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1408 Brings Chills, Revives Careers

Johncusak1408_2 When first reading that John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson were to play characters in a new film inspired by a Stephen King story, I quietly chuckled to myself. The last time I had  seen either of these actors, they were too busy making bad movies about loving dogs and fighting snakes. So, when I found out that Cusack would be playing  a character in a horror film, which happens to be one of my favorite genres, I was hesitant.

Last Saturday night, which is movie night in my household, it was my turn to pick the movie. The choices of new releases in theaters were slim and opting not to see POTC3 for a fourth time, I decided to gamble my nine bucks on the new Cusack flick. I mean, come on, it couldn't be as bad as anything else he's done lately. I chose a latter performance to attend, thinking that no one would be there, but to my surprise, I walked into an almost packed theater. And as the lights dimmed low and the movie started to begin, any doubts I once had quickly disappeared.

From the very beginning 1408, Cusack draws you into his world as renowned horror novelist Mike Enslin, who writes about haunted places he's visited . Enslin's character, who skeptical himself on the existence of ghosts, mysteriously receives a postcard telling him not to check into room 1408 of  a NYC hotel. So, being the skeptic that he is, he decides to go, bringing him to meet Samuel L. Jackson, the hotel manager who warns Enslin countless times not to check into room 1408. From here on out both actors hold strong performances on screen. Even though Jackson's performance is short, he leaves the audience fearing for the fate of Michael Enslin.  Cusack, who is basically on by himself for the remaining of the film, keeps you clinging to the side of your seat. And he does this with little or no interaction with other characters on screen. He brings the character's fears to life in such a way that you forget that you're watching an actor on film. It's not a rare occurrence for a movie patron to become so enthralled by what is happening on screen that he or she forgets that it's only a movie, but when it happens due to an actors performance, that's magic.

1408 is a smart, chilling and thrilling movie, that will have you jumping out of your seat and unlike other current horror films,  won't have you running out of the theater, demanding your money back.

--Diana DiSilvestro

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Not entirely sure how I missed this one. Never even heard of it. Sounds like it might be a mildly amusing flick, though, so maybe I'll check it out.

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