Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 2/24/2010...
PG-13 horror by it's very nature has a tendency to be somewhat watered down. This film though does an excellent job of creating effective horror within the restrictive confines of it's rating. The haunted house (in this case hotel room) movie has numerous problems inherent to it. The largest being that it depends on a total suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. This film works quite well. Stephen King is a master of taking concepts and giving them his own unique spin. John Cusak delivers an amazing and memorable performance.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Brandon J. (bran-flakes14) Reviewed on 3/9/2009...
"1408" isn't the best movie in the world, there's no doubt about it, but it does offer up a rather creepy premise with great acting from John Cusack. It's also a solid Stephen King adaptation, something somewhat rare. If you're a fan of scary movies, and you like your thrills more psychological than physical (i.e., gory), check this movie out. Like I said, it's not the best, but it's FAR from the worst!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
An above- average, atmospheric horror thriller
z hayes | TX | 09/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1408 is one of the best film adaptations of a Stephen King story, and is highly atmospheric. I too am growing weary of movies masquerading themselves as horror films these days, when all they offer are ludicruous plot lines and excess gore, violence and gratuituous sex.
By comparison, 1408 exceeds all expectations when taken for what it is - an intelligent horror movie that despite being rated a tame PG-13 delivers chills, thrills, and a strong performance by its lead actor, John Cusack, as well as a good supporting role by Samuel L Jackson. The story centers around a jaded author, Mike Enslin [John Cusack] who pens 'true horror' books but is actually a skeptic who doesn't believe in the afterworld or entities associated with it. He receives a cryptic postcard one day that tells him 'Do Not Enter 1408' -being a room in the Dolphin Hotel in NY, where Enslin has left behind a painful past.
The rest of the movie picks up pace very quickly and viewers are in for a thrill ride as Enslin manages to overcome the protestations of the hotel manager [Samuel Jackson] and spends the night in 1408, which has one of the grisliest & bloody reputations in the annals of hotel history. Enslin finds his skepticism melting in the face of the unbelievable horrors he faces in 1408, and struggles to keep his wits about him to survive.
The horror in this movie is very palpable - there is no gore or excess violence, but there's a pervasive sense of menace and evil that sends chills down one's spine, and a couple of jump-out-your-seat moments[not to mention a couple of plot twists]. But what truly lifts this movie is the strong & riveting performance by John Cusack. The whole movie basically revolves around him and it is amazing to watch an actor bring so much depth to his role as well as portray a feeling of alienation, isolation and paranoia as Enslin tries to face his fears in 1408.
I am a fan of atmospheric horror movies, and 1408 ranks as one of my favorite horror movies [ The Haunting, Changeling, Rosemary's Baby, The Shining being some of my other favs]. If you're a fan of the horror genre, or simply a fan of psychological drama & thrillers, then 1408 should please you."
A Good Movie Made Stronger By Masterful Pacing...
NotATameLion | Michigan | 06/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My wife and I went to see 1408 the other night. It was a birthday gift--otherwise she'd never have gone. She hates horror movies.
Interestingly, we both ended up enjoying the movie.
I read (or should I say listened to?) the short story prior to seeing the movie. Much like I prefer the movie version of the Shawshank Redemption, I prefer the movie version of 1408.
John Cusak is great. He usually is. Samuel Jackson gives a wonderful performance. Whoever the little girl actress is--she also did a remarkable job.
The ending rocks (I promise I won't spoil anything).
What makes this movie a little stronger than most horror fare is this:
1. The pacing is great. Things never go over the top by being too intense for too long. This has been a big issue in horror films lately. They lose their suspension of disbelief from too much emotional weight. I don't know about you, but I find myself mentally withdrawing from such stories to come up for air. When I re-engage, much is lost.
2. Speaking of suspension of disbelief wreckers...there is very little gore here. In this movie, when gore does come, it usually comes in the old photos. I feel this lack of abundant gore strengthens the pyschological impact of the movie as a whole. It also prevents the movie from turning plain old silly like recent gore-fests along the lines of The Hills Have Eyes.
