While, no doubt, those who made the film are aware of Hitchcock's Motel classic, there is no need for everyone who watchhes to compare that with the Old Man's. Forget Hitchcock and watch this superior Who Dun It with a fresh mind. It is a good one. The story is simple, and, yes, one might might be reminded, as is one of the characters in this movie, of the Christie based mini-classic (starring, among others, Barry Fitzgerald) whose title was changed from that of the book to Ten Little Indians (look up the title assigned at its birth to see why it was changed). As I say, the story has a group of people blocked from further travel by flooded highways, staying in a roadside motel, which had been built on land on which, long ago, American Indians had been forced to camp, only to die of starvation and disease. Among them is a convicted murderer and his guard, who also had been trapped by the flood. After a bit of getting acquainted, trouble begins.
John Cusack, Ray Liotta and Amanda Peet, lead a talented cast in the ever more gripping drama. The story is built up neatly, piece by piece, to a surprising denouement and counterpoint. The suspense is nicely graduated so as to keep one attuned with no accumulated fatigue to the end. This is one where knowing the end will much diminish the pleasure derived from the movie. There is sufficient violence to require care about the maturity of the viewer, but it is nothing compared to the average violent film these days.