Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I love this story, I love this cast and I love that the early word on this flick is positive. We've got two more reviews for you, fairly spoiler-free. I can't wait to see this flick!
hi aicners, i just came from a screening of 1408 down around union square. first let me start off by saying the line was a bit of a clusterfuck. they had two screenings, one at 7pm another at 7.45pm and only ONE line. so the people running this shindig took a long time to go through everyone's pass to see if they should be admitted early, or if they should just stand still and wait wait wait. finally they got it into their brains to separate the lines based on the time on your pass and after that all went smoothly and i got a kickass seat in the front third of the theatre, dead center. good for me. i was a bit hesitant about this movie, as i am with all stephen king adaptations. i love the man's books. he's by far my favorite story teller (although my favorite writer is the recently deceased Kurt Vonnegut). as we all know many of king's adaptations have turned into big steaming piles of sweet smelling horse turds. no matter the quality of the directors, writers or actors in the production, something that is the essence of a stephen king story is somehow omitted and the resulting film is lacking. usually his novels are so dense in character development that no movie could do those characters justice when the filmmakers are out for the cheap scare. this maybe be why king's short stories have the potential to make better adaptations than his novels. his short stories are obviously terse plot driven pieces that don't linger too much on the inner thoughts of the characters and instead get right into the action. a brief synopsis - cusak plays a guy who writes about haunted hotels and cemeteries and investigates the paranormal activity of room 1408 in the Dolphin hotel. this room has claimed 60something lives in its history. cusak thinks its all bs and boy does he find out the hard way that its not. i'm happy to say that 1408 does a good job of telling a taut, scary story, while having some good character development. even though cusak and sam the man jackson were cast in this story, i was not sold on their being able to pull it off. happily they each did what they had to do. cusak balanced his cynicism, pathos, and humor very well. i think he went through a greater range of emotions in than in anything other i can think of in his recent body of work. sam jackson was only in the movie for maybe 8 minutes, but those few minutes he was definitely on. his duty in the movie is to dissuade cusak from checking in, but of course he fails to do so (if he did this would have been a very boring 15 minute movie). once cusak gets settled into the room, this movie gets going in a very exciting, scary way. i will not give any spoilers, but gentlemen, this is a perfect date movie. there are about 5 good scares that will have your woman jumping into your lap. the audience was completely into this and people laughed and screamed together in unison at all the right places. the visuals were crisp but not showey. the music was not memorable at all (it may have been a temp soundtrack but i don't think so) but it was effective in seting the atmosphere and the scares. while nothing technically calls attention to itself, this is an overall solid production with good acting and thankfully good scares and a bit of sadness. highly recommended to stephen king fans and non-fans alike. if you like a good scare, go see it.
This one is even more positive!
Hi Harry, Last night I caught a screening of the new John Cusack movie, 1408. I will attempt to keep this as spoiler-free as possible because I think this is a movie that plays best when it surprises you. Now, I haven’t read the short story in quite some time but the writer seems to have taken the core elements of the story and made a really fleshed out movie. The plot is simple enough; John Cusack’s character, Mike Enslin, is a writer who specializes in writing second-rate haunted house guides. He finds supposedly haunted places and spends the night, afterward compiling his thoughts into books. One day he gets a post card telling him to avoid room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel in NY. Of course he can’t avoid it and so the real story begins when he steps in the room. Cusack’s character has some subtext in the movie surrounding his dead daughter, estranged wife, and his father. The movie introduces these topics without spending a whole lot of time feeding it to you. After the screening some people thought that there needed to be more explanation. Personally, I think that the only reason they needed more exposition was because they are used to having every plot point shoved down their throat. It was nice for a movie to actually give its audience some credit. Anyway, the events in Enslin’s life provide a lot of the emotional impact in the second half of the movie. It was great to have a horror/suspense film with a real character and some actual character development. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of humor in the movie. The first third was quite funny and the even once the room starts messing with Enslin they keep some humor going. I guess this is a good time to mention Samuel L. He has roughly 10 minutes of screen time in the whole movie. He plays the manager of the Dolphin and tries to convince Enslin not to stay in 1408. He is quite good in his part, and has one particularly great line. A lot of people at the screening were upset that there was not more of him in the movie, but he really wasn’t needed. This is Cusack’s show from beginning to end and he nails it. Cusack is on the screen 95% of the movie and his performance is critical to its success. He really makes you feel for Enslin. When he knows that he is in some deep shit I could actually feel his panic. He hits all the marks: terror, laughter, hysteria, grief, love, and the fuck you I’m not taking anymore of this. Now this is a horror/suspense movie, so how are the scares? They’re great! The first scare had the entire audience screaming. There are enough scares to keep it going, but the room also deals out a lot of mind-fucking and emotional-fucking to go with it. By the time the room is done with Enslin you understand why so many people have died in it. This movie is definitely worth watching and I will certainly see it again when it opens. The audience I saw it with loved it. There are some pacing issues at one point, but enough people in the focus group commented on it that it might get changed. Otherwise it was a great suspense movie along the lines of Identity. Chaginxin