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By comparison, 1408 exceeds all expectations when taken for what it is - an intelligent horror movie that despite being rated a tame PG-13 delivers chills, thrills, and a strong performance by its lead actor, John Cusack, as well as a good supporting role by Samuel L Jackson. The story centers around a jaded author, Mike Enslin [John Cusack] who pens 'true horror' books but is actually a skeptic who doesn't believe in the afterworld or entities associated with it. He receives a cryptic postcard one day that tells him 'Do Not Enter 1408' -being a room in the Dolphin Hotel in NY, where Enslin has left behind a painful past.
The rest of the movie picks up pace very quickly and viewers are in for a thrill ride as Enslin manages to overcome the protestations of the hotel manager [Samuel Jackson] and spends the night in 1408, which has one of the grisliest & bloody reputations in the annals of hotel history. Enslin finds his skepticism melting in the face of the unbelievable horrors he faces in 1408, and struggles to keep his wits about him to survive.
The horror in this movie is very palpable - there is no gore or excess violence, but there's a pervasive sense of menace and evil that sends chills down one's spine, and a couple of jump-out-your-seat moments[not to mention a couple of plot twists]. But what truly lifts this movie is the strong & riveting performance by John Cusack.Read more ›
Interestingly, we both ended up enjoying the movie.
I read (or should I say listened to?) the short story prior to seeing the movie. Much like I prefer the movie version of the Shawshank Redemption, I prefer the movie version of 1408.
John Cusak is great. He usually is. Samuel Jackson gives a wonderful performance. Whoever the little girl actress is--she also did a remarkable job.
The ending rocks (I promise I won't spoil anything).
What makes this movie a little stronger than most horror fare is this:
1. The pacing is great. Things never go over the top by being too intense for too long. This has been a big issue in horror films lately. They lose their suspension of disbelief from too much emotional weight. I don't know about you, but I find myself mentally withdrawing from such stories to come up for air. When I re-engage, much is lost.
2. Speaking of suspension of disbelief wreckers...there is very little gore here. In this movie, when gore does come, it usually comes in the old photos. I feel this lack of abundant gore strengthens the pyschological impact of the movie as a whole. It also prevents the movie from turning plain old silly like recent gore-fests along the lines of The Hills Have Eyes.
While this is not my favorite Stephen King adaptation--Shawshank still reigns there--1408 is a solid, intelligent and emotionally resonant movie. You will not be wasting your money if you go to see this over the 4th of July holiday.
I give 1408 a strong recommendation.
PS- This also gets the award for best use of a Carpenters song in a horror film since In the Mouth of Madness.
There is no gore, little blood, and little in the way of shocks. If those are your requirements for a horror film, you had best stay away. It is closer to a psychological thriller than a typical horror movie. It is essentially a one-man show and John Cusack as the writer acquits himself admirably. He is the quintessential everyman that we find in all of Stephen King's books. Actually the character could almost be King himself. The scene in the bookshop where he goes to promote his new book is pretty funny and reminiscent of something that King himself experienced in Australia when he was chased out of a local bookstore by clueless store-clerks who thought he was a vandal defacing their merchandise. The film is a fine mix of comedy and horror. Witness Cusack's cynical and deadpan "That's it?" when he first enters the much-hyped room 1408, followed by the room's welcoming ditty "We've Only Just Begun" sung by the golden-voiced Karen Carpenter.
The version to get is the 2-disc Collector's Edition. This is the only way you'll get to see the "Director's Cut" which is found on Disc 2. It also includes an engaging commentary from Swedish director Mikael Håfström and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The Director's Cut is about 8 minutes longer and contains several new and extended scenes as well as a very different ending. Neither version is similar to the original short story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
True to the book. Downright spooky with very little need for special effects. Great performance by John Cusack. Read morePublished 12 hours ago by ginnybark
One of my favorite Stephen King shorts brought to life, in such a creepy fashion, oh' so good!Published 22 hours ago by Ralene Padilla
One of the better Stephen King Horror films made from one of his short stories. ExcellentPublished 22 hours ago by Excellent
Mind-Twisting Psychological Thriller. Highly developed plot and several techniques employed to keep the viewer not only on the edge of their seat, but thinking about just what it... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Scott D. Watson