Plot: What’s it about?
Julie Kenner (Stephanie Rascoe) used to have a normal and happy life, with all the elements you’d expect. She was part of a warm family environment, with her loving husband and children and her life was just about the way she’d imagined it would be. She wasn’t saving the world by any means, but she was pleased with the way her life had been going so far. But then one event would shatter that life forever and even though she was victimized, Julie feels like she has been turned into the guilty one and not her attacker. Julie was brutally raped and she soon discovers, the pain remains long after the attack has ended. Her self worth was very low and she felt miserable, but she thought the police, family, and her friends could help her through these times. But when those agents fail her, she is left to cope with her pain all alone. So when she discovers the prospect of another life, she begins to form a second identity, which no one knows about except her. But what does she plan to do with this new life?
This film uses a rather sensitive topic as the base, but I think it handles the whole thing rather well and manages to deliver some terrific suspense along the path. I know rape isn’t a topic most people would be interested in seeing a movie about and all, but if handled the right way and used in a certain context, it can be a topic that provides much material. This film does include a rape situation, but it focuses more on the after effects of that encounter and that’s what makes the difference in my mind. We watch as the character goes through a cycle of confused emotions and such, trying to decide just where and who she should be. So while this is a suspense/thriller at heart, Positive I.D. is also a sort of character study, and a decent one at that. This film didn’t have a lot of name talent or a large budget, but it still manages to turn out as a terrific genre picture with a superb performance from Stephanie Rascoe. If you’re a fan of this film, don’t hesitate to pick this nice disc up and anyone interested in the genre should also give this film & disc a look.
The most important element in a suspense/thriller like Positive I.D. is the writing, which needs to create a world where we (the audience) are unsure of what will happen next. This means the writer needs to use all his resources to throw us off the scent, such as red herrings, dead ends, and some radical twists and turns as well. After all that winding down the path and taking wild turns, we need to be surprised at what happens in the end, which writer/director Andy Anderson make a terrific effort at here. I wouldn’t say the ending is a total shocker, but Anderson makes sure we’re driven down some dead ends along the way and that makes the movie a lot of fun to watch. There are a literal flood of titles in this genre, but Anderson delivers one that stands out and warrants a look in the end. Other films directed by Anderson include Detention, Interface, and Drive-By Shooting. This movie belongs to Stephanie Rascoe though, as she brings her character to life and really opens up here. We see the trauma her character goes through on the inside and outside, which is no easy task to perform, I am sure. The rest of the cast includes Lauren Lane (Gen 13), Steve Fromholz (Outlaw Blues), Gail Cronauer (The Newton Boys), and John Davies (Magnolia).
Video: How does it look?
Positive I.D. is presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a sharp visual presentation, which doesn’t reflect the age of this independent production. I’ve seen a couple other versions of this film and all were covered in grain, which is transfer is free from with only minimal exceptions. The contrast is razor sharp at all times, shadow depth is dead on and no detail is lost at all, even in the very darkest sequences. The colors seem natural, but sometimes bright and no distortion emerge, even in the flesh tones. I also found no compression flaws, this is a very nice transfer.
Audio: How does it sound?
I wasn’t that impressed with this mix, but then again I would have liked a surround sound remix. This track sounds decent and never distorts or messes up that much, but it just lacks the dynamic sound I would have liked. The music sounds clear and sound effects come across as crisp and distinct. My main complaint is the dialogue seems a little thin, which makes it hard to hear at times without reaching for the remote. This is a decent mix, but it could have been much better.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.