[mini] Movie Review: 1408
So last Thursday I went to see this movie partly because I was forced to and there was something burning inside me to see what this movie was all about. Needless to say, I did end up getting that burning sensation at the end… and it wasn’t due to the nachos and jalapeños with cheese that I consumed during the movie!
Are you a fan of Stephen King’s horror stories? I’ll admit, they are weird and scary at the same time, but 1408 didn’t seem to satisfy my horror hunger. The movie is about a ghost-story author and skeptic (Enslin) who wants to debunk the supernatural haunting of room 1408 in a New York hotel. He is warned by the hotel manager of the room’s evil and maddening effects on it’s victims and their ultimate demise. However, Enslin gets his way and starts his observations in the room. At first, everything seems normal, but strange things begin to happen: there is something hiding in the overhead ducts, objects are replaced when moved, the room is mysteriously locked so that he can not get out and even if he wanted to he would have to leap 14 floors through the window, the desk clerk doesn’t respond to his pleas for help and horrific visions are extremely vivid. No one comes to his rescue because no one wants to have anything to do with that room. Furthermore, it appears as if he has entered another dimension where an evil presence is using Enslin’s own past of a selfish father to scare and hurt him, both physically and emotionally. He survives the hellish 60 minutes but not before being chased by a zhombie in the duct system, a masked phantom that chases him with a weapon, a bleeding wall, etc. When he thinks he is out of it as if the whole thing was just a dream he is plunged right back into room 1408, but he manages to hold on to his saneness when he returns, contacts his wife and starts a fire. Fortunately, he is rescued by firemen and taken to the hospital and later recovers to join his wife with whom he was once separated from.
‘1408’ had a happy ending overall: Enslin escaped the room alive and was even able to convince his wife of his vision of the ghost of their deceased young daughter. What made ‘1408’ scary was not the monsters and blood; as a matter of fact these were minimal. The movie played on scare tactics that startled and played on some down-to-earth natural human fears such as losing one’s senses, being locked in room that you couldn’t get out of, dynamic scenery all within a room. These were blended with a few supernatural accents that gave the movie it’s horror effect.
I wasn’t scared by what I saw. The movie creators could have added some ghouls or at least showed a materialized form of the evil presence. However, maybe this movie can be looked at as a thriller rather than horror. In this light things fit better and what was presented is satisfactory. Here we see a man whose life can only be changed for the better after a frightful experience in room 1408. For this I’ll give this movie a 7/10. It’s not something I would keep in my DVD collection though, but it’s worth a watch.