Director: Mikael Håfström
Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary
McCormack, Tony Shalhoub
RunTime: 1 hr 34 mins
Released By: GV
Official Website: http://www.1408-themovie.com/
Opening Day: 30 August 2007
OUR REVIEW OF
THE OFFICIAL "1408" SOUNDTRACK
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 iminent, but like all Stephen King
heroes, Enslin must go from skeptic to true believer –
and ultimately survive the night..
1408 marks the return of genuine spookiness using Stephen
King’s material. It has the atmospheric terror and an
intense thrill that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The success of this movie had to do with the filmmaker’s
ability to balance the fright element with just the right
amount of eerie ambient soundtracks and effective interpretation
of the source material. Another part would be John Cusack’s
exceptional performance that makes it so entertaining to root
for his character survival in this haunted room. However after
three quarters of spooky adventure in Room 1408, this movie
loses it’s grip on the scare factors and disappointingly
closes the film with an unsatisfying conclusion for both the
lead character and the fate of the room 1408.
It’s been a long time since movie material that based
on Stephen King’s writing had been that memorable spooky.
Great stuff such as Pet Sematary, The Shining and Carrie are
becoming faded memory until 1408 comes knocking back to remind
us with the right kind of interpretation, Stephen King’s
tales of horror are still one of the best.
is simple enough, a disillusioned cynical guy, Mike Enslin
( John Cusack) who travels around supposedly haunted locations
for his research to write on his mildly successful titles
such as the “Top Ten Haunted Hotels”. Each location
only affirms his skepticism in the supernatural until he got
a mysterious invitation to stay in hotel room number 1408,
a room where there are an unhealthy number of cases of death.
so special in this blend of claustrophobic horror?
of foremost, it doesn’t utilized any gruesome tactics
that we been seeing from numerous torture porn nowadays. It’s
genuinely scary from the right amount of ambient build up
and unrevealing of the mysterious haunting. It might sound
simple but trust me, getting just the right combination is
anything but simple. Just look around and you are easily able
to find heaps of horribly predictable horror movies lying
made 1408 stood out from the rest?
first thing that stood out for this movie was it’s creepy
soundtrack. It doesn’t burst your ear drums like some
other “not so good” horror films attempts to scare
their audience out of their wits (if we can’t scare
them, we will force fear into them!!!). Instead, it slowly
stealthily builds up the scare factor of the film without
the audience even noticing it. The last time a scary movie’s
soundtrack was so effective in scaring the audience without
even them noticing it would be The Sixth Sense. (Read more
about the soundtrack here)
thumb up for 1408 would be the story that it builds on. Instead
of relying on childish unintelligent vengeance plots to drive
this movie (like many other horror movies did), this one pack
more punch that any one or two ghostly characters doing the
haunting, are able to do. Using Samuel Jackson’s quote
in this movie, “It's an evil fucking room”. It’s
not one jilted lover haunting that cursed room but evil that
is so unfathomable and omnipresence that keep it’s audience
intrigue to the revelations of what’s going on in this
factor that keeps the audience interested in the survival
of this tormented chap would be the performance of John Cusack.
Since this movie is mainly about a guy discovering the terror
of a hotel room that he is stuck in, the crux of this movie
rides on John Cusack’s (almost) solo performance. And
he dishes them out well! From skepticism, paranoia to heart
wrenchingly sorrows, his performance was engaging enough to
draw out audience’s emotions to root for his character
to survive this seemly endless nightmare and feels the fear
that he been subjected to.
the magic that was working for 1408 seemly took a different
turn after three quarters into the movie. Perhaps it was the
bombardment of intimidating scenarios that makes the audience
realize the secret objective behind the evil room 1408. Once
it’s intention for haunting Mike had already become
apparent, this movie quickly loses the suspense that it had
once gripped the audience.
doesn’t help that this movie got bogged down with a
quick and disappointing ending. The movie had raised the bar
of expectation that so much more is expected of both Mike’s
character and the eventuality of the room. Instead, this movie
eventually took the chirpy easy way out of heavily constructed
labyrinth that it had spend most of the time building. The
ending might leave viewers discussing what happened in the
end but it definitely left nothing memorable for the end of
Mike’s ordeal in 1408.
it wasn’t for the lackluster last quarter of the movie,
1408 could easily be labeled as the scariest movie of this
year. Although there are some shortcomings, 1408 still packs
a exhilarating ride most of the way which is a rare occurrence
in horror movie nowadays.
(For a one heck of a spooky paranormal trip, check into room
Review by Richard Lim Jr