02 July 2007

'Shining' achievement

Despite being based on a Stephen King book, about a man with a haunted past, staying in a haunted hotel, unable to contact the outside world, "1408" manages to avoid falling into most of the usual King cliches. Outside of "The Shining," of course.

I hate how so many of the movies from his books end up in some cataclysmic supernatural standoff that really has nothing to do with the characters you've spent the whole film getting to know. "1408" doesn't do that.

I saw it last night. A good way of gauging the creep level of a film is how you feel when you're walking into your dark, empty house later. On that level, it wasn't as scary as I'd hoped, as it opted for more psychological terror than supernatural fear. But there were a good half-dozen jump-from-your-seat moments, so I guess that's your money's worth. Cusak shows a little depth of character, too, which is great to see, considering some of the flat, slack-jawed portrayals he's given us in the past. The early scenes between him and Samuel L. Jackson's hotel manager are riveting.

"Here it comes.
11:59. Ghost train. Ghost train
I ain't never seen that train again

Here it comes
burnin' down the silvery rails
11:59. Ghost train"
-- The Pine Hill Haints, "Ghost Train"


bandit said...

I'll tell you what's scary:
The bottom of a champagne bottle and you're out of tequila, too. At least that's what my aunt nunu and mom say.

Brad Barnes said...

actually, that was part of the problem for cusak's character too.