It’s a rare film that leaves me with absolutely nothing to talk about in a review, but 1408, along with the remake of The Omen, is one of those rare films. I could tell you everything you need to know in one line – it’s an adaptation of a Stephen King ghost story. But if I left it at that, you’d probably feel short changed, so I’ll find something else to tell you, too.
In the grand scheme of Stephen King movies, 1408 is sort of average. It’s no Carrie or The Shining, but neither is it way down the list with dross like Secret Window or The Langoliers. 1408 is the highest grossing Stephen King adaptation to date, but I can’t quite fathom why, because it’s utterly unremarkable. It’s totally inoffensive, too, so maybe that’s actually why.
Casting John Cusack as the lead probably didn’t hurt, either. He’s watchable and engaging, keeping your attention before anything interesting happens and even after it all goes completely implausibly batshit insane. Considering the film is basically just one man in one room, it’s important to pick the right man, so 1408 can have points for that. Another point should be awarded for Samuel L. Jackson, who, despite having sod all to do in this film, is nevertheless absolutely genius. I want him to come and live in my fridge.
What else? Well, there were a couple of jumpy moments in the film, though nothing that’ll stick with you or give you nightmares afterwards. It’s got a really stupid ending (if you’ve seen Dead End, it’s basically the same is-it-a-dream-or-reality-haha-here’s-some-evidence-to-screw-you-over ending as in that) but as soon as you know it’s written by Stephen King you kind of expect that. Um. The special effects are quite good, though nothing you’ll rave about.1408 has to be the most adequate film I’ve seen this year. It doesn’t do anything particularly special; it’s not stupid enough to be annoying nor clever enough to be remarkable; it’s not scary enough to stick in your mind but it’s not so boring you’ll fall asleep halfway through. It’s just there. It exists. It’s… you know, it’s alright.