Rated 2.0

A writer who debunks haunted houses (John Cusack) sets out to spend the night in an “evil” hotel room, even though the manager (Samuel L. Jackson) urgently warns him off. Do we need to know it’s based on a Stephen King short story to see where this is headed? Written by Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and directed in fits and starts by Mikael Håfström, the movie has few scares, fewer surprises, and an ending that’s at once predictable and unsatisfying. The hit-’em-with-everything plot is pure King, but even when the movie is most off-the-wall, it feels somehow generic, routine—and exactly like a padded-out short story. It’s virtually a one-man show for Cusack; the rest of the cast is wasted—Jackson, Mary McCormack as Cusack’s estranged wife, Tony Shalhoub as his publisher, etc.