For anyone who doesn’t know the story line (don’t worry, no spoilers here!) John Cusak plays Michael Enslin, a writer who cranks out "Top 10" books along the lines of "Top 10 Creepiest Cemeteries" or "Top 10 Most Haunted Houses", that sort of thing. But he doesn’t believe in any of it. He wants to, make no mistake. He very much wants to believe. He has a vested interest, as it were. But nothing has ever happened in any of the allegedly haunted places he has visited to convince him otherwise.
But one day, he gets a postcard in the mail front the Dolphin Hotel in New York City. The only message is "Don’t enter 1408". Well, Mr. Enslin is a quick, cynical study. He quickly does the math (literally) and figures out that the numbers 1-4-0-8 add up to 13. He figures it’s a hoax, but calls the hotel nevertheless to make a reservation. He is informed that the room is unavailable, even before he gives the date he wishes to stay in it! Needless to say, he is intrigued. So, he calls his publisher, who contacts the lawyer, who finds out that there is some sort of federal law that guarantees his right to stay in the room, provided it has not already been rented out to someone else.
So, Mr. Enslin goes to New York City, where we discover he has a history with someone named Lily, whom he does not intend to contact during his brief stay. He accepts the $800 bottle of Cognac from the manager of the Dolphin Hotel, played by Samuel L. Jackson. But he still demands to stay in the room. Once inside the room, he is initially disappointed by it’s typical hotel-room appearance. But it doesn’t take long before the room makes itself known on a much more personal level, and the action really picks up.
I won’t give any more detail at this point, except to say that we find out who Lily is. The movie has a ton of jump scenes, but not a whole lot of gore, and not too much language. It is, more than anything, a psychological thriller. Gaylon and I were happily impressed with the movie as a whole, and particularly with the ending.
It has been a long time since I’ve bothered to go see the Summer Horror Movie. In fact, the last Summer Horror Movie I went to see was the first Friday the 13th! (1980??) So, it’s been a while, but the wait was certainly worth it! And John Cusak, as always, does not disappoint. 1408 is a must see!