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2008-04-23 11:06
What it's about:

Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is an author who has made his name by debunking fake myths about haunted houses and has recently separated from his wife after that tragic death of his young daughter. One day he receives a cryptic invitation to visit the notorious room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel, and soon comes to realise that horror of the supernatural is real.

What we thought of it:

1408 is a movie that doesn't look that great on paper – it's a Stephen King adaptation (usually a sign of poor quality if you consider the dozens of bad SK movies out there), and the two leads are possibly the last people you think of when you think horror, and the story itself is as old as the hills. The good news is that 1408 melds these elements into an enjoyable ghost story.

John Cusack is pretty decent as the cocky Mike Enslin, hiding his misery from the world, although when he is facing real danger he comes across as more flappy than terrified. It's pretty much Cusack's movie from start to finish, and his strengths and weaknesses are echoed in the atmosphere.

1408 works best when the tension builds without showing too much, but when the various special effects-laden set pieces kick in it often crosses over from gripping to "Didn't I see that in the X-Files?" silly . When it does work, the nightmare imagery is effective and gives things quite a retro Twilight Zone feel.

Another reason 1408 succeeds is that it doesn't aim as high as other horrors. It sets out to be a decent haunted house (room) movie. To its detriment, it can be seen as The Shining lite, although it's no bad thing to be compared to Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, which is also the only quality film bearing King's name.

Luckily the missteps are overshadowed by the good atmosphere and brisk pace, which make 1408 very watchable. It's a simple story and it delivers the thrills. Definitely recommended if you're a horror fan and sick of gorefests like Hostel and Saw.

- Ivan Sadler
An author who debunks false hauntings encounters the real thing when he stays in the notorious Room 1408 in a hotel with a grisly history.

Jean 2008/02/06 4:49 PM
not a horror movie! a scary movie... I've seen 1408 and personally I feel it's been badly labelled as a horror movie. Horror makes you think of Friday the 13th...things so suspended in disbelief that you are momentarily freaked out and then the lights come on and you forget about it. Scared is vital. It's means that you're praying for your mommy (whether you're religious or orphaned is irrelevent). I was terrified watching this movie and for once it was a Stephen King novel-turned-film done expertly. I highly recommend it ...watched at 10am with loads of big burly friends and a lovely sing song afterwards to help you down from your proverbial tree.
Dustin 2008/02/07 3:11 AM
Not all that really Ivan's on the mark again... I did not like that the movie dragged a bit towards the end, but until then it was really scary. The ending is worth sitting thru the movie!
Vees 2008/02/07 7:36 AM
Full of chills & thrills!!!! I have seen 1408. Jean, you are so right this is not a horror, its scary!!!! The movies pace and the eerie feel once you're in 1408 makes it a worthwhile piece of moviemaking. The ending is superb. go watch it now!!!!
Subash 2008/02/07 9:31 AM
1408 Definitely not a horror movie.The build up to the main parts in the movie were excellent thou.It is one of those movies that takes you back and forth in time and leaves much to be desired.Where are the really good haunting horrors?????Gore seems to be all the hype these days unfortunately.
Tony 2008/02/07 6:03 PM
Best Stephen King Stephen King's best book and best screen adaption was his prison classic - Shawshank Redemption.
King Fan 2008/02/11 9:37 AM
What? The Green Mile - Stephen King The Shawshank Redemption - Stephen King Stand by Me - Stephen King Dolores Clairborne - Stephen King It - Stephen King Misery - Stephen King Carrie - Stephen King Granted, some of these movies have not been oscar material, but how can you say (or think) that The Shining was the ONLY good movie adapted from a King novel? Have you seen Shawshank or Green Mile? Research??
Ivan 2008/02/13 2:23 PM
The Shining The Shining (the Kubrick version) is without doubt the best movie based on a SK book. A couple of the others are decent movies (Shawshank), but by and large SK adaptions range from mediocre to awful, and 1408 sits between exciting and average, putting it above 80% of the others (although it is nowhere near brilliant).
Rider 2008/03/26 9:50 AM
Garbage I read the reviews and based on the generally good feedback thought I would take a chance on yet another SK adaptation - This one is probably the worst yet. Its slow and boring and then hectic, chaotic and just plain stupid. The room basically turns into something out of jumanji and attacks the chap - oh my word what utter drivel.
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