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"1408"
(2007) (John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Extreme Extreme Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Heavy Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Extreme Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: An author of ghostly haunts travel books finds his skeptical resolve challenged when he checks into a reportedly haunted hotel room with a record of many deaths occurring within it.
PLOT:
Mike Enslin (JOHN CUSACK) is a California-based travel guide author who writes about various ghostly haunts. Despite making a living from the public's fascination with ghosts, he doesn't believe in them, God, or the hereafter, mainly due to the untimely death of his young daughter Katie (JASMINE JESSICA ANTHONY), a personal tragedy that eventually caused him to abandon his wife, Lily (MARY McCORMACK), back in New York.

Having received an anonymous postcard from the Dolphin Hotel in New York City that warns him not to enter room 1408, Mike's interest is obviously piqued. That's especially true when the phone operator informs him that the room is, in short, perpetually booked. With advice from a lawyer that New York law states that if a room is not occupied, it must otherwise be made available, Mike travels to the Big Apple where he meets Gerald Olin (SAMUEL L. JACKSON). He's the manger at the Dolphin who implores the author not to stay in the room.

Mike is undeterred, thinking Gerald's stories of suicides, self-maiming and other odd doings, not to mention a total of 56 deaths in the room's 95-year history, are all just scare tactics designed to heighten the experience. Accordingly, and despite repeated warnings and pleas, Mike checks into the room, only to find it quite ordinary. Dictating his observations and findings into a tape recorder, he soon realizes he may have bitten off more than he can chew and might be in way over his head in terms of the paranormal happenings he begins to experience there.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into spooky horror flicks, or are fans of Cusack, they might be interested.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material including disturbing sequences of violence and terror, frightening images and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN CUSACK plays an author of ghostly haunt travel guides who throws all caution to the wind and opts to stay in the supposedly haunted hotel room. A skeptic of the paranormal and looking out only for himself, he hides a hurt and tragic part of his past life, the death of his child and his subsequent abandonment of his wife. He drinks, uses some profanity, briefly smokes (and otherwise carries a cigarette around with him), and finds his beliefs and resolve tested when odd things start occurring in the room.
  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON plays the hotel manager who implores Mike not to stay in the room, but by law can't prevent him from doing so. He uses brief strong profanity, and briefly smokes (a cigar) and drinks.
  • MARY McCORMACK plays Mike's estranged wife who's surprised to get an Internet call from him following his long absence and previous abandonment of her following their daughter's death.
  • JASMINE JESSICA ANTHONY plays their young and dying daughter who's seen in flashback as well as the haunted room.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this horror film that's rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some adult video titles are briefly seen on a hotel TV screen, while a supernaturally altered painting suddenly shows a bare-breasted woman.

    The film is filled, pretty much from start to finish, with all sorts of spooky and/or scary material (and many Jump Scenes), much of which could cause nightmares in those with low tolerance levels for such material. Various apparitions are seen, as are some black and white photos of bloody suicide victims.

    Other blood, sometimes the result of supernaturally based violence is present, while the evil in the room obviously has a bad attitude. The main character deals with cigarettes a few times and drinks even more (much of that stress related), while tense family scenes involve flashbacks to and supernatural visions of the protagonist's young and sickly daughter who died in the past. Other thematic elements are present, including that of past suicides (seen in ghostly replay).

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, strobe type effects start in Mike's room.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some bouncy, point of view camerawork, including a few spin around shots later in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mike downs a mini bottle of liquor (the type found in hotel rooms and such).
  • Mike holds a beer and then drinks from it.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in the hotel lobby.
  • Gerald asks if Mike drinks, and the latter responds that he is a writer (meaning yes). Later, Mike reminds Gerald that he never got that drink, so Gerald pours him a glass of cognac, and then gives him the entire (and expensive) bottle (trying to bribe him not to say in room 1408).
  • Mike has a beer from the hotel fridge, and later holds the bottle of cognac Gerald gave him.
