1408 Pleasantly Surprises; Receives 3/10 Berating
Posted on 18. Jul, 2007 by The Gimcracker in Beratings, Movies
I was expecting one of two things, either a supernatural demon/spirit filled journey into the depths of hades, or a slasher film. 1408 was neither (although closer to the former than the latter). Think The Shining meets Identity.
John Cusack one-mans most of the movie (based on a short story by Stephen King) and does a great job at it. He plays a cynical author who wishes he would find something supernatural at one of the hotels he visits so he can write about it and sell copies of his books. It’s a great story that will definitely make your hair stand up the next time you visit a hotel, be it the luxurious Dolphin Hotel in downtown New York or your typical Comfort Inn along the interstate. The visual effects are top notch, but it’s what we aren’t actually shown that gets into our minds and frightens us. This is a psychological thriller, and the best part about it is the potential for discussion after the movie is over.
While there are good things to be said about a movie that confuses you and causes post-film discussion, sometimes it can be bad if there’s too much convolution. 1408 borders on too much. I wish Cusack’s character would’ve been cynical for longer, instead of giving up so soon into the film. Once the main character loses grasp of the situation and we start to see the evil face to face, it somehow becomes less scary. The scariest part of scary movies is always the first half, and I think they could’ve stretched the first half into the first three-quarters if they tried a little harder.
Acting – no beratings
Plot – 1 berating
Inconsistencies – 1 berating
Unbelievable Events – 1 berating
Schematics – no beratings
Recommended Investment = See it at the Five Buck Club
0/10 Stand in line for the very first showing
1/10 See it the first weekend
2/10 See it at full price
3/10 See it at the Five-Buck-Club
4/10 See it at the dollar-fifty
5/10 See it OnDemand
6/10 Rent it from Blockbuster
7/10 Watch it on TV
8/10 Watch it purely for spousal points
9/10 Never watch it
10/10 Buy it and publicly destroy it
Note: The comments contain spoilers
Dude, the wife and I saw this a few weeks ago. We actually went on a Sunday expecting to use the 5 buck club, but it was a dollar cheaper to pay the normal price. Go figure.
Anyways, I was also pleasantly surprised and pretty much agree with everything you said. The wife was really scared and seriously debated leaving.
I didn’t like when the room went crazy and starting pouring out water and stuff. Definitely not as scary as the more subtle things. I also got confused about one little part. He was told that nobody lasts an hour in the room and when he first calls about the thermostat, the receptionist asked if he wanted to check out. But then a few minutes later, he’s not allowed to check out. The room doesn’t let him. For some reason, that just bothered me. I thought that people had checked out before within the hour, so why wouldn’t he be able to check out. Maybe I just interpreted wrong and they were saying that nobody stayed alive past an hour. Anyways, good movie. It inspired the wife and I to rent The Shining, to see if it’s as scary as we remember.
Yeah, when the room fills with water and everything starts going crazy it gets less scary. It’s so much more frightening when subtle things happen.
My two favorite parts of the movie (as far as scariness goes) were when he sees himself across the street in the other hotel room, and when he climbs on the ledge to find the next window but the camera zooms out and it’s just brick wall forever. I loved how things would just change all of a sudden without us really even seeing them change, like when the window in his bedroom just wasn’t there anymore.
I agree that it was a little confusing as to whether people not “making it” in the room referred to death or just checking out. There were some other points in the movie like that, which is why I gave it a berating for “inconsistencies”. Maybe the room knew he wouldn’t accept the premature offer to check out so it didn’t try to prevent him the first time, but then when he really wanted to it didn’t let him. There are other indicators that the room is more than just a room, seemingly with the ability to think, reason, and react to the characters. There was some sort of intelligence there. It’s still confusing and they could’ve done a better job at explaining that.
Since I know there’s at least someone else out there who’s seen 1408, I’ll ask this: what was on the other side of that door that he peered through towards the end of the movie? Did that represent opening up his past and dealing with his daughter’s death or something? I guess it would help to understand where he was in the first place. Was the room hell? Was he being given a chance over and over to reconcile his past, sort of like Groundhog Day? Why did he make it out but then get thrown back in again? Did he do something wrong? Was the whole thing a dream? Any thoughts? I think I would have to see it again to better understand what was truly happening.