W: Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander & Larry Karazewski
[based on the short story by Stephen King]
DP: Benoit Delhomme
Ed: Peter Boyle
Mus: Gabriel Yared
John Cusack (Mike Enslin), Samuel L. Jackson (Gerald
Olin), Mary McCormack (Lily Enslin), Tony Shalhoub (Sam Farrell)
A very decent haunted house (hotel) movie based on a story
by horror maestro Stephen King and not a million miles away from the plot to his earlier work, The Shining.
While this falls well short of the author's finest works,
it's still very entertaining mostly due to John Cusack's performance, which practically carries the whole movie entirely on his own.
After a promising opening, which starts almost as a black
comedy or parody featuring a creepy encounter with hotel owner Samuel L. Jackson, cynical "haunted hotel" reviewer John Cusack checks into the mysterious room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel, which
has seen 56 deaths during the 90-odd years the hotel has existed.
The evils Cusack encounters in the room range from eerily
effective to laughably ridiculous and the narrative switches completely towards the tail end of the film, when it's not so much about a haunted hotel, but rather a haunted man and it's all
due to John Cusack's excellent work carrying the film with a strong performance. The
movie's parting shot is also quite creepily rewarding. A solid horror movie which doesn't have to resort to blood and gore to give you the chills.