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Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 225 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Renowned horror novelist Mike Enslin (Cusack) only believes what he can see with his own two eyes. After a string of bestsellers discrediting paranormal events in the most infamous haunted houses and graveyards around the world, he scoffs at the concept of an afterlife. Enslin's phantom-free run of long and lonely nights is about to change forever when he checks into suite 1408 of the notorious Dolphin Hotel for his latest project, "Ten Nights in Haunted Hotel Rooms." Defying the warnings of the hotel manager (Jackson), the author is the first person in years to stay in the reputedly haunted room. Another bestseller may be imminent, but like all Stephen King heroes, Enslin must go from skeptic to true believer - and ultimately survive the night. [MGM] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  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. This is the old stuff, the good stuff, the tried-and-true stuff of shrewdly accomplished audience manipulation.
  3. Swift, sharp adaptation of Stephen King's short story (from the "Everything's Eventual" collection).
  4. In the grand scheme of things, the Dolphin Hotel is no Overlook, but it's no cheesy slaughter motel either.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 50
    In the end, 1408 amounts to little more than a radical shock-therapy session for a man still finding his way after the loss of his daughter.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 79
  2. Negative: 20 out of 79
  1. Apr 29, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Given that King adaptations are typically awful jokes, 1408 merits praise merely for being not abysmal. That said - it's a good little chiller that should have been great. So much is wonderful, including Cusack's droll awareness of playing the same, weary, cynical dude. The settings, the silences, the pacing - all grand, really. What goes wrong? TOO MUCH EXPOSITION, and the misleading kind. Based on the first 30 minutes, 1408 is beyond deadly. It's sadistic, vile, and very, very fast, given the self-mutilations which have occurred within it, and in mere minutes. But Cusack's experience, a few harmless phantoms aside, isn't terrifying; it's all about sadness and his personal despair. I expect more from a room that induces a maid to stab her eyes out in mere seconds.
    But - hey, it's all right. And the hotel window/ledge scenes are bloody fabulous.
    Expand
  2. DavidK.
    Sep 1, 2007
    9
    Great film if you ask me, a little weird and at a few bits u may be confused but, seriously not many films of recent or past made me jump or be scared like this one did, Now don't call me a wimp because I'v seen my fair share of horror's as I am a horror fanatic and have seen many many many horrors. Expand
  3. joeh
    May 25, 2009
    8
    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. Expand
  4. Oct 17, 2013
    7
    "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.
    Expand
  5. Dec 10, 2012
    6
    Very generic-kind of movie, it does have some thrilling moments but these are shattered by very bad special effects, loved the mood created throughout the movie, I was hoping for more of Jackson's participation but Cusack did a good job. I can't rate it as horror movie, but I can say that it was a suspense movie fun to watch. Expand
  6. TerranceB
    Jul 1, 2007
    4
    I went in expecting a great movie from all the reviews but this was nothing but your average cheap horror flick (think Turistas, The Messengers). Cusack plays a convincing King but Sam Jackson was underused and where was Tony Shaloub? I didn't see him once. Save your money but if you ever see this movie playing on cable check it out for the ending. Expand
  7. JohnP
    Nov 15, 2007
    0
    Cusack has long been one of my favorite NON high profile actors because of his choice of movies in general. But alas he lost me on this one. This movie was simply a recylced FX vehicle and if anyone thinks it was more than that then they looked way too hard and deep. As is many American movies the beginnings have promise and then falter into the writers abyss. By that I mean they run out of any credible imagination, originality and passion. If your not going to make any sense at least attempt to be entertaining, which this movie was not. This movie on the making sense level was close to The Lakehouse and that my friends was baddddd. So.. not in great company I must say. Think I'll go and write a screenplay, never have attempted one but heck sure as hell couldn't be as bad. Expand

See all 79 User Reviews

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