1408 (2007)

PG-13   |    |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery


1408 (2007) Poster

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


6.8/10
253,322


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  • John Cusack in 1408 (2007)
  • Matt Greenberg at an event for 1408 (2007)
  • Ashley Benson at an event for 1408 (2007)
  • John Cusack in 1408 (2007)
  • Bettina Bush at an event for 1408 (2007)
  • Mikael Håfström at an event for 1408 (2007)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


22 June 2007 | dglink
8
| Effective Ghost Story
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.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

While addressing his audience at the book signing, Mike says, "Stay scared". This is a phrase traditionally used by director George A. Romero, a friend of Stephen King's. Romero has said this at numerous conventions, and often uses it as part of his signature.


Quotes

Mike Enslin: Hi. Mike Enslin. Checking in.


Goofs

If no electronic gadgets can work in the room how does Mike's laptop work? The room is meant to mess with Enslin's mind, so it would be guessed that letting him use these items are for mere amusement of the room.


Alternate Versions

-***Spoiler Alert - Alternate Ending*** The Director's Cut contains a more tragic ending. Mike Enslin sets fire to 1408 but is not rescued by the fire department. Instead, the last we see of him is when he's lying on his back in the burning room and we hear the words of his daughter "everybody dies". The camera zooms in on the numbers on the outside door, just as they melt from the heat. The next scene is at Mike's funeral where his coffin is lowered into the ground right next to his daughter's; just as the visions 1408 prophesied. Lily is there, being consoled by Mike's agent. As the procession ends, Lily walks to her car and is met by Gerald Olin who is carrying a box. Gerald introduces himself and gives his condolences. He says the box contains some of Mike's belongings still left in the room. He offers it to Lily while also trying to explain, with a sense of hope, that Mike's death of was not in vain and that because of his actions no one else will *ever be able to stay in room 1408. Lily, in too much grief to listen, cuts him off and refuses to accept the box. Gerald returns to his car and opens the box, which contains the nightgown that was sent through the fax machine as well and the burned tape recorder. Gerald plays it and hears the same dialog between Mike and his daughter heard at the end of the theatrical release. As he listens, he sees a young girl in his rear-view mirror waving in his direction. He turns around to look at her and catches a brief vision of Mike Enslin in his back seat, hideously burned. Gerald jumps but the vision quickly disappears. He looks back at the girl who has found her dad that was looking for her. Gerald catches his breath, starting his car and driving off. The final scene goes back to room 1408. We see a specter Mike Enslin staring out the window. The last shot is of him finishing his cigarette and walking towards the door just as he vanishes.


Soundtracks

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Written by
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by The Swedish Concert Orchestra
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Fantasy | Horror | Mystery

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,617,667 24 June 2007

Gross USA:

$71,985,628

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$132,963,417

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