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1408 Review

  • Feb 6, 2009
  • by
've always appreciated the differences between psychological "horror" films and slasher horror films. It always tends to be the psychological ones the freak me the hell out. Then, I tend to laugh at films like The Exorcist. But films like 1408 and The Exorcism of Emily Rose always freak me out.

John Cussack has never been one of my favorite actors and he wasn't my favorite in this, but he managed to play the character, which was a depressed alcoholic "scariest places" author. Cussack was really able to convince me that he was this character. He was also able to really convince me that he was afraid of this room despite the fact that he really believed that he would get the better of it (which later he does...). The only thing that did bother me about his performance was how quickly he becomes afraid of 1408. This is a guy who writes books about the scariest, haunted places in the world yet doesn't believe a word of it. Then, all of a sudden after the radio comes on a couple of times, he is a believer and wants to check out. I think it would have taken a little longer t really spook him. The best part of Cussacks performance though comes during the scenes with or about his daughter. I really believed that he loved her and missed her more than anything in the world. There is actually a scene where his character is holding her in the hotel room and she actually dies...again in his arms and he is just beside himself, crushed, balling his eyes out and I really felt it. So this was a fine performance on his part.

Sam Jackson also tends to be awesome in these creepy management type roles like Mr. Glass in Unbreakable. As the hotel manager, he knows that Mike(Cussack) is an idiot going into this room because he knows what has happened there. And even though he comes off mysterious for most of the movie (which he isn't in most of) he does come out with that one bad ass Sam Jackson line in which he says, "It's an evil fuckin room!"

The biggest thing that gets me about films like these is they aren't all slice and dice; they're meant to get in you're head and they do. Take The Exorcism of Emily Rose. We just don't know if that happened or not, but it makes you stop and think about it. Then all of a sudden you're thinking, could I be possessed by a demon like that. Those are the scariest type of films. 1408 is more like Event Horizon than anything because it isn't dealing with a ghost or a phantom or a demon. It's dealing with something that is evil in it's purist form. And it's scary as hell. I think Event Horizon is the scariest film ever made. It just makes you ask, does pure evil really exist like that? 1408 really made me think about that. This film gets a 4/5 because it was scary, but could have been a little scarier.

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More 1408 (2007 movie) reviews
review by . November 19, 2010
The chief problem with all of 1408 remains the chief problem with most 'ghost'-based films: once you're absolutely certain that you're dealing with a ghost/spirit/evil-presence, etc., how much longer CAN you suspend your disbelief?      Based on a Stephen King short story (could you possibly have been expecting a happy ending?), 1408 revolves around a faithless paranormal author Mike Enslin, played perfectly by John Cusack. Enslin writes books about the alleged …
Quick Tip by . January 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
This movie isnt quite as scary as everyone said it was but it was a major mind trip. I really liked it especially the ending!
review by . December 30, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Of all of the Stephen King adaptations out there, the existence of 1408 probably has one of the most interesting stories.  The story itself can be found in a collection of short stories called "Everything's Eventual."  The story is often considered one of King's scariest and creepiest.  It is a more psychological kind of horror than it is one of slashers and mad killers.  These tend to be the kind that entice me more.  Many horror movies nowadays are what are often …
review by . December 30, 2009
Enter 1408 at your own risk....
Horror like action films and romantic Comedies has fallen prey to the disease that is formula. There hasn't been a full blown, original horror film in a long time. But now I have faith the genre can be saved thanks to a film called, 1408.                  1408 is a notch above the regular horror films It doesn't use overt use of gore and blood to tell it's story or to shock and scare you. Instead it use the basic techniques horror films …
review by . September 01, 2009
Pros: Good creep-out factor, Cusack has skills, cinematography     Cons: Slightly predictable in some respects     The Bottom Line: A solid film of supernatural horror.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. It seems like once in a blue moon, I decide to let myself see a scary movie.  Normally, I don't do well with scary movies.  I've pretty much mastered my fear of the dark, but I still …
review by . March 06, 2009
I was pleasantly surprised or should I say scared by this incredibly creepy film! This is one of the best screen adaptations of a King novel to a movie since The Shining.       John Cusak is a myth debunker who spends the night at places that are reputedly haunted and then writes books about his non-eventful night. He is warned not to stay in room 1408 at the New York Dophin. Of course he then insists on staying there and no amount of persuasion can stop him. Even documented …
review by . February 06, 2009
This is a creepy, scary movie.      It wisely starts off by setting up the main character, and making it clear that he's pretty bored with going to so-called haunted hotel rooms and finding nothing. Apparently writing about having seen no ghosts doesn't sell many books, either, which may explain why there are so many authors that apparently see them, and not many that don't.      After the initial setup, which was very well paced, there is the (basically) …
review by . October 31, 2008
Mike Enslin (John Cusack) writes "horror" guides to haunted places. With several books under his belt, he's become numb to the supposedly haunted surroundings he puts himself into. Until he hears about room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York City. In order to check into room 1408, Mike must get his attorney involved, regarding some blue law that if the room requested is unoccupied it must be rented upon request. It's the only way Mr. Olin (Samuel Jackson), manager of the Dolphin, will rent the …
review by . October 14, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Tense, startling, disturbing with flashes of humor      Cons: Horror, like Humor, is very subjective... not everyone has the same buttons. This work's biggest downfall is it's predictability.      The Bottom Line: Just in time for Halloween, "1408" is filled with devilish delights for all the eager boys and ghouls.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. I just Love what …
review by . December 25, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
This is a creepy, scary movie.     It wisely starts off by setting up the main character, and making it clear that he's pretty bored with going to so-called haunted hotel rooms and finding nothing. Apparently writing about having seen no ghosts doesn't sell many books, either, which may explain why there are so many authors that apparently see them, and not many that don't.    After the initial setup, which was very well paced, there is the (basically) one …
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Julian Brown ()
Hi, my name is Julian Brown. I currently write for The Brotherly Game, a local Philadelphia soccer website where I cover the US Women's National Team and the local WPS Philadelphia Independence. I … more
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The PG-13 rating given to 1408 belies this film's truly terrifying effects on its audience. Though it's far less gory than its peers, it has frightening moments and a creepy mood throughout. John Cusack (IDENTITY) plays Mike Enslin, a gifted writer who has turned his talents to paranormal travel books. His stays in haunted hotels never shake him, but he's intrigued by New York's Dolphin Hotel. Room 1408 has been the site of dozens of deaths, and this is a selling point for the skeptic in Mike. Despite the warnings of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson, BLACK SNAKE MOAN), Mike resolves to stay in the haunted room. No one has lasted more than an hour in 1408, and Mike has his work cut out for him. <br> <br> Though Cusack got his acting pedigree in comedies, he proves he's able to adeptly carry a horror film. He's in practically every frame of the film, often alone, and he's great at making the audience share in his fear. This is the second English-language film from director Mikael Hafstrom (DERAILED), ...

Starring John Cusack, Tony Shalhoub, Samual L. Jackson
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom
Writer: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander
Based on a short story by Stephen King
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Director: Mikael Håfström
Genre: Horror
Release Date: June 22, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Weinstein Company/Genius (October 02, 2007)
Studio: Dimension Films, Weinstein Company
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