I’m gonna tell you the truth, I am not a big fan of horror movies. Not because I’m too scared to watch them but rather because they do not entertain me. I don’t know why I don’t like horror movies that much, I just don’t. Oh, except for “Jaws”, that movie is amazing. With that said, let’s review a horror movie.
Ladies and gentlemen… “1408”.
In “1408” we follow writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack) as he decides to travel to New York and visit the Dolphin Hotel, owned by Mr. Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), to try to tackle the mystery of the supposedly haunted room number 1408 (Roll Credits). And from that we get a plot that is pretty good. Haunted rooms/buildings is not something new in horror movies and it’s been done to death, but in “1408” it is actually done pretty damn well. The plot is held up by psychological tension and (well done) plot twists rather than overt blood & gore or the wait for the next jumpscare. And thanks to that strong focus on psychological tension I really liked the plot of the movie.
The character of Mike Enslin is a troubled man because of something that happened to him in the past. He is also a tenacious guy who really wants to understand what the deal with this room is. And John Cusack portrayes him well. He gives a strong performance that really helps hold the movie up. He goes through mindfuck after mindfuck in this movie and Cusack is so good at showing it/reacting to it.
The score by composer Gabriel Yared is tense, atmospheric, thoughtful and excellent. It helps bring the tension and thrills to a higher level than if it wouldn’t have been there. I know I am sounding stupid here, but that is what it is like to me. And I like it!
This movie is directed by Mikael Håfström who actually comes from my home country, Sweden. And I do think he does a great job with the direction of this movie. To be honest I have not seen any of his other films, not even his Oscar nominated movie “Evil” or “Ondskan” for us Swedish people. Anyway, seeing as I had not seen any of his movies before I didn’t know what to expect when it came to direction, but now I know that he is a competent director. The only slight problem in the movie is that some of the visual effects aren’t that good. But the bad ones are pretty few and don’t bring down the movie that much for me even though they annoyed me a little. Also, this is based on a Stephen King short story from his short story collection book “Everything’s Eventual” together with about 13 other stories. Now I have not read the original short story or anything else from that book, but I guess their good… I hope.
This movie was fairly well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.
“1408” is a surprisingly good horror movie, or it’s more of a psychological thriller that makes you doubt what’s real or not in the movie. It has a tense and excellent plot, a strong lead performance from John Cusack, a great original score and some terrific direction even though it also has a few not very good visual effects. Time for my final score. *Mhmm* My final score for “1408” is a 9,67/10. It does in fact get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
Review of “1408” is done.
Name of the sequel: “2816”.
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