Monday, October 29, 2007

1408 (2007)

1408Review: Genre is overrated. When you see a film stamped with certain genre, it is best to ignore it completely and enjoy the film as is, and only later judge the film's quality entirely separate from the genre it had stamped with. One example case, if at one certain evening you wish to look for a good scare and went to a local theater to see a film (which conveniently genred horror by media or advertisements) and not feeling scared at all, you'd certainly condemned the film for what it's worth. I say, that was injustice to the film. After all, what is 'scary' anyway? My kind of 'scary' won't be the same with your kind of 'scary'. And vice versa, that's for certain.

If your definition of horror film fall inline with Saw series, then you'd be disappointed with 1408. But, if you're like me, and think Saw is an interesting piece of exploitation in which we dwelt into the human minds behind the film and amused by the fact of how these people were devious enough to invent such instrument of torture, you might find a little more love to 1408. Though, of course, that doesn't mean necessarily that you'd liked 1408 for a certain.

Based on the short story of the same title from prolific and renowned horror writer, Stephen King, i'd say that the film was more of re-imagining the story rather than an adaptation. I can't correctly vouch the difference between the film and the book, but one thing certain that i was more, much more entertained, and scared by the book rather than by the film.

I believed in notion of 'less is more' (see The Shining for a definite example of how a horror film where 'less is more' worked really well). And the book is far less than the film. Thus, i considered and valued the book more than i could spare for the film.

As with the book, the film depicted one night of the life of Mike Enslin (John Cussack), a writer that went across the states, compiling the exciting horror stories about various sites and recorded his one-night adventures in a book aptly titled, '10 Most Haunted Mansions', '10 Most Haunted Graveyard', and so forth. His research soon brought him to New York, where in Dolphin Hotel, there's a room, a room 1408 that was believed to be haunted and caused more than 50 deaths by suicides, or by natural causes believed to be caused by the room over the decades. 1408 was never allowed to be rented by the management. Mike, being a non-beliver forced himself to stay in the room even after insistence of the hotel manager (Samuel L. Jackson) to do otherwise. From here on, the book and the film went to a rather different directions and ultimately came to a very different conclusion which i had been said, i liked the book version much more than the film version.

This is John Cusack's sole vehicle. And he's uneven throughout the film. His best performance as Mike was at the end of the film, while in the middle, as the film took on a different course than the one i remembered (and loved) from the book, he was rather forcing himself to fit in Mike's shoes. Well, this is exactly the problem with a film based on something you've read (or seen) before, you tend to compare it with the original. I would sincerely thought that you, who hadn't read the book might loved the film more than i did. It was a lukewarm experience for me.

My rating: ** / ****

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1 comment:

linda said...

my hubby fell asleep while watching the movie