Monday, September 24, 2007

1408 - 1406 reasons not to bother

I'm not a horror-movie fan. I never was and I never will be. The people in them tend to be more stupid than the average person to completely unrealistic proportions. Take this Mike Enslin (John Cusack) for instance. A skeptic and author who debunks supernatural occurrences.

After his latest successful book, Enslin receives an anonymous postcard of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City bearing the message "don't enter 1408." Viewing this as a challenge, he attempts to book a reservation in room 1408, but the hotel will not rent him the room. However that won't deter him, after some legal wrangling he arrives at the Dolphin but is pulled aside by the hotel's manager Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), who warns him that no one has lasted more than an hour in 1408. Olin offers Enslin an upgrade to the penthouse suite, access to documents regarding the deaths in 1408, and an $800 bottle of cognac. Enslin accepts the documents and the cognac but insists on staying in the room. Olin gives him the key, warning him that "It's an EVIL fucking room."

Okay when Sam Jackson invades your personal space, stares you in the face and says "It's an EVIL fucking room," you should leave the hotel and never come back. But as I said, horror-movie characters are immensely stupid and Enslin goes into 1408 and experiences all sorts of supposedly spooky shit. Note the use of "supposedly". While the SFX are rather good, there's most disappointingly almost no blood or gore. This is a "psychological horror" a genre of movie so banal it would drive you to sleep (which I probably would have if it was later in the evening and the cinema sound wasn't so loud).

Verdict: The director isn't too competent, Cusack is nowhere near his performances in Con Air or Grosse Pointe Blank, so practically the only good thing in this movie is Sam Jackson who is unfortunately only on screen for a few minutes. Without him (and the good SFX) I'd have classed this is a waste of time and money.

Colonel Creedon Rating: *1/2

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