OK, I'm officially a heathen because I watched No Country For Old Men last week and found it a complete zzz-fest, then I watched 1408, based on a Stephen King short story last night and I found it worth recommending.
Of course, you must always approach a Stephen King film with care (see: The Langoliers... no actually, don't). This film was set in a haunted hotel room so my boyfriend declared 'Oh the hotel room is probably going to turn into a giant crab or something towards the end.' Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but it was almost as loopy.
The film stars John Cusack (the filmatic equivalent of saying 'so what?') as a ailing writer who has sold out his art to write books containing descriptions of haunted hotels for a living. Samuel L Jackson is little more than a bit part as the manager of the Dolphin hotel, and has made room 1408 off limits. Forever.
But John's character talks his way in. So I was thinking, how scary can a hotel room be? The lights go on and off, there's a creaky floorboard, there's no mini-bar. It can't be that bad.
How wrong was I?! It was genuinely scary, and I don't scare easy. It was like the worst trip you've ever had. One awful thing after another happens, and after about ten minutes along with Cusack you're thinking jumping out the window seems like a smart option. There are a good variety of horrors on offer as well, so it's not just coming at you from one angle.
One thing I will say, is why did John Cusack dab his neck with a bit of toilet roll in the hotel bathroom? And more to the point WHO sent him the postcard enticing him to the hotel in the first place? And what is the whole dolphin/ boat thing about? These questions will never be answered, but it doesn't really matter.
I won't ruin it because of COURSE you're going to rush out and rent this on my recommendation. Needless to say, it has the usual helping of Stephen King cheesy dialogue, hammy back-story and OTT ending. But you know. It's a trip, but it's a fun one.