1408 – Stephen King

1408 – Stephen King

“Based on a short story by Stephen King, a man who specializes in debunking the paranormal checks into the infamous room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel, only to discover… the terror is real.”

I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with how Stephen King’s work seems to turn out when it hits the big screen. However, this story seemed very interesting and the fact that John Cusak and Samel L. Jackson were on board got my interest even more. And who could miss all that hype at Blockbuster? Too bad they didn’t do that kind of job when it was in the theaters, I’ve never even heard of this movie.

But anyway, the premise goes like this – John Cusak is a writer of paranormal fiction. He creates such riveting titles as 10 most haunted house, 10 most haunted cemeteries, etc. When a chance postcard with the word “Don’t enter 1048” comes in the mail, of course he has to go investigate. He is met by the soft spoken, but firm manager (Jackson) who tries to convince him not to stay in the room.

But of course Mike Enslin (Cusak) does stay in the room and that’s when all hell breaks looks. He hallucinates, see visions, and battles many of the previous guests who gave taken their own lives in the room. Rather than turn this movie into a complete gore fest it’s more of psychological thriller. Is Mike dreaming or is it real? Is he paranoid or is he seeing ghosts? Is he in purgatory or is he just drunk?

The movie creates a lot of atmosphere by keeping most of the movie within the confines of the room. It builds slowly giving plenty of reasons to doubt anything is actually happening (drinking, not sleeping, paranoia, power of suggestion) so you really get drawn into the story. Is Mike actually experiencing this or is he passed out asleep? Is his mind playing tricks because of the previous events in the room?

What follows is a wild ride of torment and “unexplained phenomena”. Mike gets drawn into the terror of the room and does everything he can to escape. And then escape again. And again.

This is a good mood movie, very little gore, but plenty to keep you guessing about what’s going on. Cusak does a fantastic job of showing his decent into madness. So much of the main movie is just him, you really get to see him show off some talent.

Not on par with The Shining, but definitely worth renting. Plenty of things to make you jump and plenty for you to think about. I have to admit, one of the better King stories that have been put to film. Blockbuster has hundreds of copies so you should no problem getting one… :)

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