  • Mike drinks more from the bottle of cognac.
  • Dazed by what's occurring, Mike drinks more booze.
  • Mike drinks more.
  • Mike drinks more in a later scene.
  • Mike and Lily have wine, with her ordering another glass and Mike ordering another tequila.
  • Gerald has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Mike looks at old black and white photos of suicide and other victims from room 1408, including that of a person who slit their own throat (with bloody results, while Gerald says that the man tried to stitch up his own wound). There's also talk of self-castration and self-blinding, while we see a photo of a drowned person in the bathtub (no blood) and other dead people in the hotel room (some of whom are bloody in the black and white photos).
  • Mike suddenly finds that he can barely hear, following by the window suddenly dropping down onto his hand, bloodying it. We see blood on Mike's hand, in the sink, on a towel, and then on a door when he pounds on it. Later, a little bit of his blood drips down to the floor.
  • We briefly see bloody water overflow from a sink.
  • Cracks start forming in one of the room's wall, with blood or something similar then flowing down from them.
  • Mike kicks an eerie figure in the face, breaking off his jaw, with the second kick causing its face to crumble away.
  • Mike has some blood from his nose and ear.
  • We see Katie's bare and somewhat bloody feet as she crosses some rubble.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Whatever evil is in the room has a bad attitude toward whoever enters and especially those who try to stay there.
  • Some viewers might not like Mike saying that even if the room were haunted, there isn't a God to protect them.
  • Mike manages to contact Lily via a video conference on his computer, and she's surprised to hear from him, stating that he walked out on her a while back and hasn't been heard from since (following their daughter's death).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful, or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Mike is told the haunted history of a small inn, including that of children dying there in the past, but nothing happens when he checks out the room.
  • While waiting for a wave on his surfboard, Mike is hit by one that knocks him off the board, tosses him about in the rough water, and then deposits him on the shore, dazed but okay.
  • Mike receives a postcard from the Dolphin Hotel, with the simple warning for him not to enter room 1408 (which he notes, adds up to the number 13).
  • Mike looks up info on the Dolphin Hotel and finds old stories of suicides and such there, including a grainy newspaper photo showing a man's body on the street (no details).
  • Gerald tells Mike that no one lasts more than one hour in room 1408, and that even he rarely goes in there, only to supervise two housekeepers who briefly give the room a once-over every month. He implores that Mike not stay in there, saying he doesn't want to clean up the mess, and that his training is that of a manager, not a coroner. He then tells Mike that there have been four deaths there under his watch, 22 natural ones in the room's 95-year history, and 56 total. He then summarizes his thoughts: "It's an evil f*cking room."
  • Mike looks at old black and white photos of suicide and other victims from room 1408, including that of a person who slit their own throat (with bloody results, while Gerald says that the man tried to stitch up his own wound). There's also talk of self-castration and self-blinding, while we see a photo of a drowned person in the bathtub (no blood) and other dead people in the hotel room (some of whom are bloody in the black and white photos).
  • Mike turns to find chocolates on his pillows that weren't there before, as well as a roll of toilet paper that's folded on the end and thus unused, unlike the way it was moments before that.
  • Mike's hotel room suddenly turns hot.
  • Mike uses a black light to check out the room, and we see flash images of dead and bloody people, but he doesn't seem to see any of that.
  • Mike discovers the painting in the room is now crooked.
  • A custodian won't enter room 1408 to fix the thermostat, and instead guides Mike in the fix from out in the hallway.
  • The clock radio suddenly turns on again by itself, loud. It then suddenly switches numbers and provides a countdown from 60 minutes.
  • Mike suddenly finds that he can barely hear, following by the window suddenly dropping down onto his hand, bloodying it. He then goes to rinse off the blood, but the water suddenly turns scalding hot.
  • The clock radio suddenly comes on again, with Mike ripping the power cord from the wall. Yet, the radio still plays, so he chucks it out the widow, only to see it vanish before hitting the street below.
