The first time I saw this movie it scared the crap out of me (which of course I loved). There was something amazingly claustrophobic and eerie about this film that gave me the shivers on more then one occasion. Really, you ought to know by now that I wouldn’t steer anyone wrong when it comes to horror movies. Also I happen to love John Cusack, not only because he is a pretty cool actor but he also happens to be from my hometown. Went to my high school and everything. Way before my time of course, but still a fun little anecdote.
Mike Enslin is a jaded writer who travels the United States and stays in the worlds most haunted hotels. The movie opens with him spending the night in a small bed and breakfast where he brandishes his trusty tape recorder and narrates what he experiences. His character is heavy on the sarcasm but the script is witty and entertaining. Especially since he’s the only actor for almost the entire movie, so he kind of has to bring his A game.
When he receives a postcard from the Dolphin hotel that reads simply “Don’t stay in room 1408” of course his curiosity is peaked and he calls almost immediately to book the room. Samuel L. Jackson plays the part of the hotel manager who tries repeatedly to dissuade him from staying in the room. He even offers him a 300 dollar bottle of scotch and a free upgrade to the penthouse suite if he changes his booking. Of course he is not to be deterred and stubbornly refuses to let it go. Finally the manager gives in, but you can tell he’s not happy about what the likely aftermath will be.
Things start off normal enough, of course, and he begins to think that it is all just a bunch of hype and that the manager was simply trying to heighten the mystique by so doggedly trying to stop him from staying. Then shit starts going real fucking south. There is even a fake out scene towards the middle of the last thirty minutes or so of the movie. I won’t tell you any more about it though for my no spoilers pledge.
1408 is really quite well done. The script and the acting is superb and the imagery is downright chilling. If you like ghost stories and movies about hauntings, this one is a must see and you should add it to your list right now!