Check into “1408”

23 Jun

Every light in my apartment is on right now, because I just walked in from seeing “1408.”

OK. It’s not THAT scary, but I’m still a little freaked. It’s one of those scary movies that crawls into your brain (rather than just under your skin, a la a “Saw” or “Hostel” gore-fest), so it won’t be easy to forget this one.

The story — written by Stephen King— follows Mike (John Cusack), an occult/travel writer. Like all good writers, Mike’s got a bit of baggage, namely the death of his daughter (Jasmine Jessica Anthony) and his separation from his wife (Mary McCormack).
Anyway, he hears about New York’s Dolphin Hotel and its haunted room, 1408. The hotel’s manager (Samuel L. Jackson) strongly tries to dissuade Mike from staying in that room, which has seen 56 deaths.
Mike stays anyway, and, you guessed it — chaos ensues.

Some of the thrills are a tad cheap, like the radio turning on by itself (to play the Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” — brilliant). But the room knows what it’s doing, and it begins to attack Mike mentally in the best way it knows how — by going through his personal memories and tragedies. That makes the movie more disturbing than scary.

What makes the movie work is Cusack, who never appears to be silly or just playing along with everything. You go on the journey with him, and he’s brilliant every step of the way. Though Jackson’s role is pretty small, he makes it memorable.

“1408” is a terrific thriller. It never plays on the easy, cheap scares, and it’s funny to boot. Can’t ask for more.

OK. I’ve got to go to bed now…possibly with all the lights still on.:)

ps. I can’t get the trailer to work now, as youtube is being a scamp. You can see the trailer on the “1408” web site.

2 Responses to “Check into “1408””

  1. Joe June 26, 2007 at 11:15 am #

    I really like John Cusack and have seen most of his films, but I’m not much of a horror movie watcher. And when my wife wanted to go see it I said ok, but with reservations. I did get a glimpse into the weird world of Stephen King without having to read any of his weird books. (What book was this derived from?) And where does he get this stuff? John Cusack did do a good job which is a tribute to his talent, but I guess it’s still just not my kind of movie except for the emotional part about his daughter. I’m glad my wife paid.

  2. sheenabarnett June 26, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    Thanks for the comment!

    “1408” was originally released as an audiobook collection called “Blood and Smoke” in 2000.
    Later, it was released in print form in a collection of stories called “Everything’s Eventual: 14 Dark Tales.” That collection was released in 2002.

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