1408

June 22nd, 2007








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1408

Still of John Cusack in 1408Still of John Cusack in 1408Tony Shalhoub at event of 1408Still of John Cusack in 1408Still of John Cusack in 1408Still of Mary McCormack in 1408

Plot
A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 6.8/10 (103,208 voted)

Critic's Score: 64/100

Director: Mikael Håfström

Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack

Storyline
The cynical and skeptical writer Mike Enslin writes books evaluating supernatural phenomena in hotels, graveyards and other haunted places, usually debunking the mystery. While writing his last book, he travels from Los Angeles to New York to spend one night in the evil room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel, which is permanently unavailable for guests. The reluctant manager Mr. Gerald Olin objects to his request and offers an upgrade, expensive booze and finally the reports relating the death of more than fifty guests along decades in the cursed room. However, Mike threatens Mr. Oiln, promising to sue the hotel, and finally checks in the room. Along the night, he finds that guests of room 1408 can check in when they like, but they can never leave the room alive.

Writers: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander

Cast:
John Cusack - Mike Enslin
Samuel L. Jackson - Gerald Olin
Mary McCormack - Lily
Tony Shalhoub - Sam Farrell
Len Cariou - Mike's Father
Isiah Whitlock Jr. - Hotel Engineer
Jasmine Jessica Anthony - Katie
Paul Birchard - Mr. Innkeeper
Margot Leicester - Mrs. Innkeeper
Walter Lewis - Book Store Cashier
Eric Meyers - Man #1 at Book Signing
David Nicholson - Man #2 at Book Signing
Holly Hayes - Lady at Book Signing
Alexandra Silber - Young Woman at Book Signing
Johann Urb - Surfer Dude

Taglines: No one lasts more than an hour.



Details

Official Website: Official site [Germany] | Official site [Taiwan] |

Release Date: 22 June 2007

Filming Locations: Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $20,617,667 (USA) (24 June 2007) (2678 Screens)

Gross: $131,998,242 (Worldwide) (8 February 2009)



Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (director's cut)



Did You Know?

Trivia:
There are many references to the number "13" throughout the movie. The room is numbered "1408", add each number together equals 13. The room is on the 14th floor, and the Hotel skips the 13th floor, so the room is technically on the 13th floor. The room's key lock also has "6214" etched into it, which adds up to 13. And the first death was in the year 1912, which adds to 13. Even the film's American release date sums to 13: June 22, 2007.

Goofs:
Continuity: After Mike discovers the turned-down bed (and the neat toilet roll in the bathroom), he switches off the radio. The cognac is perched right on the edge of the table. When he tries figuring out where the maid might be, the cognac has suddenly moved back.

Quotes:
Mike Enslin: [talk into tape recorder] Hotels are a naturally creepy place... Just think, how many people have slept in that bed before you? How many of them were sick? How many... died?



User Review

An innovative horror film

Rating: 8/10

I've never seen a horror film quite like 1408--can you even call this film a "horror"? Well, it's not the horror movie we're used to seeing in this day and age. The films that are supposed to scare us nowadays are made from the same recycled junk we've been seeing for years now. Nonsensical plots are dreamed up just to make use of the exciting range of CGI. Underdeveloped characters we don't care about are tortured/murdered by a psycho for no apparent reason. Most of the intended audience for these movies isn't even scared anymore.

Let me tell you, 1408 is different. Its main intention is not to scare you (though it undoubtedly will); it wants to tell you a story. It doesn't start out as a scary movie. John Cusack plays cult writer Mike Enslin, a man who visits supposed haunted spots in order to debunk their reputations in the mildly-successful books he writes with titles such as "10 Nights in Haunted Hotels". When the room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in New York is brought to his attention, research tells him that the death tally in the room is in the double digits. He sees the room as a solid ending chapter for the new book he's working on.

The film is based on a Stephen King short story, which I had the pleasure of reading before I saw the film. While the film does take its creative liberties, it never forgets where it comes from. Writers Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karazewski seem to be very well-read on the author, and the movie always feels just like Stephen King--if you've ever read him, you know what I'm talking about. There have been times when I've been reading a novel of his and had to tell myself, "Calm down, it's just a book." There are moments in this film of such mind-gnawing anxiety, such high-adrenaline terror that I had to tell myself, "Calm down, it's just a movie." (Note: Stephen King does recommend the film.)

Director Mikael Håfström never takes his audience's intelligence for granted. We're never beaten over the head with the same thing; the film is always headed somewhere new and exciting. The innovative ideas here are just terrific.

John Cusack is brilliant as the cynical writer with a tragic past. He's never unbelievable, and he always nails the character down perfectly. There was never a time when I wasn't rooting for Mike Enslin in 1408. There was never a time when I did not want him to get out of the room. Cusack's emotional range is really put into play here, and the casting could not have been any more dead-on.

Samuel L. Jackson gives a chilling performance as a manager who is intent on not letting Mike enter room 1408. His determination to convince Mike not to enter the room only fuels Mike's determination to enter it. Through him, we pick up on the facts about the room Mike's research couldn't provide. His warnings give us chill bumps but leave enough open so that we still don't know what we're in for.

And with room 1408, you never really know what you're in for. Who am I to ruin it for you? Just know that this is not a mystery. We will not come to understand why the room is the way it is. There are, of course, those who will be disappointed by 1408--because when all is said and done, they will find it's not a movie about a freaky hotel room, but rather the man who's trapped in that hotel room and what he finds there.




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