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Another Strongly Positive Review Of 1408!!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. And this one’s from a long-time talkbacker. No. Tougher. Audience. I really loved EVIL by this same director, so I have high hopes that he’s pulled something special off with a short story that was one of King’s best recent works. Did he do it?

Hey Moriarty, Bobo_Vision here. I've been a talkbacker for a few years so I'm happy to finally be able to contribute a scoop to this site. I attended an early screening of the movie '1408' starring John Cusack and Sam Jackson based on a Stephen King short story to be released this summer. I'll keep this review spoiler-free. John Cusack plays a writer who has made a living out of writing books reviewing haunted places. This is a commercial gig for him but a departure from the style of writing he used to do, and he himself is a cynic when it comes to ghosts. He simply spends the night in these places, gets the history while recording his observations in a tape recorder, and then delivers what his readers want giving a top ten of the scariest lighthouses, graveyards, etc. He gets a scoop on a Haunted Hotel room '1408', in a posh New York Hotel called the 'Dolphin'. He is met by the Hotel Manager played by Samuel Jackson who tries to talk him out of staying there. He tells him of the room's history and all those who died there before (all suicides), including showing him police photographs of their bodies, and warns him that no one has lived more than an hour in that room. Cusack assumes this is the typical story offered up by hotel management in an attempt to sell the spook story since his books increase revenues at these places. Jackson even has a great one liner, when asked if he would describe the presence as ghosts, spirits, or specters, he replies, "Its an evil fucking room". The film takes off from the start, and for most of the rest of the movie, its just Cusack alone in the hotel room. You might be wondering, how exciting could that be, and what could possibly happen within the confines of a hotel room to keep one entertained for an entire movie, but from the moment he enters, you'll be on the edge of your seat until the end. The occurences start out minor, with the radio turning on, and the toilet paper roll being changed, and mints being placed on the pillow, and Cusack shrugs it off. But then the window sill slams on his hand causing it to gush blood and the suddenly clock resets itself and starts counting down from one hour (the amount of time before a person dies in that room). Thats when he decides he's had enough and tries to get out, but he discovers there's no exit. He's trapped. From this point on, Cusack tries to escape from the room while he is terrorized in many different forms. He wonders if he's dreaming or hallucinating, and is never quite sure, but his fear is real. You are in the room with him, and you feel it. I was reminded of Bill Murray in GroundHog's Day where an eternity in Pucksatawney (sp?) causes him to commit suicide. Pucksatawney was heaven compared to room 1408. Cusack descends into the 9th circle of hell. At first you wonder what could drive people to kill themselves in that room, or if the room killed them making it seem like a suicide, but as the movie progresses, you start to feel how death may actually be preferrable to the constant terror of that room. Cusack has his own inner demons with a daughter who died of an illness and a wife he's separated from, and during the course of his stay in this room, he is confronted with these demons. His estranged wife even comes to the hotel when he contacts her via his laptop. The movie keeps you guessing from start to finish, and you never know if he will get out of the room or not, and when you think you've figured it out, you're wrong. Ultimately, its a great movie, with a good story, a lot of suspense, and a satisfying ending. Its been a long time since I went to the movie and was genuinely scared by a movie. This delivers on all counts. Great flick! Bobo_Vision
Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 16, 2007, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Cusack for first!

    by RKDN Del Sol

    vote now.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Hope I'm wrong, but...

    by Horace Cox

    Seems like they give away waaaaay too much in the trailer.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Uh, "spoiler free?"

    by nomihs

    Okay, now I will concede to the fact that there could have been more spoilers in this review, but this one is NOT completely void of spoilers as Bobo_Vision would have you believe from the start. Overall, sounds like a good movie. I really liked Cusack in Gross Point Blank and Identity, so seeing him do a take on a Stephen King character really sounds interesting. Sam Jackson, well I think that line of his was written just for him. I think anytime there is a "fuck" to be said in a film, Jackson is already delegated that line.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:30 a.m. CST

    I really hope it's good like he says is all I'll say

    by nopix

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:31 a.m. CST


    by TheAmazingMikeMac

    thanks bobo, i can't wait to see this

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:47 a.m. CST

    The number 1408

    by TheWumpus

    I really dug the short story that this is based on-- keeping my fingers crossed that the film is as good as the early reviews claim it is.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:58 a.m. CST

    This movie would be alot better

    by GunsForHands

    If Michael Bay Denis were directing

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Spoiler, free!

    by BannedOnTheRun

    I like how they reprint a bit from EW that Lynda Carter will guest star on Smallville and call that a spoiler. Spoiler... tomorrow night's host of SNL is...

