Here’s another review of 1408 (2007). This time by Tim of FilmFunkel. Tnx Tim!
1408 has all the best qualities of a modern classic ghost story.
Jaded paranormal author Mike Enslin (John Cusack) travels to, and publishes reviews of, various haunted places. When he lost his little girl to a tragic disease, he lost his wife, faith in God, and belief in anything on the other side.
He smirks at the challenge to visit a hotel with a haunted room. Through they resist, beg, and bribe; the hotel legally must let him check in. Within minutes, the hard-headed skeptic is panicking to get out, but it’s too late.
It’s clear the evil in the room isn’t going to kill him, but also spares no effort in recommending suicide.
1408 certainly offers humanity facing evil, plenty of scares to thrill and frighten. What’s remarkable is the way in which 1408 explores horror and death. Mike has endured a tragic loss, but in a selfish, destructive manner.
The room makes him face the worst horror by showing Mike who he’s become. Early on, in trying to escape, Mike flags a man across the street in another room only to discover it’s a reflection of himself.
The room amplifies all the stages of unresolved grief and bitterness. Anyone lost in heated anger, walled in, frigid and distant, on a ledge, adrift, drowning, life in shambles, will catch the visual metaphors of real pain and horror.
However you interpret it – it’s still a very cool ghost story and Samuel L Jackson restraining his profound urge to scream at Cusack is cinematic gold.