Generally favorable reviews- based on 209 Ratings
Oct 17, 2013"1408" is one of the good Stephen King adaptations, one that maintains its author's satirical view of human nature. However, it's not the script (by Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karaszewski) that deserves most of the credit. Director Mikael Hafstrom "Derailed" (2005), who fares far better here than his debut, never resorts to the cheap tricks and gruesome visuals, while creating scares through a suffocating sense of claustrophobia and suspense. The movie appeals to an old-fashioned sense of horror that differs from your typical slasher flicks loaded with unrelenting carnage.
Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a professional skeptic. He makes his living by visiting supposed haunted houses and writing about the absence of ghosts. For him, room 1408 at New York's Dolphin Hotel is too good a challenge to pass up. In its nearly 100 years of existence, 56 people have died in that room. The hotel's manager (Samuel L. Jackson) advises in the strongest terms that Mike not stay there. "No one," he advises, "has lasted more than an hour." At first, Mike is not impressed by the ordinariness of the accommodations. Then strange things begin happening, and by the time he decides that checking out early might be the wisest decision, that option no longer exists.
Too often, we see a movie with a good setup ruined with a subpar ending. "1408" deftly sidesteps the pitfall, delivering a conclusion that manages not to disappoint, while at the same time leaving things open-ended enough for viewer interpretation. Most of the movie focuses on Cusack, alone in his room, trapped in an escalating environment of paranoia. He uses his good natured disposition to get the audience's acceptance, and once that's accomplished, the film has us. It's riveting to watch his cynicism and disbelief give way to the horror of what is actually happening. Despite Mike's mantra "We don't rattle, do we?" The answer is in fact, we do.… Full Review »