Writer: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski (Screenplay) Stephen King (Short Story)
Starring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Tony Shalhoub, Mary McCormack
Plot: The cynical and sceptical writer Mike Enslin (Cusack) writes books evaluating supernatural phenomena in hotels, graveyards and other haunted places, usually debunking the mystery. While writing his latest book, he travels from Los Angeles to New York to spend one night in the Dolphin Hotel’s evil room 1408, which is permanently unavailable for guests. The reluctant manager Mr Gerald Olin (Jackson) objects to his request and offers an upgrade, expensive booze and finally relates the death of more than fifty guests over decades in the cursed room. However Mike threatens Mr Olin, promising to sue the hotel, and is finally allowed to check into the room. Later in the night, he finds that guests of room 1408, once they have checked in, might never leave the room alive.
Verdict: Creepy Hotel Thriller
Story: With the story of a sceptic investigating paranormal events but then ends up stuck in these paranormal events he so very much doesn’t believe in, is a very clichéd story. This has most of this and adds in that he is a writer with a dark past involving loss you know where this is going. Mixing it all together we get the idea of redemption for the mistakes we may have done in life. One weak point of this film is that there are two endings that paint a very different picture of the events that happen in the film, I personally prefer the Director’s Cut as I find it has more answer than the Theatrical Cut. (8/10)
John Cusack: Mike Enslin after suffering a personal loss Mike travels around writing about so called haunted hotel and location, bringing out a string of top 10 books looking at his experiences or lack thereof. Mike gets a postcard and against all the advice of the hotel manager he enters the room 1408, were he really gets put to the test. Mike starts off being distant from people, be it fans or his general style of conversation, but soon after the events start happening he changes too quickly for what his character has been through. John does a good job with the role as most of the film is solely around him. (8/10)
Samuel L. Jackson: Gerald Olin the manager of the Dolphin hotel trying to protect Mike from entering the room with all kinds of bribes, he tells the full history of the room but unfortunately lets him stay in the room. Good supporting performance from Jackson rarely seen, he is the dominant persona you would expect to see. (8/10)
Director Review: Mikael Hafstrom – Creates some very good scares and keeps you guessing on what is going on, add in what I think is the better ending you get a very good piece of direction. (8/10)
Horror: Has some solid scares and some you really don’t see coming along with some nicely built up ones. (9/10)
Mystery: You are constantly wondering what is going on, but a lot is explained at the end. (9/10)
Thriller: Keeps you at the edge of your seat just wait to know what happens next. (9/10)
Settings: The hotel room feels very ordinary but once things starting to happen it turns into a nightmare, working very well for the genre. (9/10)
Special Effects: Strong special effects used throughout. (9/10)
Suggestion: If you are a fan of horror you will enjoy this, if you are a fan of Stephen King you will enjoy this otherwise this one isn’t really for you. (Horror Fans Watch)
Best Part: The vents scene.
Worst Part: The two different endings can confuse when talking about this film with others.
Scariest Scene: Vent scene.
Believability: I give this a one because there are people like Mike you investigate the paranormal, but what happens isn’t believable. (1/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Box Office: $131,998,242
Budget: $25 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes
Tagline: Based on the terrifying story by Stephen King
Overall: Good Atmospheric Horror