  • Spooked, Mike wants to leave, but can't as the key breaks off in the door lock, while the doorknob comes off in his hand.
  • Mike spots a person in a building across an alley, and finally gets their attention, only to realize that it's just another version of himself, mimicking his every move.
  • Mike turns and spots a crazed person suddenly coming at him with some sort of weapon. Mike then avoids those jabs and slices, only to be perplexed when that person has suddenly vanished.
  • Mike hears a child's voice in the room.
  • Mike sees film clip style, black and white footage of ghosts in his room who walk over to the window and then jump out in suicidal leaps (we don't see the impact).
  • A crying baby's sounds from an adjacent room get progressively louder, eventually causing Mike pain. He then throws a chair at the wall to make them stop.
  • Mike hears sounds from the bathroom, slowly walks there, and finds a much longer room that before, with a man in a wheelchair turning out to be his father (who tells him, with a smile, "As I am, you will be").
  • Cracks start forming in one of the room's walls, with blood or something similar then flowing down from them.
  • Unable to leave via the front door, Mike decides to go out the window, traverse the narrow ledge, and make his way to the adjacent room's window. He then cautiously proceeds with that plan, nearly slipping off in the process, only to find all but his two windows gone from the side of the building. As he proceeds to go back to his room, a figure at his window startles him, causing him to slip and dangle from the ledge. That ghostly figure then jumps out the window in a suicidal leap (but disappears in thin air before hitting the street). As the window starts to close on its own, Mike scrambles to get inside before it shuts. He then finds that all of the windows and the other side of the front door have been walled shut (with the "you are here" hotel floor plan only showing his room in a sea of black).
  • The lights go out in Mike's room, and then back on, when he see a figure in the reflection of the mirror.
  • Mike's room turns cold, followed by the sprinklers coming on (until he bashes the head off one).
  • Mike unscrews the ceiling vent grate, and then climbs up into the ventilation system, crawling around looking for help (and spots various roaches there). We then see an eerie figure approaching, as does he. Mike hurriedly tries to crawl away, with the figure grabbing his leg, prompting Mike to kick the figure in the face, breaking off his jaw, with the second kick causing its face to crumble away. Mike then ends up falling back through the vent opening, smashing down hard to the table below it.
  • Mike finds a Bible with nothing but blank pages inside it.
  • Mike walks through his now frozen and snow-covered room, eventually burning things on the floor in an effort to try not to freeze to death.
  • Lily contacts Mike via the computer, but tells him that the police are in his hotel room, and that it's empty (despite him being in it at that moment). He then sees another version of himself on the computer screen invite Lily to the room, with the real Mike realizing it's a trap for her.
  • Massive cracks start forming through Mike's room.
  • Mike hits a painting of a ship at sea, causing massive floodwaters to pour from it, washing him around the room. We then see him sinking below the surface of the sea along with the ship (full-size).
  • A mailroom clerk suddenly shatters a large window, followed by other men there suddenly bashing and ripping up the walls and floor, eventually making Mike realize he's back in the cursed hotel room.
  • Mike finds a new door in his hotel room, orders that it open, and it does, leading to what looks like a black abyss.
  • Mike hears and then sees his daughter calling for his help, saying that she's cold, and we see her bare and somewhat bloody feet as she crosses some rubble to get to him. He hugs her, but she then goes dead limp, followed by her suddenly crumbling away into charred ashes and small body pieces (no blood).
  • The clock radio suddenly goes off again, but the repeated song on it is now playing at a slower than normal speed.
  • Mike watches in fear as the clock radio counts down to zero, not sure of what's going to happen.
  • A calm hotel phone operator (and thus creepy, considering the situation) asks if Mike is ready for express checkout. He then sees nooses hanging from various spots, an open grave in the hotel floor, and then the mirror reflection of hanging himself via one of those nooses. The phone handset he was then using starts to melt.
