At first I must warn you – if you are looking for a good visual scare this will film definitely disappoint you. However, if you want to watch a well-structured thriller based on a bestseller written by Stephen King you have come to the right place.
I surely wouldn’t categorize this movie as a horror, because it isn’t as much about scaring the audience, as it is about presenting an insight into the darkest parts of a human mind. The fear accumulating in the picture is expected to come from the protagonist, not from the viewer. That is probably why people are often misjudging the whole idea of this highly intelligent plot.
A fearless writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack’s great role), who specializes in debunking myths about various ghost-houses around the world, is sent to a seemingly regular Dolphin Hotel in New York to write another one of his stories. After acquiring information about the infamous room 1408, where several people had died throughout the years, he sends himself on a mission to clear the paranormal paranoia that surrounds this peculiar place. After ignoring all the warnings from the Hotel’s manager (played by Samuel L. Jackson) he finally arrives in the room. Even though at first it seems that this is just another one of those tales created by some attention seekers, strange events start taking place. Writer’s skepticism begins to fade away as he unravels more and more mysterious happenings occurring in 1408 (flood coming out of a painting on a high floor of a hotel? You got it).
Here I would like to specify that the events I’m talking about aren’t just some easy-to-explain creations, designed by human hands. Mike certainly wouldn’t fall for that, he is just too experienced. These strange tools of fear are developed by his mind, and through his own life stories. How else would you explain the fact that his late father and daughter suddenly appear inside the Hotel? His deepest and most intimate memories materialize in order to mess with his mind at an enormous pace. Unfortunately, there is no escape now. The door is closed. The phone isn’t working. The clock is ticking. It seems that the room disappeared from the material world. The only person that he may be able to rely on is Lily, his wife, with whom he didn’t have contact since the death of their daughter. She may be the key to his freedom…
At one point in time you are sure that he somehow managed to escape, only to discover a few minutes later that this bizarre journey is about to start all over again. Has Mike lost his mind? Definitely. Even the toughest adventure hunters have their limits. What he saw in this hell of a place exceeded all his expectations. And it will exceed yours too. It will play with your emotions and make you realize that every one of us has that certain part of life that he would prefer to be long forgotten.