MOVIE: 1408 (2007)

It’s taken me over 30 hours to write this review, I’m not even kidding. I kept trying to start off by describing the plot of this very bad, VERY boring movie, but as soon as I got to “Skeptic loses daughter and rejects notion of ‘afterlife’ — begins spending all his time staying in reputed ‘haunted hotels’ and writing about how fake they are. But when he enters room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel. . .” I would then, inexplicably, drop into a coma-like stupor that would last for hours.

Man, this weekend was over fast!

So, to heck with that. You want to know the plot, go read about it somewhere else. Suffice it to say this movie is only scary if what terrifies you most are malfunctioning thermostats (it’s hot! it’s cold! it’s hot! THE HORROR!), minibars that are full one moment and empty the next (truly terrifying if you are an alcoholic in recovery — or, at least, you THOUGHT you were an alcoholic in recovery — but for the rest of us, not so much), and brightly colored, chipper-looking housewives who calmly walk out of windows that later magically vanish. MY GOD! WHERE DID THE WINDOW GO?! THAT’S SO SCARY! AND WHY IS IT SO HOT IN HERE AGAIN? GAAAAAHHHHHHH!


Here is a list of things I would’ve enjoyed doing more than I enjoyed watching this movie (which, I confess, I started fast-forwarding through right about the time he got his laptop and wi-fi working when the temperature was 40 below — nice trick):

Sorting the laundry into whites and colors
Scooping the catbox
Trimming my toenails
Doing the hokey-pokey; turning myself about
Working with raw chicken
Listening to someone eat an apple when I’m trying to concentrate
Writing a term paper about Rousseau’s The Social Contract
Blowing my nose
Coming up with a list of things I dislike doing, but would rather do than watch John Cusack’s career spiral down the loo (seriously, John — Identity wasn’t bad enough?)

The one good thing I can say about this movie is that for a minute there, I thought they were actually going to do an “And then I woke up!” ending. And then they didn’t. But that’s literally the ONLY good thing I can say about this movie.

That said, many others (critics, people I know, etc.) seem to have found this film both “unique” and “entertaining.”

THAT said, I know the truth about you people: you’re all ON CRACK.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Unwatchably bad horror

Cast: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary Mc. . . zzzzzzzzzzzz. . . .

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11 Responses to “MOVIE: 1408 (2007)”

  1. Alisa Says:

    I love ANYTHING John Cusack is in, including this movie. Even though it was predictable, and it’s the first Stephen King movie were I think he DIDN’T make a cameo apperance, LOL I still it. I guess John Cusack can no no wrong in my eyes, although he better do justice to “Martian Child” because that was a great book.

  2. megwood Says:

    Stephen King only cameos in his really crappy or made-for-TV (or both!) movies, actually. And I don’t think that’s a coincidence, either. It’s long been my theory that it’s quite possible to make a brilliant Stephen King movie, as long as you keep Stephen King himself as far away from the production as possible. To see what I mean, watch Kubrick’s “The Shining,” and then watch King’s. Or “Shawshank Redemption” versus “Pet Sematery.” King’s got some good ideas every now and then, but if you give him too much creative control, he gets in his own way with the hammy BOO! type stuff.

    John Cusack can actually do quite a LOT of wrong, in my opinion, including, but not limited to: Identity, Must Love Dogs, Runaway Jury, and Serendipity. Thankfully, he’s also highly capable of doing a lot of right too (in fact, I just caught part of Natty Gann the other day on TV. . .), which is why I keep renting his movies even when I suspect they are going to suck!

  3. Alisa Says:

    Have you seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil w/John? That’s in my Top 5 favorite movies. And it has quite a cast, john, Kevin Spacey, Jude Law< alison Eastwood.

    I do have to say I haven’t seen Must Love Dogs or Runaway Jury so I have no comment on those movies, but I do like Serendipity. I think this means I offically have a crush on John Cusack.

    I must admit to a guilty pleasure of liking Sleepwakers and Stephen King has a cameo in that.

  4. Eva Says:

    “this movie is only scary if what terrifies you most are malfunctioning thermostats (it’s hot! it’s cold! it’s hot! THE HORROR!)”