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Subtle And Understated...

    by Grinning White Skull

    "Its an evil fucking room." Well, there goes all the sophisticated subtleness of the King short story. I had such high hope for this film. Sigh.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:43 a.m. CST

    I want to see a movie about an evil outhouse

    by mrfan

    That would be original.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:27 a.m. CST

    hmm, planning my vege garden, wonder what I'll PLANT!

    by Amy Chasing

    Only good Stephen King movie is Shawshank Redemption. About time they made another, but whether 1408 is it.. I'll believe it when I see it.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 5:46 a.m. CST

    When is this coming out?

    by Rogue_Leader

    Anytime soon? I am looking forward to it.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Is going from TBer to Plant a promotion or demotion?

    by chrth

    In the cosmic scales of life, I mean.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Dolphin Hotel

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Either King's a fan of Haruki Murakami and the hotel name is a fanboy acknowledgement; or King's running out of original ideas and he's scraping the bottom of the barrel. Either way, I'm glad the Dolphin isn't a Million Dollar Hotel. By the way Mori, that's the worst spoiler warning in the history of spoiler warnings.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Sam Jackson's potty mouth

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Sam needs his acting talents stretched and challenged; give him a script without swearing. The Coen Brothers could make it work -- who'd have guessed Steve Buscemi would be silent in The Big Lebowski? "Shut the fuck up, Donnie!". Sam needs a similar line. "Stop fucking swearing, Sam!"

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Hope it's great - the trailer seems to give away alot!

    by kinghenryVIII

    I hope there is so much friggin evil that the trailer couldn't holdit all cause the trailer it's self was pretty bad ass / creepy. I read the short story - loved it - so my hopes are high for a great King adaption ..... because, man, there has been some utter shit adap's for sooooo long. Dream Catcher was a farce beyond all farces, Maximum Overdrive - ugh - Emilio as the hero - kill me now. And how about at movie with the giant rat in the basement with the wool shredder? Dude, someone make Geralds Game - perfect adult mind fuck fest - Sharon Stone still has a hot - somewhat Frankenstiened body - handcuff that bitch to bed!

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST

    From a Buick 1408

    by durhay


  • Feb. 16, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Does the radio blast Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes'

    by Pound Sand

    or does it play "Sea of Love," by Robert PLANT?

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST


    by Guy Gaduois


  • Feb. 16, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST

    You had me until "he has his own inner demons"

    by FluffyUnbound

    Hollywood, do me a favor, and start making some stories about people who don't have inner demons unrelated to the plot. I'm sick of that "plot b" shit. I don't care if Stephen King is a great writer and you're just working from the short story, I'm all done with formulaic "...and he's a recovering alcoholic," or "...and his sister is going through a divorce and..." or "...and it reminds him of his son who died of cancer." Enough. End it.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Plant It Shill News

    by Ray Gamma

    Seriously though, I actually really do like the sound of this movie.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:02 p.m. CST

    i vouch for bobo

    by misnomer

    not being a plant- as I remember him bein on tb's. 1408- fuck man even the trailer gave me the creeps. DADDY DONT YOU LOVE ME ANYMORE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK! cool.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST

    guess I'd forgotten about Stand By Me, Flip63Hole..

    by Amy Chasing

    because of the utter crapness of: Dreamcatcher, Hearts In Atlantis, and the TV versions of Tommyknockers, IT, & The Stand. The Green Mile was well acted, but ultimately depressing. I've heard The Dead Zone makes a good show, but haven't watched it. <P> A friend of mine thinks The Shining is the greatest horror film ever made, and I love Kubrick, but it's the endings of Stephen King films that stuff it up for me. I'm usually entertained, sometimes really interested to see where the movie's going, and then in the end - it's a giant spider; or he dies because there's too much pain in the world to keep living; or having gotten through their ordeal, it's just over now: the end. <P> A good ending can raise an average film from being forgettable. But a good film can't fix a forgettable ending.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST


    by DonkeyTron

    I'm starting to warm up to that catchphrase.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:46 p.m. CST

    1408 rocks

    by BloodyUnderwear

    the story i was my favorite one in king's everything's eventual.i'm not sure how they'll pull off some of the creepy vibe,but the cast is cool.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Bobo may not be a plant

    by skimn

    but can he come up with a better phrase than "on the edge of your seat". Such a tired cliche for a thriller.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:24 p.m. CST


    by hooties mcboob

    Is that your best criticism of Bobo? A better phrase?? How do you know that Bobo wasn't sitting on the edge of his seat, which would make it an incredibly apt description. Its a friggin' review by an average dude watching a movie, not the poet laureate. I get so bored seeing such nitpicker posts.

  • Feb. 16, 2007, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Oh and Bobo...

    by hooties mcboob

    No offence by the 'average dude' comment. I'm sure you are very special.

  • Feb. 17, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST


    by CorpseRide

    Kudos for 'Hardboiled Wonderland' for beating me to it, but yeah.... Haruki Murakami used a "Dolphin Hotel" (that changes form, and seems to exist partly in a dreamworld) in two of his novels. I'm guessing homage by King, but who knows? Neil Gaiman also used that name for a hotel in "Anansi Boys" but again, I'm guessing Murakami homage. Everyone loves Murkami. 'The Wind-up Bird Chronicle' f*cking ROCKS.