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

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 241 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-freeRenowned 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] Expand
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. 75
    Sharp little psychological thriller.
  3. Swift, sharp adaptation of Stephen King's short story (from the "Everything's Eventual" collection).
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 50
    One night in 1408 stretches out until it ends up feeling more like a routine three-day business trip. The scariest thing in it may be the way the clock radio has a way of turning itself on, loudly, of its own accord. The song is always the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun." Now THAT'S horror.

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. [Anonymous]
    Jun 21, 2007
    9
    This movie was honestly terrifying. A Brilliant script, topped of with excellent acting make this highly entertaining horror film one hell of a ride.
  3. PeterJ.
    Oct 24, 2007
    9
    Fantastic movie. One of the best scary movies I've seen in a long time. And the secondary story of his life is riveting. A must see for Fantastic movie. One of the best scary movies I've seen in a long time. And the secondary story of his life is riveting. A must see for those of us who still have an attention span. 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"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 createdVery 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 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. 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. Collapse

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