Movie Review: ‘1408,’ A Psychological Horror Hit


Poster courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

1408 follows Mike Eslin, played by John Cusack, who debunks supernatural phenomena. He travels around the world writing books about the “haunted” places he visits. Eslin isn’t scared of ghosts until he checks into the Dolphin Hotel. When trying to check in on the phone, the receptionist says that the room isn’t available, even though it’s vacant. He gets his publisher to get a lawyer, who tells him that if the room is not occupied, they legally have to give it to you.

When Eslin gets to the hotel, the hotel manager, played by Samuel L. Jackson, does everything he can to convince Eslin not to stay in the room. He says that no one has ever come out alive again, but Eslin thinks he is full of it. Weird things start happening once in the room, and it gets to his head.

Though it is only Cusack on screen for most of the movie, the rest of the crew is well cast. Like all of the other films he has been in, Jackson does a great job. Mary McCormack is Lily Eslin, wife to Mike Eslin and their daughter Katie Eslin who was played by Jasmine Jessica Anthony. Tony Shalhoub was in it as Sam Farrell, Eslin’s publisher.

Mikael Hådström directs 1408, which he based on Stephen King’s 1999 short story, “1408,” in the audiobook Blood and Smoke. Along with King’s Tale,” the movie was inspired by world-renowned parapsychologist Christopher Chacon.

Out of the different types of horror movies, this one is definitely physiological. There are little to no jumpscares. The music is played in all the right places, making it suspenseful, and the suspense is enough to make it a thriller, so it doesn’t need jumpscares. In this movie, there are blood and guts in pictures with bad quality, and overall there is not much blood at all. The movie is rated PG-13 for its disturbing imagery, violence, terror, and language. If you want to watch it, you can find it on Vudu, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime, and Pluto TV for free and for $3.99 on Apple TV, Youtube, and Google Play.

1408 is definitely one of the best psychological horror films I’ve seen, with the perfect mix of suspense and fear. I recommend the film to anyone who likes psychological movies, John Cusack, or both. It was brilliantly made in a way that will leave you thinking about it for days after you finish it.