A travelling writer (John Cusack) who reviews the scariest
locations for a series of books, learns about room 1408 of
the Dolphin Hotel in New York. The room has been maintained
but unavailable for several years. Since the early 1900s there
has been more than fifty deaths in the room, many of them
suicides but others as bizarre as drowning in a dry room.
After trying his best to talk the writer out of it, the hotel
manager (Samuel L. Jackson) has no choice but to relent and
let him stay the night in the room. A few things happen which
the writer takes to be cheap promotional parlour tricks, but
very quickly the room begins to play games with his mind.
He can't escape the room, a voice on the phone repeatedly
asks if he wants to "check-out", and the bedside
clock begins counting down an hour until his death...
he is acting along in many scenes, John Cusack turns in a
sterling performance as the protagonist. The character is
a born sceptic and so when a few early 'tricks' happen in
the room the viewer can easily step into his shoes to shun
events as being staged. The beauty of this part is that the
pacing of the script allows you to grow with the writer and
turn from pessimist to realist as the horror unfolds. If you
can accept the nature of the room, very little suspension
of disbelief is required, as all reactions are believable.
are some nice touches in this film; I particularly like the
moment when the writer, in an attempt to escape the room,
edges along the outside ledge, only to find all of the windows
on this side of the building have mysteriously disappeared.
Another scene has the writer wake up in L.A. believing it
was all a dream, when in reality he is still there in the
room. So there is plenty to enjoy here. Many adaptations of
Stephen King short stories fail to work sufficiently on the
big screen, but this is an exception if you can ignore the
pointless cheap thrill in the epilogue.
consist of two Webisodes (John Cusack on 1408, and
Inside Room 1408), a trailer, eleven minutes of Deleted
Scenes, The Secrets of Room 1408 featurette, and
a Commentary by Director Mikael Hafstrom and Script
Writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.