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1408

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mikael Håfström
Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Written by Screenplay:
Matt Greenberg
Scott Alexander
Larry Karaszewski

Short story:
Stephen King
Starring John Cusack
Samuel L. Jackson
Mary McCormack
Music by Gabriel Yared
Cinematography Beno√ģt Delhomme
Editing by Peter Boyle
Distributed by USA
Dimension Films
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
UK, Latin America
Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) U.S.: June 22, 2007
UK: August 31, 2007
U.S.: October 2, 2007 (DVD)
Running time 106 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22,200,000 (estimated)[1]
Gross revenue $130,000,000

1408 is a 2007 horror film based on the Stephen King short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Håfström, who earlier had directed the horror film Drowning Ghost. The cast includes John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mary McCormack. The film was released in the U.S. on June 22, 2007, although July 13 (a Friday the 13th) is mentioned as the release date in the trailer posted on the website.

The film follows Mike Enslin (Cusack), an author who specializes in the horror genre. Enslin's career is essentially based on investigating allegedly haunted houses, although his repeatedly unfruitful studies have left him disillusioned and pessimistic. Through an anonymous warning (via postcard), Enslin eventually learns of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City, which houses the infamous "Room 1408". Interested yet skeptical, Enslin decides to spend one night in the hotel although manager Olin (Jackson) warns him strongly against it. Enslin encounters a series of bizarre experiences in the room.

Contents

Synopsis

Mike Enslin is a skeptic and author who writes books confirming and rating supernatural vacation spots (such as haunted inns) despite his knowing they are fake after the death of his daughter Katie. After his latest book, he receives an anonymous postcard of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City bearing the message "don't enter 1408". Viewing this as a challenge, Enslin attempts to book a reservation for room 1408, but the hotel will not rent him the room. However, after being informed by Enslin's agent, Sam Farrell, that the Fair Housing Act requires hotels to rent unoccupied rooms, the Dolphin reluctantly reserves room 1408 for Enslin.

Arriving at the Dolphin, Enslin 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 if Enslin would abandon his plan to stay at 1408. Enslin accepts the documents and the cognac but insists on staying in the room, frustrating Olin. The manager gives him the key, warning him that "it's an evil fucking room".

Once inside the room, Enslin pulls out his Mini Cassette recorder and dictates on the unremarkability of room 1408. As he examines the room, the radio suddenly starts blaring "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters, initially thinking it is just a gag cooked up by Olin. Later, Enslin is startled again as the clock radio begins to play the same song. When he turns the clock off the display flickers and changes to read "60:00", then starts counting down from 60 minutes. Suddenly, Enslin is unable to hear anything, apart from a tinnitus-like ringing in his ears, and opens the window to check his hearing; the window slams down, cutting a large gash in the top of his hand. He rushes to the bathroom to wash the wound in the sink, but the water suddenly becomes boiling hot and damages his wound even further. His hearing quickly returns and he bandages his hand using a bandana from his bag. Wishing to go to a hospital, Enslin attempts to leave the room; however his key breaks off in the door. He still manages to unlock the door, but then the doorknob falls off, trapping him inside 1408.

Enslin begins to see and hear things, including visions of his daughter's time in the hospital shortly before her death, but he initially dismisses them as hallucinations. Among one of these strange visions is a face-to-face encounter with his own father, who tells him, "As I was, you are. As I am, you will be", a quote attributed to the Roman poet Horace regarding death. He makes several attempts to free himself from the room such as crawling through the air vents, where he is seen being chased by a mummified body (one of 1408's earlier victims), or trying to crawl outside on the ledge to the next room, but all end in failure. He manages to contact his estranged wife Lily by video chat, but the conversation ends abruptly when the sprinkler system shorts out his laptop. All the while the room temperature drops, eventually to subzero temperatures. However, his laptop starts working again and he hears Lily calling out to him by video chat, but a doppelgänger of him hijacks the conversation, urging Lily to come the hotel immediately and enter room 1408. As a panicked Enslin watches this conversation end, the doppelgänger looks at him directly and winks. The room begins to shake violently and the interior cracks and explodes as water fills the room, pulling Enslin under the surface.