    Meg, you can still make me laugh out loud when i’m sitting all alone reading quietly in my apartment. 🙂

    Serendipity made me inordinately angry. Usually, when I think a movie is bad, I can roll my eyes or chuckle or groan and move on. I can’t even quite explain my anger – it wasn’t ideological; I just violently disliked this film. (I felt the same way about Titanic, so I guess I’m a party pooper when it comes to the sweeping love films!)

  5. megwood Says:

    Actually, Alisa, I’m loathe to say this, but I really hated “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”! Oh no! You’re totally going to write me off as an ignorant schmuck after this! It’s weird because we so often agree on BOOKS, but as it turns out, our tastes in movies are pretty radically different! Kind of funny. Anyway, I had been really excited to see “Midnight” and just thought it was really abominable! I have a huge crush on Cusack too (as evidenced by his Boyfriend status, of course) but MAN does he make a lot of stinkers! I should probably rent it and watch it again, though, because sometimes if I’m REALLY excited to see a movie and then it doesn’t completely live up to my expectations, I hate it more than it deserves to be hated. And then if I give it a few years and watch it again, I realize it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was originally. For you, I will rerent and report back. I’m sticking it at the top of my Netflix queue right now.

    Eva, your comment about Serendipity cracked me up — I felt the same way! “Violent dislike” really sums it up well! In fact, that’s not a bad way to describe how I felt about 1408 while we’re at it. 🙂

  6. Kathleen Says:

    OMG. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was worried that it was just me, but this movie was so bad it made me angry. Not angry in a “they could have done better” kind of way, but angry in a “I need to storm outside and go for a walk to clear my head” kind of way. My only problem with that is that I watched it on an airplane and if I had stormed outside, I would have ended up somewhere in the Atlantic. Sure, it would have taken my mind off the horrible movie, but I don’t think we should have to resort to 30K foot falls to do that. And, I have to say, I was very disappointed in our boy John. He can do better. I thought he mastered the John Black raised eyebrow acting style, but failed to understand why he felt it necessary to do so. Leave it to the professionals, Mr. Cusack. Leave it to the professionals.

  7. Trip Says:

    Heh heh heh…bet you’re wishing you’d really watched Dawn of the Dead now, huh?

    Agree about “Midnight” as well…as a director, Clint Eastwood is a bit overrated. Sometimes he hits, like with Unforgiven, but Blood Work was reprehensible, and Absolute Power completely tedious.

    I was wondering about 1408, particularly…in which collection of King’s short stories did it appear? It wasn’t the one where the hero learns to how run highway construction equipment for a year just so he can dig a trench wide enough trap the Cadillac containing the mobster who killed his wife. That rocked.

    Clearly this did not. Probably your best clue to that, without even watching a single frame…is that godawful split-face DVD art for the movie. Whenever the lobby card features the leads with their faces split down the middle…the movie tends to suck a mountain of ass. Notable example: Face/Off.

    I’ve found there’s very few exceptions to this rule.

  8. Lorraine Says:

    I have a huge crush on John Cusack but he does make some really crappy movies. I think he does the “commercial” movies so he keeps his marketability and therefore can get funding for the films he really wants to do. He’s just really bad at choosing the fluff. Except for America’s Sweethearts – what an awful, fun-to-watch movie!

    So, watch him in the stuff he really cares about – “Max”, “High Fidelty”, “Grosse Pointe Blank”. My favorite Cusack movie is still “The Sure Thing” – so sweet and funny (“who invented liquid soap, and why?”).

    I’m really looking forward to “Martian Child” and “Grace is Gone”. I expect two really good performances.

    Or just watch him on David Letterman or Conan O’Brien. Seems like a really great guy.

    Oh – I don’t “do” any type of horror movie.

  9. Lorraine Says:

    If you are a Cusack fan check this out:

  10. Liz Says:

    I believe that “1408” was a story in the “Everything’s Eventual” collection. As I recall, the story was pretty mixed up to start with, so I’m not surprised that the movie was, too. I think that most of the time, Stephen King’s books are better than the movies they make of them (“Children of the Corn?” “Pet Sematary?”). But I did really like the TV adaptations of “The Stand” and “It.”

  11. Ben Finesilver Says:

    This is one of my favourite movies! You don’t need zombies or ghosts to stir you. This was a cerebral psychological thriler. It felt real, the acting was superb, you felt drawn to the character and I for one was gripped throughout. I’ve seen it 3 times. John Cussak was superb.

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