Thursday, January 24, 2008

Overlooked DVD of the month - 1408

In age of tired torture porn and CGI ghouls it's nice to be able to kick it old school with this psychological horror from maestro Stephen King and director Mikael Hafstrom. John Cusack carries the movie as sceptical writer Mike Enslin. He checks into room 1408 at New York's fictional but suitably gothic Dolphin Hotel. Enslin hopes to experience the terror that has haunted the room since 1912. Hotel manager Samuel L Jackson tries to hold him back - and if SLJ is scared you know bad shit is just around the corner. Soon enough, King/Hafstrom start unleashing old fashioned hauntings, poltergeists and general spookiness. There are a couple of decent twists and some nice scope for the audience to interpret events as they wish. True, the movie could easily have been around 20 minutes shorter, but it was wonderful to see a horror film that had been designed with care and intelligence. The production design is exceptional - amazingly I never tired of the fact that all the action boiled down to one guy in a hotel room. I also loved Gabriel Yared's score.

1408 was released in summer 2007 and is available on DVD.

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