Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27

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Critic Reviews

  1. Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom creates a compelling ride of a movie. Every beat of the film is weighted with significance, and our mounting dread becomes almost intolerable.
  2. The movie appeals to an old-fashioned sense of horror.
  3. A deft Stephen King freak-out.
  4. Swift, sharp adaptation of Stephen King's short story (from the "Everything's Eventual" collection).
  5. Cusack, who is beginning to look disturbingly like Dustin Hoffman, is not only the film's center, but its orbit as well.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    At his best, King's most effective creatures are not the ones behind creaking doors, but inside crooked minds.
  7. 75
    Sharp little psychological thriller.
  8. This is the old stuff, the good stuff, the tried-and-true stuff of shrewdly accomplished audience manipulation.
  9. An entertainingly hairy paranormal affair.
  10. 75
    This is the most mature horror movie of the year - far more adult and sophisticated than the tedious Hostel Part II. If you like to be creeped out by movies, this is one to see. It reminds us what it's like to be scared in a theater rather than overwhelmed by buckets of blood and gore.
  11. 75
    Heebie-jeebies are guaranteed.
  12. Even with its flaws, 1408 deserves to be appreciated by connoisseurs of acting and bravura filmmaking.
  13. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    For star John Cusack, it's a perfect fit.
  14. 70
    The horror wouldn't work without Cusack, who makes what could have been a rote acting exercise--Be tough! Now angry! Now defensively funny!--a cathartic ritual instead.
  15. In the grand scheme of things, the Dolphin Hotel is no Overlook, but it's no cheesy slaughter motel either.
  16. The movie is most effective in its early scenes of prickly menace, and while the Dolphin is no Overlook (the haunted hotel in "The Shining"), its old-world creepiness is exactly right.
  17. Really wanting to get into our heads, 1408 tries awfully hard to play both sides of logic's boundary line -- tries and fails, and then succeeds, only to ultimately fail again. On the whole, the frights are frighteningly erratic.
  18. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    While 1408 is no classic, it is refreshing to see a horror picture that just wants to do its job rather than prove to its audience how ruthlessly nihilistic it is.
  19. 63
    As thrillers go, 1408 leaves too much room for fun.
  20. 63
    For about an hour or so, 1408 has you thinking you're watching The Next Great Horror Movie: That's how good the first half of this adaptation of Stephen King's short story about a haunted hotel room is.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 496 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 87
  2. Negative: 20 out of 87
  1. Sep 30, 2011
    "1408" is a horror movie that doesn't know what it does, but it still manages to give the good chills and scares.
  2. Mar 9, 2015
    A typical PG-13 horror movie consists of a bunch of dumb teenagers aimlessly running around in their film either trying (and failing) to solveA typical PG-13 horror movie consists of a bunch of dumb teenagers aimlessly running around in their film either trying (and failing) to solve some urban myth or being killed off in the least inventive ways possible. Of course you get the rare Insidious or The Ring, but for the most part, you'll end up with a movie like Ouija or One Missed Call. 1408, however, is the former. Based on Stephen King's creepy short story, 1408 is about an author named Mike Enslin (because it's not a King story if there's no author involved) who writes about haunted houses, graveyards, and the likes. He gets a mysterious letter in his mail one day that tells him "not to go to room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel". Viewing this as a challenge, Enslin, who's played flawlessly by John Cusack, finds this hotel and gains access to the forbidden room 1408.

    The horror begins before Enslin even steps into the room. As he's pacing the halls of the 14th floor, he finds himself back at an empty open elevator, as if the hotel is telling Enslin not to go into the room. Slightly confused, he finds 1408 and walks inside. Mike's first five minutes in the room is rather boring. Nothing particularly supernatural happens until his clock all of the sudden starts playing "We've Only Just Begun", and a 60 minute timer begins counting down, in response to the hotel manager who says that no one has ever lasted more than an hour in the room. The movie then becomes an increasingly terrifying, non-stop haunted house (or, in this case, haunted hotel room) ride that relentlessly scares the audiences with a growing sense of dread and a very heavy atmosphere. 1408 doesn't scare us with what does pop out; it scares us with what might pop out. If you've ever seen Oculus, this movie is similar to that, only in a hotel room.

    Being based on a very short story, the structure of this movie is extremely simple. 1408 is a one-man show, and John Cusack is the star. For three-quarters of the movie, it's just him in the room witnessing all these bizarre and scary events. This movie isn't cluttered with unnecessary backstories, side-characters, or plot twists. It's a simple and effective horror movie that leaves a lingering sting. 1408 may not be as ground-breaking as Carrie or The Shining, but this movie is definitely one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date.
    Full Review »
  3. joeh
    May 25, 2009
    Good movie, not perfect, but very very chilling. Honestly, in a world where horror movies are much better than they are now, I may not like Good movie, not perfect, but very very chilling. Honestly, in a world where horror movies are much better than they are now, I may not like this movie very much, but with all the crap we have to sit through, I actually enjoyed have a film really creep me out. I though the shining was mindnumbingly boring when I first watched it. I read the book and LOVED it, so I assumed the movie would be the classic it was hailed as. Turns out it was just a kid riding a trike for half an hour and some goofy close ups of shelly Duvall and Jack Nicklson. The reason I tried this movie was actually BECAUSE of the PG-13 rating; I figured if the producers felt confident releasing a horror film that wasn't an R than they must have something good. Turns out this movie is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever seen. It was both intelligent as well relatable, without trying to hard to have a moral theme. The movie just IS scary, playing of your emotions and inner most fears, and not the visceral ones either, your REAL fears, even the ones you may not have realized you had. Of course it's not perfect, and it drags in a few spots, But the plot twists and writing (plus Cusak's performance) make for a GENUINELY scary film. I can understand why some might think the movie was a little haphazard or not fully realized (I never read the short story, so I can't comment on that), but if you don't like it because it's not a gore fest than grow an imagination and step outside your little world of superviolence for something that ACTUALLY has substance. Full Review »