Rated 2.0

John Cusack plays Mike Enslin, a bitter writer of haunted travel books, who visits places that advertise their ghosts, but never seems to find them. Then he gets a tip about room 1408 of a Manhattan hotel that might give him something about which to write. Upon arrival, Mike is greeted by the manager, Gerald (Samuel L. Jackson), who very nicely tries to change his mind about staying in the room. Fifty-six people have died there, he tells the writer. But nothing will dissuade him. Mike checks into the room, and the story goes from intense and suspenseful to downright dumb. The room goes nuts and does everything in its power—from slamming Mike’s hand in the window to making it seem like the Arctic, ice and all—to kill him or make him go insane. But for a guy who’s so jaded about such things, it sure doesn’t take much to make him squeal. A major weakness in the film version of the Stephen King short story is that the room’s motivations and “living” status are never investigated. In the end, 1408 feels like a King story whose soul has been ripped out in order to make it into a blockbuster.