My "1408" Review: Best Psychological Horror Movie in Years?

I won't even try to hide it...I really enjoyed 1408. No, it's not a terribly original movie and no it isn't the best produced movie I've seen. Yet, the sheer premise and acting make the movie entertaining and probably one of the best horror films I've seen in recent years.

The film starts out simple enough. John Cusack plays a horror book author whose popularity is one the decline. Ironically, his inspiration for this stories are from real life haunted house visits which he does in hopes of actually encountering a real-life paranormal phenomenon. However, he is disappointed by the fact that in his many years of trying, he has yet to experience anything resembling a real ghost or an actual hunted house. Later, he hears word of yet another haunted location at a NY hotel in room 1408. After demanding to stay in the room despite being warned not to many times, he will soon realize that 1408 was the real haunting story he has been searching for all those years.

What makes this film work is that it doesn't take itself too seriously nor does it put on any airs. John Cusack's character is one to which many in the audience can actually relate. People want to believe that ghosts are real as the thought is exciting, but the reality is that most people feel indifferent with horror movies as a result of their unbelievable stories. But in 1408, Cusack is an extension of the audience where he (like you usually) spends most of the movie attempting to disprove the "hauntings" going on around him. His acting is great combining realism, sheer fright, and undeniable humor (there are many laugh at loud moments in the film). When the weird things starts happening in the room, you (like Cusack) will be wracking your brain to figure out if it is real or not. By the end of the movie, you WILL be very uneasy. The psychological horror in this film is among the highest I've experienced. The experiences that Cusack goes through are tangible and seemingly grounded in reality, which is what makes the horror in this film grab you. This was the only time I can remember me praying that I will never have to experience anything like that in my life as I was leaving the theater. If you ever wondered what HELL could be like, check this film out.

Overall, this film is a sleeper hit for 2007. Samuel L. Jackson was OK in this film but an actor with his credits is definitely not needed for this role. Cusack really made the film work and the visual style adds much to the realism of the environment. If you like mind games and psychological horror films from the likes of Hitchcock, you will enjoy this film.

Highly Recommended!

Comments

  1. Nice review...makes me want to see this movie. The premise, as well as the combination of Cusak and Sam Jackson, intrigues me. Cusak works well with big name actors such as he did with Gene Hackman in "The Juror" and Ray Liotta in "Identity". He's a crafty scene stealer.

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