fuck is my face?"]]
* WhiteShirtOfDeath: [[spoiler:Ed himself at the end.]]
* YankTheDogsChain: After going through hell and surviving the night, it seems as if [[spoiler: Paris is the only one left alive. She's able to finally leave, and returns to her hometown to start a new life for herself. Then she finds the last room key...]]
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: [[spoiler:At the end, when it looks like Paris made it out alive as the final survivor, Timmy came out of nowhere to kill her.]]
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