COLUMBIA TRISTAR has released the innovative thriller, “IDENTITY” on dvd. 

Various characters become holed up at a seedy motel during thunderstorm, and one by one, each begins to end up being murdered by an unknown killer, with the only clue being the room key number at the scene of the crime.  The room key numbers/murders are taking place working downwards until, presumably, the holder of #1 will be the last victim. 

The characters include a bitchy movie star(Rebecca DeMornay and her driver(John Cusack), a hooker(Amanda Peet) and others.  While this at first, plays like a well-made slasher film, it’s not long before we realize that director James Mangold has something else in mind. 

There is a bona-fide twist to this film, however, it’s hard not to be pissed off by it. Still, once the basic twist to the film is revealed, what follows stays in line with it, and it doesn’t take advantage of the viewers.

COLUMBIA TRISTAR has presented the options of either pan&scan or letterboxed(2.35:1) viewing, with 16:9 enhancement.  The widescreen version is the only recommended version, as the pan&scan version not only loses ½ the information, but is grainy as well.

Also included, is the chance to view either the theatrical version of the extended cut.  Unfortunately, there are no chapter marks identifying the additional footage, and the “extra” footage is hard to even discern, hence its limited value to the original film. 

The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is extremely effective, offering plenty of atmospheric effects, and really enhancing the film’s tense moments.  Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion. 

COLUMBIA TRISTAR has included some notable extras here, including an audio commentary with the director.  The commentary offers plenty of insight into the film’s elaborate story construction and some interesting tidbits about various behind-the-scenes exploits.  A deleted scenes segment offers four scenes, rightfully cut.  A featurette offers some behind-the-scenes footage with various cast and crew.