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(Review originally written at 29 January 2008)

In this present time, in which most of the currently being released horror movies are mostly all the same, "1408" is a refreshing and welcome addition to the genre.

"1408" is mostly a movie that distinct itself in its build-up of the tension. It provides the movie with some original and genuine scare moments but when it comes down to the overall and 'old fashioned' style of horror, this movie just isn't among the best. No way "1408" will be one of the scariest movies you'll ever see but it will be a movie that will perhaps make you jump and raise your heartbeat at some moments but above all it will be a movie that you'll enjoy watching, since its such a well made and acted one.

This movie is a rare case of an horror movie that is actually made better by its special effects. Most of the time the special effects in modern horror movies are totally lame and take away lots of the tension and actual horror of the movie. This movie uses its special effects really well and it of course also really helps that the special effects are top-class. The use of special effects is also another reason why "1408" works quite original, since it provides the movie with a couple of unique and also good looking moments.

The story on its own is kept pretty simple, as it should be. It's based on a short story by Stephen King. The movie nevertheless still has some twists and turns, though most genre fans and fans of Stephen King will see most of these twist coming from miles away. But that's sort of OK. It doesn't really downgrade the movie that it's fairly predictable all, mostly because its such a fine made and enjoyable movie to watch. It still sort of bother me that none of the, obvious unusual, events happening in the movie get ever 'explained', which in my opinion is just a cheap and simple way of horror film-making, as if you're telling the viewers; just take it all for what it is and don't bother to think about because we are too lazy to give an explanation for any of it and we just want to make a horror movie that will scare you, without you ever knowing why and how these events in the movie are all happening.

What I always like about John Cusack is that he is no big movie star, even though he has played in more than a few blockbusters and acclaimed movies. He still very natural and 'untouched'. He is not the sort of guy that ever steps into the spot-lights, though he still really seems like a nice guy in real life. He always gives movies something special, without really having to do much for it. His acting is most of the time mostly subtle and to a lot of people will seem like he is always playing the same type of characters. He's also really in his element in this movie and he makes the movie even more enjoyable to watch. For most of the time he is the only actor on screen, so he has to Carry the movie mostly on his own, with mostly the help of the professional film-makers involved, which makes this a good and also good looking one to watch.

All in all "1408" will not go down in history as one of the best horror movies of this decade but it is a very refreshing, enjoyable and well made and good looking one, that will still also certainly provides more than a couple of scares. A movie that will please the genre fans, as well as those who aren't really into horror.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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