A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.
haunting hotel ghost horror survival violence mystery 13 writer haunted paranormal activity murder key dolphin hotel kid new york fire loss of loved one hotel room husband wife relationship window door haunted house research ghost world painting telephone
The Panic Room
Even though the term "panic room" is usually used in a different context with a different meaning, this room kept me on the edge of my seat.
Mike Enslin is a writer, who concentrates on paranormal phenomena on different locations. He seeks out the places that are claimed to be haunted and clears out the mystery in those places, and prior to a strange card arriving from New York, he admits never having even seen a single ghost.
The postcard he receives features a different invitation though. "Don't go into 1408", a dare which motivates him to do some research on the room - research that clearly show that this case actually has potential. So, after a bit of difficulty with the room not being available to reserve, Mr. Enslin manages to make the reservation and heads out to the Dolphin Hotel in New York. Here, the hotel manager, Gerard Olin, persistently tells him not to stay in the room, and reveals that since the hotel was built and opened, not a single guest has managed in the room for longer than an hour . Despite the persuasion, Mike Enslin grabs the key to the room and enters the infamous1408. What Mr. Enslin doesn't know, is that even though he's determined to yet again solve the case without breaking a sweat, this room doesn't exactly agree, and definitely won't stay quiet about it...
Now, I've never liked horror movies, but when I saw this on the shelf of the video store, saying "PG-13" and "Thriller", while remembering all the praise 1408 got when it first appeared, I thought that I'd make an exception.
After seeing the movie, I'm not quite sure if this is purely a thriller. It does have all the makings of one, but from time to time there was a certain feel of a horror movie. According to the official MPAA rating, this movie was "Rated PG-13 for thematic material including disturbing sequences of violence and terror, frightening images and language. " I do agree on all of that, especially since 1408 isn't really Rated R-material, but since there's is a "K-15"-rating available in Finland , I think that it could better suit the general atmosphere in this movie; If I had kids, I wouldn't want my 13-year-old son or daughter to see something like this.
Moving on, the cast in this movie was quite nice. I've only seen John Cusack in a few movies, but in all of those, he's performed pretty well... And then there's Samuel L. Jackson. Even though his role is somewhat of a minor role, he lives up to the expectations. Samuel L. Jackson is definitely the best actor in the movie, and even though John Cusack is good too, the scene with the both of them shows a difference.
The visual side of this movie is good, and it serves the tense atmosphere very well. You can say the same about the sounds too - they suit the feel of the film very well. I can promise you that after seeing this movie, the next time you listen to "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters in a dark room by yourself in the middle of the night, you'll have a whole another mood than before.
1408 is quite impressive, especially for a horror-kind of a thriller. As I said, I've never liked horror movies, but this one is definitely something that kept me on my toes throughout the whole 100+ minutes, and perhaps this time, not in a bad way.