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#Oscars2018 Foreign-Language Film: Today, October 6, submission from Syria, Senegal, Mongolia, Honduras, Haiti, Costa Rica, China and Australia.

Friday, October 19, 2007

1408


Once in a while I dare to see movies labeled as horror, especially when they’re based on Stephen King stories. Yesterday I dared to see this movie and well, first this is no horror movie, this is a ghost story that has a good share of shocks and frights.

Tells the story of Mike Enslin a writer of supernatural phenomena doing research for his next book. One day he gets an intriguing postcard with the Dolphin Hotel pictures and a challenging message that reads something like this: do not go to room 1408. Of course he goes with the help of his editor, as the hotel reservations clerk tells him that the room is not available.

The movie relies on psychological tension rather than overt violence or gore and the best part according to me is when Mike Eslin (John Cusack) and Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson) have that nerve-racking conversation before Eslin gets the key to room 1408. This is one really chilly conversation that settles fine the tone of the movie, but at the same time it disappoints a little that while Eslin is inside the room the psychological tension is not exploited more.

However, John Cusack’s performance is quite good and will keep you in the edge of your seat guessing what else could come next. The good part is that the action starts slowly and when the Carpenter’s song “We’ve Only Just Begun” plays for the first time, you know things are just starting. Great!

In a way this movie is as good as The Shinning but my reaction to The Shinning, which I saw in NYC a long time ago, was stronger and still remember that when I left the movie theater I stopped at a bar to gulp some cognac to ease the shock! Yesterday there was no need for cognac and had no nightmares at all. This was because I noticed that the movie is more about your own hidden nightmares that just need some external stimuli and they’ll pop-out and become “real”.

If you have read Stephen King’s stories or have seen movies based on his stories, then you probably will guess before they happen some shocking key scenes, I did for one. But, still the movie is chilling and very entertaining.

I do recommend this movie as an adult ghost story and especially to Stephen King fans.

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