So today was probably the nicest day of the year. 77 degrees. Slight breeze. Sun and a couple fluffy clouds. So I headed outside and took a couple deep breaths and soaked in this fine day-- (cough) then ducked into a dark dank theater at noon to watch some salami ghost movie. I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do on nice days when my dog isn't around!! (on fridays he goes to doggie day care so we each have 'me' time). Am I supposed to bring a book to the park? Sit somewhere? Walk around? Play Folf? And how could I do any of that stuff when there's a movie based on a Stephen King story right down the street?! I can't!
On the way there I picked up some lunch (turkey wrap sandwich, wasabi edamame (figure I'd give it a shot. not as good as peas at all), and a diet Dr. Pepper, and watermelon chunks. Because I was going to be about 15 minutes early I bought the New York Times to see what was going on. And I learned something! If you open up a big newspaper while people are filing into a movie theater... nobody wants to sit near you. Not sure what that was about-- but the big open newspaper was offputting to everyone. I just held it up and watched people. They'd glance at me and go sit somewhere else. Weird. Sign of psycho? When the previews started I put the paper away and some teenage girls immediately sat behind me and started talking. I had to move my seat. They were talkers. Next time I'll keep reading thru previews maybe...
Anyway, 1408. Although I've read everything Stephen King has written up thru Dolores Claiborne, this story was from the post-Dolores era and it must have slipped through the cracks. Never read it. Sort of a shame because I dig the story. Cynical writer checks into a hotel room with a history of terribleness. Gets fahklempt. Talks amongst himself. Etc. Gotta like that. And I gotta tell ya, for the first 45 minutes--I was way more scared than I've been in a long time. Like legitimate creep chills and shock-seconds that made me suck air thru my teeth. Plus it had a good Stephen King flavor. This movie should be seen by anyone who likes a good ghosty just for that stuff. Especially if you're sick of the torture garb. But unfortunately this movie is a "fader". (New term! A movie that starts of very strong but really drops off as time passes).
After the initial round of scares, I started developing some issues. It started getting goofball. And I have a big personal issue when technology spills into my hauntings. Televisions and computers and stuff. When that stuff participates I roll my eyes. I never buy it because I can't imagine 'evil' learning how to hack into something. Like some kind of nerdy demon. I like my evil au naturale (see voo play). And when the guy's family stuff spills all over the hotel room and reality shifters start messing around all sloppy-- I just started losing interest. There was too much clutter. Too much cheating with reality. And when push came to shove I wish they had just slammed the door on this shmuck and left him the (and) hell alone...
Three Good Things About this Movie
- It starts off super strong. I like all alone scaries bestest.
- John Cusuck is always sort of a welcome on-screen guy with his beady eyes and mush face.
- There were three or four scenes where I was legitimately scared.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- In the movie when the hotel room was hot. I wanted the theater to be hot.
When the room was cold. I wanted them to crank the AC. Didn't happen.
- I simply don't need Sam Jackson hogging up so many roles nowadays! How bout some creative casting for the hotel manager? Drag out a Roy Scheider or something! Let's mix it up a little! Old hotel! Old actor! C'mon!
- In the end, the old-fashioned room never really formed a good old-fashioned personality.
All in all, this movie is a solid effort even though it falls apart totally. But on the walk home, the regular world took on a coolio feeling of unreality. Like passerbys who looked at me were all of a sudden slightly suspicious. I did like that. And when I checked my cellphone messages I tingled with the idea of having some kind of creepy message left on my voicemail. Something that would send me a good chill. But alas, no good creepy message. Just the ho hummy same ol same ol. Same stuff that eventually threw this movie under the bus.