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1408

Released on 26 December 2007

Featuring: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson & Mary McCormack

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

3.0 out of 5 (139 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Renowned horror novelist Mike Enslin (Cusack) only believes what he can see with his own two eyes. After a string of bestsellers discrediting paranormal events in the most infamous haunted houses and graveyards around the world, he scoffs at the concept of an afterlife. Enslin's phantom-free run of long and lonely nights is about to change forever when he checks into suite 1408 of the notorious Dolphin Hotel for his latest project, "Ten Nights in Haunted Hotel Rooms." Defying the warnings of the hotel manager (Jackson), the author is the first person in years to stay in the reputedly haunted room. Another bestseller may be iminent, but like all Stephen King heroes, Enslin must go from skeptic to true believer - and ultimately survive the night.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (139 reviews)

 One of the better Stephen King Movies in a long time

| | See all god600's reviews (49)

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 DVD Reviewer

Just when you thought it was safe to check into a New York City hotel, along comes Mikael Hafstrom's chilling "1408." Not since Norman Bates terrorized guests at his motel has a paying customer received such treatment during a night's lodging. Although somewhat more cerebral than viscerally frightening, "1408" delivers its share of shocks and frights, and viewers will stay in their seats not to miss the film's twists and swerves. In a cruel blow to fans of 1970's soft rock, listening to the Carpenters' hit "We've Only Just Begun" afterward may stimulate nightmares and certainly will never be the same again.

John Cusack, a cynical writer who has sunk from producing intimate novels to hack work about haunted inns, is lured to a Manhattan hotel where room 1408 is off limits to visitors, because of its long history of inhospitality. With only a knapsack, but tons of baggage from family misfortunes, Cusack insists on a night in room 1408, despite the management's objections. Cusack triumphs over the staff and settles into the chamber's banal decor, which he idly describes piece by piece into his pocket recorder for the intended article. The evening starts to look like a genuine snooze, when the room's unsettling turn-down service, a chorus from the Carpenters, and a radio that begins an ominous countdown unnerve both Cusack and viewers.

Although the "night in a haunted house" routine has been done endlessly since movies began, Hafstrom for the most part effectively plays his audience with an eerie, often jarring, soundtrack, clever cutting, and a minimum of effects. "1408" is a ghost story, not a horror or slasher flick, and, as effective haunting tales have shown ("The Haunting," "The Uninvited"), the unknown, the unseen, and the unexplained are far more frightening than CGI effects. Although reminiscent of "The Shining," another Stephen King adaptation, this film was evidently made on a modest budget. Thus, Hafstrom worked largely with a one hotel-suite set and one mid-level actor. Besides Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson also appears as the enigmatic hotel manager, who warns Cusack about the room, yet seems to know more that he shares. Cusack is fine as always and carries the film effortlessly and literally through Hell and high water. While perhaps not as scary as the premise suggests, "1408" nevertheless provides intelligent entertainment for lovers of old fashioned ghost stories.

 "..BORING AND DONE A MILLION TIMES.."

| | See all sdx800's reviews (1725)

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This is a very average film, the story has been done before but better. Solid cast but are wasted on boring and not very interesting roles, the story starts out interesting but half way through gets tired and you dont really care how it ends! Not scary no point.

 WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

| | See all MusicWriter's reviews (1)

I have seen many scary movies recently and this is the only one that has really sent a shiver down my spine. It is a perfect Stephen King movie. The story is great and the lack of special effects give a more natural feel, if special effects had been used they would have destroyed the film and it proves that CGI isn't needed to make a great film.
The thing that amazed me most about this film was the performance by John Cusack, if he doesn't win an Oscar for his performance then I will be greatly dissapointed. His performance is one of the best I have ever seen in any movie I've watched, a top class performance.
All in all this film is amazing and i would highly recommend it to any Stephen King/Horror fan.

 No cult classic, but worth a look.

| | See all Leonhart's reviews (30)

While 1408 is certainly no Shining when it comes to Stephen King movie adaptations. Originality is certainly not 1408's strong point. Like Misery, The Shining and Secret Window, 1408 features another tortured novelist trapped in their own personal hell. I think Stephen King must seriously be running low on ideas. Never the less, I did enjoy this movie.
I liked the long build up the film creates before Cusack even gets to visit 1408. .And while in some films this can be tedious and put down to bad pacing, in 1408, it leads to such a sense of foreboding dread that you can almost feel yourself clutching at John Cusack as he proceeds down the corridor toward the room in an attempt to stop him entering. We're all too familiar with the 'don't go in there' horror film cliché, but never have I felt such fear for an onscreen fictional character before.
However, once Cusack has entered the room, the movie does become a little less well structured and paced. While the events that take place in the room do feature more than a couple of well placed, jump out of your seat moments, the fact that this is based on short story begins to show through the cracks. Plot holes quickly appear, the pace somewhat stalls in places, and things often become more than a little confusing in 1408.
Now this could be put down to the psychological nature of this sort of film, but having watched the film a couple of times it seems more likely that this is due to a lot unnecessary padding the story has received in an attempt to add a bit more depth to the story. The problem is that it doesn't always succeed in adding anything relevant to the plot, and by the end of the film there are a lot of unanswered questions. These questions beg you to watch the movie again in the hope you have missed something important. But the fact is you haven't.
In my opinion, if it wasn't for a strong actor like John Cusack then 1408 would undoubtedly be a colossal flop. Cusack is so amazingly watchable onscreen that you will probably not even notice a lot of these faults with the film. With a less accomplished actor at the helm, 1408 would probably have been a complete train wreck of a film. And while Sam Jackson's role as the manager is brooding and intense, he is only in the film for about 10 minutes leaving the rest to Cusack.
The other disappointment comes from this 'Director's Cut' Version' of 1408. This version is longer and a bit gorier, but for some reason completely changes the ending. And while essentially the ending still works, it is disappointing that the original ending is not on the DVD also. I mean imagine re-watching Star Wars, only for Luke's X-Wing to be blown to bits and having to watch the Death Star destroy the rebel base. It would be unforgivable. And the same can be said of this Directors Cut ending on 1408, especially when you can't buy the theatrical release in the UK.
Overall though, 1408 is still an enjoyable film. And while certainly no cult classic, it is still far superior viewing to one of the usual run of the mill teen horrors where you don't give a damn about any of the characters. While sarcastic and bitter, you can't help but like John Cusack's character, which is why I prefer the theatrical version. Take my advice and get the 1408 Collectors Edition from PlayUSA, as it contains both versions of the film. Then make up your own mind which is best.

 Average at best!

| | See all bowsie1's reviews (125)

Top 100 Music Reviewer

Two quality actors phone in their roles in this mediocre Stephen King adaptation of a short story. In a nutshell, if you cant be bothered to watch the film, watch the trailer, as the best bits of the film are in that. So save yourself some time and watch King's Shawshank Redemption instead

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ActorsJohn Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Andrew Lee Potts, Jasmine Jessica Anthony & Drew Powell
DirectorMikael Hafstrom
Certificate15 years and over
Year2007
ScreenWidescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (5.1)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.