Thursday, December 6, 2007

Review: 1408

Cusack's new one man dance show wasn't doing as well as he'd hoped


Dir by:Mikael Håfström

Starring: John Cu

The Gist: Jaded writer Mike Enslin writes about the paranormal he doesn't believe in. Like all King characters he grapples with personal tragedy as well. Everything in his life is thrown into stark unreality when he checks into room 1408, where many have died. His pessimism doesn't last as he is faced with the truth of not only his own demons but those of the dead.

1408 has just hit cinemas here in Australia. I just heard a collective gasp from my US readers...yes it's on DVD there. That's the sad thing about living in Australia when you love movies...waiting. The good thing is, it was worth the wait!

As most of you probably know by now, 1 in say every 10 Stephen King stories translate to the big screen reasonably well. We all love the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Shining, Carrie and Stand By Me...but do you remember Dreamcatcher and all those sequels, especially Children of the Corn...what did they get up to...56?

1408 is based on a short story and while this is at times obvious in the film (with fillers and more fillers) it's not too distracting. Cusack plays his character well, pulling back a tad on his normal movie persona (he's not exactly well known for his character acting). A cameo by Samuel L. Jackson, who is also less 'Jackson-like', adds to the depth of the story. (He does however manage to slip in his classic 3 no's and the word ass)

I watched 1408 with my gal pal VHS_Girl and she seemed to think it wasn't that scary. Meanwhile I was hiding under the covers until I finally fell asleep that night. I guess it depends on who you are, but I know 1408 will touch some people differently than others. Your imagination might run a bit wilder than some, and if you're that type then you will get scared. You don't have to be a King fan for this to occur or to enjoy the film.

What do you think...time for a face lift?

The sinking sensation you get during 1408 lasts through the entire viewing and you start to really feel for the lead character. Is he truly a victim of evil specters or is he just a depressed lunatic? This might make you wonder a bit about the author himself, but then again Stephen King never denies that a part of him is in everything he writes.

Love him or hate him, Stephen King is a master of the eerie, and you won't be disappointed with 1408 if that's what you're after. The direction of the film was slightly clunky, but for the most part it didn't distract from the story. The extreme sorrow of loss mingled with depression and ultimate horror is a good recipe and the finished product here is not an Iron Chef masterpiece but it is quite tasty.

1408 gets 3/5 Scares from me and is not only a must see thriller for King fans, but for anyone who enjoys a good fright or ghost story. Leave the kids at home for this one! See it at night for atmosphere.

No comments: