I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away"
I remember watching this film shortly after it came out on DVD whilst I was a teenager at a girly sleepover years ago. Although I couldn't remember a lot of the details I remember the rain. Strangely, the best part of the film for me is the rain. The noise and look of the rain is awesome and really adds to the sense of drama and entrapment at the hotel.
The plot sees 10 complete strangers becoming stranded at a motel in the torrential rain. The local area is flooded so they have no choice but to wait there for the night. Murders begin occurring and one by one the 10 become fewer and fewer without knowing who is doing it. A seemingly unrelated storyline runs throughout which sees a group of professionals discussing the case of a death row inmate. I won't ruin the end but the twist is a great spin on the plot.
The characters cover a wide spread of individual personalities. There's the hero limo driver (John Cusack), the angry cop (Ray Liotta) escorting a prisoner (Jake Busey), a prostitute heading for a new life (Amanda Peet), a bitchy actress (Rebecca De Mornay) along with a family (John C McGinley, Leila Kenzle and Brett Loehr), newly weds (Clea DuVall and William Lee Scott) and the shady motel owner (John Hawkes). The whole cast is fabulous and create really believable characters. Their relationships with each other are dynamic and leave you wanting to see more. Although the characters are mostly likable, it's hard to know who to trust and for most of the film everyone is a suspect.
Director James Mangold has directed some of my favourite films; Girl, Interrupted (1999) and Walk The Line (2005). So, I will definitely be adding some more of his films to my LoveFilm list. I really like the style of the film, it could have ended up a lot more cliched but Mangold keeps it fresh and tense throughout.
I couldn't rate this film enough. It's got an intriguing plot that keeps you gripped throughout, great sets, a mix of different personalities within the characters and is strung together with tension and mystery. Personally, I would have like to have seen a little more focus on the characters trying to work out their connections to each other although I do think it is covered in general in the film.