Enslin wakes up on the beach, the result of an earlier surfing accident that is depicted earlier in the film when he became unconscious. He soon finds Lily at his bedside in the hospital near his home in Los Angeles. She tells him that he was hospitalized after sustaining a concussion. He immediately writes a novel on his experience in 1408 and goes to mail it. This reprieve is short-lived, however, when at the post office a construction crew made up of hotel staff and guests begin to destroy the interior, revealing the walls and floor of 1408 underneath, now fire gutted, and finding himself still trapped in the room. There is a small inscription on the wall visible from the window, reading Burn Me Alive. Enslin then encounters his dead daughter, alive, but dying again, and crumbling to dust as the clock radio's countdown approaches zero; when it finally reaches zero the room changes back to its original, undamaged appearance.

The clock radio resets for another 60 minutes and the phone rings; when Enslin answers, he asks "Why don't you just kill me?" the friendly female voice of the hotel operator informs him that he can relive the hour "again and again" or choose to take advantage of their "express checkout system". A hangman's knot appears in the bedroom and Enslin has a vision of him hanging himself; he tells the operator that he will not be checking out that way. The phone rings again, and the operator reminds him that his wife will be arriving in five minutes and will be sent right up to his room. He responds he is through arguing and is going to end the experience.

Turning the cognac he got earlier from Olin into a Molotov Cocktail, Enslin sets the room on fire, causing the hotel to be evacuated. Lily, who just arrives after she had been summoned by Enslin, is stopped from entering the hotel, but tells the firefighters that Enslin is in 1408. Enslin throws an ashtray through the room's windows, intentionally causing a backdraft to overtake the room just seconds before firefighters batter down the door. They get him out and, though burned, Enslin is told that he will be all right. Enslin attempts to tell the firefighters not to enter the room, as it is "evil". The next shot is a smiling Olin seated in his office, smoking a cigar saying "Well done, Mr. Enslin".

Enslin recovers in a New York hospital, Lily at his bedside. He swears that he saw Katie, but Lily refuses to believe him. After his recovery Enslin moves back in with Lily, beginning work on a new novel about his stay in 1408. While sorting through a box of items from his night in 1408 that Lily wants to discard, Enslin comes across his Mini Cassette recorder. After some difficulty he manages to get the tape to play; it begins with Enslin's dictation of 1408's appearance, but cuts in with audio from his interaction with the apparition of his daughter while Lily standing by him dropping a box she was holding from the shock of hearing Katie's voice on the Mini Cassette recorder and the scene end with Enslin staring at Lily's face.

Alternative ending

Director Mikael Håfström has stated that the ending for 1408 was reshot because test audiences felt that the original ending was too much of a "downer".[2] The original ending, available on the two-disc collector's edition, sees the backdraft engulfing the room as Enslin hides under the table, happy to see the room destroyed as he dies. During Enslin's funeral, Olin approaches Lily and Enslin's agent where he unsuccessfully attempts to give her a box of Enslin's possessions including the tape recorder. Going back to his car, Olin listens to the recording in his car, becoming visibly upset when he hears Katie's voice on the tape. He looks in the car mirror and imagines seeing a glimpse of Enslin's burnt corpse in the backseat. Having heard and seen enough, Olin places the tape recorder back in the box and drives off.

The film ends at the gutted room, with an apparition of Enslin looking out the window and smoking a cigarette. He hears his daughter calling his name, and disappears as he walks towards the room's door. A sound of a door closing is heard and the screen blacks out. Canadian networks Space and The Movie Network broadcast this version of the film. The UK single DVD also uses this ending.

