Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Okay, this is going to be a quick one. Not because I’m particularly short on time, but rather because there’s not a whole hell of a lot to say. 1408 has the slightest gossamer framework of a plot, is extremely sparse on character interaction, and I could actually pretty much sum up every major plot element in one hundred words or less. It is not, even in its wildest dreams, anything resembling a complicated film. Room 1408 is said to be haunted. Skeptic goes into room 1408. Shit happens. Oh, yeah, and there’s a prolonged scene of Sam Jackson calmly telling our batshit crazy whiteboy skeptic about a hundred different reasons why he shouldn’t go in there.
And yet, despite its simplicity, 1408 is the scariest fucking movie I’ve seen in years. Not disturbing. Not deranged. Not bloody or over the top. Scary. Fucking Scary.
Let’s face it. When it comes to horror, I am one jaded motherfucker. The Ring was the last real movie that creeped me out so badly that I suffered a nightmare immediately after. The concept just messed with me. And while I’ve seen a number of creepy films since then, nothing made me curl up in my chair, jump in my seat and feel genuinely scared like a little bitch in grade school like this did.
No, this film is nowhere near perfect. There’s a pair of questionable sequences, one of which tears any rational person right out of the movie and forces you figure out and ultimately await the inevitable. No, bullshit. They aren’t gonna end it like this. If they end it like this I will be so fuc…Oh, right on. Then the movie resumes and everything gets back on track.
But what the movie has in spades is mood. Everything is creepy. So creepy that when some of the ghostly occurrences turn out to be clichéd and overdone - even if you count Stephen King works alone - you still forgive it as you’re too on edge of your seat to laugh about it. Besides, there're so many original set pieces, backed up by a genuinely haunting backstory, that these moments feel very much like they belong within the history of this cursed room. And John Cusack gives such a performance that you don’t mind at all that he actually spends almost a full hour just talking to himself and no one else. He sells the entire experience and never sounds silly or needlessly rambling.
And dear Morgan Freeman, who would have thought that the Carpenter’s We’ve Only Just Begun could chill you to the very bone (and not in a pop culture shiver kind of way?)
No, if you’re the type of person who gets excited and wants to buy your ticket the moment you hear someone found it SCARY, then odds are you’re not going to be disappointed. You won’t think it’s perfect and I doubt it will make anyones top 10 list. But you’ll get creeped out. You’ll jump. You might even cover your eyes. And you’ll have a hell of a lot of fun. I sure did. And I can’t wait to take my wife so I can see it again this weekend. This one comes Highly Recommended for anyone who enjoys the thrill of a truly well constructed piece of moody horror - or just likes to be scared.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.
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