  • Mike creates a Molotov cocktail with a bottle of cognac, lights it, and tosses it against a hotel wall, causing a fire to spread. When he throws an ashtray into the window, the influx of oxygen causes the fire to flash and engulf him. Yet, he survives and is pulled from the fire, coughing and slightly charred.
  • Lily is shocked to hear her dead daughter's voice on Mike's tape recorder.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Mike turns and spots a crazed person suddenly coming at him with some sort of weapon. Mike then avoids those jabs and slices, only to be perplexed when that person has suddenly vanished.
  • Mike carries a knife with him (in his mouth) as he goes up into the ventilation system.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "It's an evil f*cking room," "Holy sh*t," "That's some sorry shit," "Spooky sh*t," "Spook house bullsh*t," "You're sh*tting me," "Sh*t, bitch," "That's bullsh*t," "Screw" (nonsexual), "Dude," "Stick up its ass," "Jesus, man," "Damnit to hell," "Stop acting like a hurt schoolgirl," "Bastard," "You gotta be kidding me," "Smart ass," "That is bizarre," "This encyclopedia brown bitch" (about a thing, not a person), "I know where the hell it is," "Any jackass can fix that thing," "I'm gonna sue your ass," "As I am, you will be," "It's good to be back," "You know G*ddman well they are," "Where the hell are you?" "Shut up," "Go to hell" and "You bastard."
  • Although not done by humans in the film, the scares that are present might entice some kids to try to emulate some of them to scare others.
  • Mike has a cigarette over his ear.
  • Mike creates a Molotov cocktail with a bottle of cognac, lights it, and tosses it against a hotel wall, causing a fire to spread.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The clock radio suddenly turns on by itself, blaring The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun."
  • A sudden knock on the door startles Mike.
  • The clock radio suddenly turns on again by itself, loud. It then suddenly switches numbers and provides a countdown from 60 minutes.
  • The clock radio suddenly comes on again, with Mike ripping the power cord from the wall.
  • Mike turns and spots a crazed person suddenly coming at him with some sort of weapon.
  • The TV in the room comes on by itself.
  • A sudden sound at a wall startles Mike.
  • A ghostly figure at a window startles Mike.
  • The lights go out in Mike's room, and then back on, when he see a figure in the reflection of the mirror.
  • A figure is suddenly behind Mike in a vent shaft.
  • A mailroom clerk suddenly shatters a large window.
  • The clock radio suddenly goes off again.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 9 "s" words, 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 4 hells, 2 damns, 1 S.O.B. (and another incomplete one), 5 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "G-damn," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Godforsaken," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see a female surfer in a bikini. We later see a shirtless guy on the beach.
  • Mike scrolls through the onscreen choices on the hotel's TV screen, selecting Adult and then seeing three porn titles (including "Wild Cherries Unleashed"). No photos are seen, and no videos are played
  • Mike sees that the painting in his room has changed and now features small views of a woman's bare breasts.
  • Lily shows a little cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Mike smokes once (as does a duplicate version of himself in another building) and Gerald is briefly seen smoking a cigar.
  • Mike asks Gerald if 1408 is a smoking room. When told it is and asks if he wants a cigar, Mike says he doesn't smoke as he gave it up, but that he does have his ritual cigarette that he places on such room's ashtrays as some bit of superstitious behavior. He's also seen with a cigarette over his ear.
  • We see a flashback to Mike being upset about his daughter's death, saying that he's going out for cigarettes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The TV in the room comes on by itself, showing footage of Mike with his wife and daughter, causing him to cry over seeing the young girl who died in the past.
  • Mike hears sounds from the bathroom, slowly walks there, and finds a much longer room that before, with a man in a wheelchair turning out to be his father (who tells him, with a smile, "As I am, you will be").
  • We see a flashback to Mike and Lily talking about the possibility of a miracle cure for their daughter.
  • Mike manages to contact Lily via a video conference on his computer, and she's surprised to hear from him, stating that he walked out on her a while back and hasn't been heard from since (following their daughter's death).