Cast

Production

In November 2003 and 2004, Dimension Films optioned the rights to the 1999 short story "1408" by Stephen King. The studio hired screenwriter Matt Greenberg to adapt the story into a screenplay.[3] In October 2005, Mikael Håfström was hired to direct 1408, with the screenplay being rewritten by screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.[4] In March 2006, actor John Cusack was cast to star in the film,[5] joined by actor Samuel L. Jackson the following April.[6] In July, actress Kate Walsh was cast to star opposite Cusack as the protagonist's ex-wife,[7] but she was forced to exit in August due to scheduling conflicts with her role on Grey's Anatomy. She was replaced by actress Mary McCormack.[8] The Hotel Pennsylvania was used for many of the interior and room shots for the film. According to John Cusack, the Roosevelt Hotel in New York was used for some of the exterior shots of the Dolphin.[9]

Reception

1408 opened on June 22, 2007 to generally positive reviews. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 78% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 154 reviews.[10] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 64 out of 100, based on 27 reviews.[11]

James Berardinelli awarded the film three stars out of four, praising it as "the best horror film of the year". He offered significant praise for Cusack's performance as Mike Enslin, writing that "this is John Cusack's movie to carry, and he has no problem taking it where it needs to go". He found the film to be a refreshing experience, believing it "reminds us what it's like to be scared in a theater rather than overwhelmed by buckets of blood and gore".[12] Many critics believed the film to be far superior to other adaptations of Stephen King novels and stories. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a very positive review, describing the film as "one of the good Stephen King adaptations, one that maintains its author's sly sense of humor and satiric view of human nature". He ultimately believed the film to be a "more genuinely scary movie than most horror films".[13]

Several critics, however, found the film to be underwhelming. Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote a mixed review, describing the film as "a lot of consonants and no vowels". He went on to compare the film unfavorably to The Shining, a similar King adaptation, believing 1408 lacked that film's "lunging horror and dramatic architecture". Although he believed the film "conjures a wonderful anticipatory mood of dread in the first 30 minutes", he ultimately believed the film "then blows it to stylish smithereens".[14] Rob Salem of the Toronto Star awarded the film two stars out of four, believing it to be a predictable, "hit and miss" production. Like Morris, Salem wrote that "Even as haunted hotel King movies go, 1408 is certainly no Shining. Not even the TV-movie version."[15]

Box office performance

In its opening weekend, the film opened in second place at the box office, grossing $20.6 million in 2,678 theaters.[16] 1408 had a production budget of $25 million.[17] The film went on to gross $71.9 million in the United States and Canada.[17] The film has not been as successful in other territories, grossing $58.8 million with a worldwide gross of $132 million.[17] It was The Weinstein Company's last box-office hit until Inglourious Basterds two years later.

Home media

The DVD was released in October 2007 with a standard 1-disc edition (widescreen or fullscreen), and a 2-Disc Special Edition with an alternate ending and minutes more of the film.

See also

References

  1. ^ Box Office Mojo (2003-11-05). "1408". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=1408.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  2. ^ http://www.cinemablend.com/dvdnews/Advance-Hint-At-1408-DVD-Contents-4676.html Advance Hint At 1408 DVD Contents - DVD News
  3. ^ David Rooney (2003-11-05). "Dimension checking into room '1408'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117895189.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  4. ^ "Hafstrom to direct '1408'". Variety. 2005-10-25. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117931616.html?cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  5. ^ Ian Mohr (2006-03-08). "Cusack finds a room in King's '1408'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117939468.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  6. ^ Michael Fleming (2006-04-03). "'1408' gets another guest". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117940923.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  7. ^ Ian Mohr (2006-07-11). "Walsh's room is '1408'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117946620.html?categoryid=1238&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  8. ^ Ian Mohr (2006-08-13). "'1408' books a new tenant". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117948401.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  9. ^ Fandango Summer Movies - Movie Tickets and Theatre Showtimes
  10. ^ "1408 - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1408/. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  11. ^ "1408 (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/1408. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  12. ^ Review: 1408
  13. ^ Checkout time? Much sooner than you think
  14. ^ 1408 Movie Review - 1408 Movie Trailer - The Boston Globe
  15. ^ TheStar.com | entertainment | '1408': Hoary movie
  16. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for June 22-24, 2007". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2007&wknd=25&p=.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  17. ^ a b c "1408 (2007)". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=1408.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

1408 (2007) is a horror film based on a Stephen King short story of the same name. Swedish film Mikael Håfström is the director. The cast is John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Mary McCormack. The film was released in the US on 22 June 2007.