While this is not my favorite Stephen King adaptation--Shawshank still reigns there--1408 is a solid, intelligent and emotionally resonant movie. You will not be wasting your money if you go to see this over the 4th of July holiday.
I give 1408 a strong recommendation.
PS- This also gets the award for best use of a Carpenters song in a horror film since In the Mouth of Madness."
Great movie... wrong ending. This is not what you saw in th
Patrick Mccray | Knoxville, TN United States | 09/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First things first. This is one of the best horror movies I've seen in years. I'm happy that three of my favorite, recent horror films (1408, EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and THE RING) have been PG-13. They rely more on great writing than gore. The two-disc DVD of 1408 had a second disc with the director's original ending, which was a bit of a downer. I understood why it was reshot, as the ending shown in theaters framed the action with a bit more meaning and a bit less nihilism. Anyway, I bought the blu-ray version for the better picture quality and the slimmer, space-saving package. In checking the packaging, it looked like the blu-ray was pretty much the same as the two-disc DVD. WRONG! THE BLU-RAY HAS THE DIRECTOR'S CUT ENDING! Nowhere on the package is this indicated. Granted, the ending seen in theaters is available in the special features as an isolated scene... but I don't want that. I want what the package implies: the theatrical cut in the blu-ray format. So, buyer beware. Doesn't make this a bad film, but I'm not going to be able to get rid of my DVD."
Fine adaptation of Stephen King short story... Get the 2-Dis
dooby | 11/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I've enjoyed Stephen King's books for many years, the film adaptations have been pretty much hit-or-miss affairs. This film is one of the better ones. It is an adaptation of one of his short stories, a pretty straightforward tale about an "evil" hotel room and a skeptical horror writer's brief stay in it.
There is no gore, little blood, and little in the way of shocks. If those are your requirements for a horror film, you had best stay away. It is closer to a psychological thriller than a typical horror movie. It is essentially a one-man show and John Cusack as the writer acquits himself admirably. He is the quintessential everyman that we find in all of Stephen King's books. Actually the character could almost be King himself. The scene in the bookshop where he goes to promote his new book is pretty funny and reminiscent of something that King himself experienced in Australia when he was chased out of a local bookstore by clueless store-clerks who thought he was a vandal defacing their merchandise. The film is a fine mix of comedy and horror. Witness Cusack's cynical and deadpan "That's it?" when he first enters the much-hyped room 1408, followed by the room's welcoming ditty "We've Only Just Begun" sung by the golden-voiced Karen Carpenter.
The version to get is the 2-disc Collector's Edition. This is the only way you'll get to see the "Director's Cut" which is found on Disc 2. It also includes an engaging commentary from Swedish director Mikael Håfström and writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The Director's Cut is about 8 minutes longer and contains several new and extended scenes as well as a very different ending. Neither version is similar to the original short story. Håfström explains why the ending was changed - test audiences didn't like the original ending. Håfström claims that he eventually grew to prefer the ending of the theatrical cut but after watching both, my preference is for the darker ending of the original. In either case, there is no happy-ever-after. I found the original darker ending to be more in keeping with the logic of the film but from test screenings it would seem that most viewers would prefer something lighter. You can compare for yourself on this double-disc set. There are also 11-minutes worth of deleted scenes with Håfström explaining why they were removed and about a half-hour's worth of production featurettes. At just $3 more than the single-disc standard edition, the Collector's set is the one to go for."
Sometimes death is better.
Killerwokz | east coast usa | 12/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film starts off a bit slow, and could have given a bit more of a back story to make the viewer understand about the tragic loss that the main character went through. The main character has become disillusioned with life and no longer thinks that there is any mystery in life. The mind bending qualities of 1408 really creeped me out, in about the same way that "Jacob's Ladder" creeped me out. I think on the undercurrent all people must be horrified of the same thing, the loss of family, your mind, reality itself. There are something's that are worse than death. I think that's what 1408 was about the horror that everyone has in them that people would rather die than face. On my creep meter I give 1408 ten skulls."