1408 – 8/10

A cynical author begins a terrifying ordeal when investigating a haunted hotel room…


Based on the ‘other’ Stephen King book about hotels! This being a King adaptation it is extraordinarily psychologically nasty and unpleasant but it never feels gratuitous. Director Mikael Håfström does a good job in getting maximum scares from essentially a one room set up but it is King’s story that captivates. The first time I watched this at the cinema, the whole room was gripped in terror but I must admit 1408 loses a lot of its power on repeated viewings. It is still creepy and shocking the third time round however and John Cusack is perfect, bringing to mind another career best performance in Identity.

Cusack inspires sympathy and also likeability for a selfish, cocky character which is impressive. Samuel L. is also very good in a toned down role as the hotel manager. 1408 is a mind bending, roller coaster ride that shows that you do not need blood and guts to make a scary movie. Certainly one of the best English speaking horror movies of the last ten years.

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