Contents

Mike Enslin

  • [After turning on the lights upon entering Room 1408] This is it?
  • Hotel rooms are a naturally creepy place.
  • It does have the vague air of menace.
  • Let's Encyclopedia Brown this bitch.
  • It's not that what I'm seeing is not real. It just ain't as real as it seems.
  • [speaking into his recorder as he goes out on the ledge, trying to escape the room] If something should happen, if I should slip and fall, I want it known it was an accident. The room did not win.
  • [before throwing the ashtray through the window, thereby letting the room explode] On the shiver scale, I give the Dolphin Hotel... ten skulls.
  • [speaking nonchalantly to the ghoulish apparation in the vents as the room burns] Ah, shut up you ugly bastard....

Mr. Olin

  • It's an evil fucking room.
  • I warned you about 1408.
  • Look, I'm not telling you not to stay in that room for your own good or for the profit of the hotel. Frankly, selfishly, I just don't want to clean up the mess.

Lily Enslin

  • I called the cops. They're in Room 1408. The room is empty.

Other

  • Postcard: Don't enter 1408.
  • Workman: I ain't going in that room.
  • Radio: We've only just begun. [Song by The Carpenters played on the clock radio, whenever it comes on.]
  • Hotel operator: All guests get to relive this hour over again. If you wish, feel free to use our express check out service. (Camera pans out to reveal a noose hanging from the ceiling.)
  • The Room: Five, this is five.Ignore the sirens.Even if you leave this room. You can never leave this room. Eight, this is eight, we have killed your friends. Every friend is now dead.

Dialogue

Fan: So you're saying there's no such things as ghosts.
Mike: I'm saying I've never seen one. Nothing would make me happier than to experience a paranormal event.

Hotel operator: That room is not available.
Mike: ...I didn't tell you which date.

Mr. Olin: During your investigation did you discover the twenty-two natural deaths that have occurred in 1408?
Mike Enslin: Natural deaths?

Mr. Olin: All told, in the ninety-five years of the hotel's existence there have been fifty-six deaths in Room 1408.
Mike Enslin: Fifty-six? You're shitting me.

Mike: You're not going anywhere. You're staying here with us.
Katie: Daddy, everyone dies.

Mr. Olin: A few years ago a young maid from El Salvador found herself locked in the bathroom. She was only there for a few moments, but when we pulled her out she was...
Mike Enslin: [sarcastically] She was dead?
Mr. Olin: No. Blind. She had taken a pair of scissors and gouged her eyes out. She was laughing hysterically.

Mike Enslin: Why don't you just kill me?
Room 1408: Because all guests of this hotel enjoy free will, Mr. Enslin.

Mike Enslin: [Olin gives Enslin the room key] Most hotels have switched to magnetics. An actual key. That's a nice touch, it's antique.
Mr. Olin: We have magnetic cards also, but electronics don't seem to work in 1408. Hope you don't have a pacemaker.
Mike Enslin: [into his tape recorder] General manager claims that the phantom in room interferes...
Mr. Olin: I have never used the word "phantom."
Mike Enslin: Oh, I'm sorry. Uh, spirit? Specter?
Mr. Olin: No, you misunderstand. Whatever's in 1408 is nothing like that.
Mike Enslin: Then what is it?
Mr. Olin: It's an evil fucking room.

Quotes about 1408

Cast

External links

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