Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom
Distributed by Dimension / Genius Products, LLC.
Ever have a favorite room in a particular hotel that you just love to stay in? One that makes you feel at home with all of the amenities that you look for? Well, you can be sure that Room 1408 is not it. That is unless you consider ghosts, demons, and murder to be conveniences. Surprisingly enough, this ended up being one of the better King adaptations in a long while, and now that we can watch 1408 in 1080p ... wait ... this is starting to sound like math class! ACK! In any event ...
John Cusack plays a paranormal investigator who's more into disproving the existence of spirits than he is finding them. After getting a mysterious post card that warns him not to stay in Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in Manhattan, he just can't resist the challenge. Apparently no one has ever lasted more than an hour in said room, and if they did, they ended up either being scraped off the sidewalk or wheeled out in a body bag. Screw thrill-seeking. Me? I don't tempt fate. There's no way in hell I could ever sleep in a room with dozens of deaths attached to it. Good thing I'm not the main character, or else we'd have no movie to watch! As you may have guessed, things end up going terrifyingly wrong for our ghost chaser. The otherworldly inhabitants of this cell-like box of damnation prove to be very real and very dangerous. Will he last the hour?
That's a good question, but a better one to ask is if this Blu-ray edition warrants a purchase if you already own the two-disc special edition DVD of 1408 (review here). I guess that depends on what you're looking for. First and foremost it should be noted that the DVD version is home to two versions of the movie while with this package we just get the director's cut. All the special features from the DVD have been ported over with the main difference here being that they are now presented in HD. Nifty.
The high-def transfer is pretty sweet. Simply put, the film looks stunning. There's little to no film grain to be seen, the colors are vibrant, and the blacks are deliciously deep. Really, you couldn't ask for more in terms of eye candy, but there's ear candy too. Prepare for your surround sound system to get quite the work-out while watching this. This Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix will make you feel as if you're locked in the room with all the spooks and mayhem. It's loud, disorienting, and most of all scary as hell. I dig!
It's a shame we didn't get anything at all extra on this release. There's no doubt the movie looks and sounds better on Blu-ray, but whether or not it's worth a purchase depends on how much of a horror addict you are. You know the type -- those of us who must have the best and the baddest versions of everything (read: me). If you haven't bought it yet because you were waiting for the high-def release, this is a score for you! The pot o' gold! Everyone else may not want to spend more cash to stay again in the same old room, no matter how nicely it's been dressed up.
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
Discuss 1408 in our Dread Central forums!