  • We see a flashback to Mike being upset about his daughter's death, that they should have done more, and he overturns a coffee table in anger and frustration.
  • The fax machine in Mike's room spits out his dead daughter's blouse (the real thing, not an image on paper).
  • Mike hears and then sees his daughter calling for his help, saying that she's cold, and we see her bare and somewhat bloody feet as she crosses some rubble to get to him. He hugs her, but she then goes dead limp, followed by her suddenly crumbling away into charred ashes and small body pieces (no blood).
  • Lily is shocked to hear her dead daughter's voice on Mike's tape recorder.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Ghosts and hauntings.
  • Mike's comment that ghosts are convenient things for desperate hotels (meaning they're good, in a way, for publicity).
  • The comment that Mike doesn't believe in anything or anyone but himself.
  • Mike's comment that hotel rooms are naturally creepy in that you don't know who slept in the bed, died there, etc.
  • The comment that people's belief in ghosts stems from their hope of there being something after death.
  • Suicide (a running theme in the film).
  • The comment that sometimes we can't get rid of bad memories.
  • The death of a family member, particularly a child, to an incurable illness.
  • How Stephen King often has writers as the protagonists in his stories.
  • VIOLENCE
  • During several scenes in the film, ghosts throw themselves out the hotel window, but we never see any impact, and the fact that they're already ghosts means no injuries or deaths occur with such action.
  • While waiting for a wave on his surfboard, Mike is hit by one that knocks him off the board, tosses him about in the rough water, and then deposits him on the shore, dazed but okay.
  • Mike hits his head on an open window when startled by music.
  • Mike suddenly finds that he can barely hear, following by the window suddenly dropping down onto his hand, bloodying it. He then goes to rinse off the blood, but the water suddenly turns scalding hot.
  • Mike pounds on and kicks at the hotel door, trying to get it open.
  • Mike turns and spots a crazed person suddenly coming at him with some sort of weapon. Mike then avoids those jabs and slices, only to be perplexed when that person has suddenly vanished.
  • A crying baby's sounds from an adjacent room get progressively louder, eventually causing Mike pain. He then throws a chair at the wall to make them stop.
  • Mike's room turns cold, followed by the sprinklers coming on (until he bashes the head off one).
  • Mike unscrews the ceiling vent grate, and then climbs up into the ventilation system, crawling around looking for help (and spots various roaches there). We then see an eerie figure approaching, as does he. Mike hurriedly tries to crawl away, with the figure grabbing his leg, prompting Mike to kick the figure in the face, breaking off his jaw, with the second kick causing its face to crumble away. Mike then ends up falling back through the vent opening, smashing down hard to the table below it.
  • Imagining seeing a miniature version of Gerald in his hotel fridge, Mike proceeds to thrash the everyday contents of it.
  • We see a flashback to Mike being upset about his daughter's death, that they should have done more, and he overturns a coffee table in anger and frustration.
  • Mike hits a painting of a ship at sea, causing massive floodwaters to pour from it, washing him around the room. We then see him sinking below the surface of the sea along with the ship (full-size).
  • A mailroom clerk suddenly shatters a large window, followed by other men there suddenly bashing and ripping up the walls and floor, eventually making Mike realize he's back in the cursed hotel room.
  • Mike trashes the already trashed hotel room.
  • A calm hotel phone operator (and thus creepy, considering the situation) asks if Mike is ready for express checkout. He then sees nooses hanging from various spots, an open grave in the hotel floor, and then the mirror reflection of hanging himself via one of those nooses. The phone handset he was then using starts to melt.
  • Mike creates a Molotov cocktail with a bottle of cognac, lights it, and tosses it against a hotel wall, causing a fire to spread. When he throws an ashtray into the window, the influx of oxygen causes the fire to flash and engulf him. Yet, he survives and is pulled from the fire, coughing and slightly charred.



  • Reviewed June 19, 2007 / Posted June 22, 2007

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