1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom, who earlier had directed the horror film Drowning Ghost. The cast includes John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mary McCormack. The film was released in the U.S. on June 22, 2007, although July 13 is mentioned as the release date in the trailer posted on the website.
The film follows Mike Enslin, an author who specializes in the horror genre. Mike's career is essentially based on investigating allegedly haunted houses, although his repeatedly unfruitful studies have left him disillusioned and pessimistic. Through an anonymous warning (via postcard), Mike eventually learns of the Dolphin Hotel in New York City, which houses the infamous "Room 1408". Interested yet skeptical, Mike decides to spend one night in the hotel although manager Olin (Jackson) warns him strongly against it. Mike has a series of bizarre experiences in the room.
1.1 Alternative ending
4.1 Box office
5 Home media
6 See also
8 External links
Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a skeptical author who, after the death of his daughter Katie (Jasmine Jessica Anthony), writes books appraising supernatural events he has no belief in. After his latest book, he receives an anonymous postcard depicting The Dolphin, a hotel on Lexington Avenue in New York City, bearing the message "Don't enter 1408". Viewing this as a challenge, Mike forces the hotel to allow him to book a stay in the room. After arriving at the Dolphin, Mike is pulled aside by the hotel manager, Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson). Olin tries to bribe him with cognac, information files and a free upgrade to a luxurious suite to refuse to enter the room. Mike refuses. Olin takes him to his office and explains to Mike that in the hotel's 95-year history, 56 deaths have occurred in 1408, no one survived over the hour. Mike still refuses to leave, and Olin reluctantly escorts him to the 14th floor.
Once inside the room, Mike records on his mini-cassette the room's dull appearance and its unimpressive lack of supernatural phenomena. During his examination, the clock radio suddenly starts playing "We've Only Just Begun", but Mike assumes this is a trick of Olin's. At 8:07, the song plays again and the clock's digital display changes to a countdown starting from "60:00". Mike begins to experience supernatural events, including the window slamming down on his hand, the hotel operator calling about food he didn't order, and spectral hallucinations of the room's past victims as well as of his family, particularly his daughter. Mike's attempts to leave the room are in vain; the doorknob breaks off the door, climbing through the air ducts prompts an escape from the corpse of a former room victim, and climbing onto the window ledge reveals the windows of the other rooms are gone.
Mike uses his laptop to contact his estranged wife Lily, but the sprinkler system shorts out his laptop. The room temperature drops to subzero when the laptop suddenly begins to work again, and Lily tells him the police have entered 1408, but the room is empty. A doppelganger of Mike appears in the chat window and urges Lily to come to the hotel herself. The room shakes violently and Mike breaks a picture of a ship in a storm, flooding the room. He surfaces on a beach, the result of a surfing accident earlier in the film, and after returning to a normal life and reconciling with Lily, he assumes it was all a dream. Lily persuades him to write a book about it, but when visiting the post office to send the manuscript to his publisher, he recognizes a construction crew as the hotel staff, and they destroy the post office to reveal Mike is still trapped in 1408, the walls now burnt and broken. A vision of Katie appears to Mike, and after some reluctance, he embraces her before she crumbles to dust. Mike hears the clock radio begin to play and looks for it in the rubble, seeing it count down the final seconds. When the countdown ends, the room is suddenly restored to normal, and the clock radio resets itself to 60:00.
The "hotel operator" calls Mike again, and informs him that he can relive the hour over and over again, or take his own life. Mike sees a hangman's noose and has a vision of himself hanged, but refuses. Mike uses the bottle of cognac from Olin to make a Molotov cocktail and sets the room on fire. The hotel is evacuated and Lily is prevented from entering as fire fighters enter the scorched room, pulling Mike to safety. As Mike recovers with Lily at his bedside, he tells her about Katie, but Lily doesn't believe him. The two reconcile and Mike moves back in with Lily. During the move, Lily finds a box of items retrieved from the rubble of 1408. Mike retrieves his tape recorder and after some tinkering, gets it to play. As Lily unpacks their stuff, he replays at the conversation with him and Katie. Lily overhears the record and drops the boxes, staring at the tape in shock. Mike stares at her grimly, as the scene blacks out.
Director Mikael Hafstrom has stated that the ending for 1408 was reshot because test audiences felt that the original ending was too much of a "downer". In the original ending, Mike dies in the fire, happy to see the room destroyed. During Mike's funeral, Olin approaches Lily and Mike's agent where he unsuccessfully attempts to give her a box of Mike's possessions, including the tape recorder. Before being cut off, Olin claims that the room was successfully destroyed and that it will no longer harm anyone ever again, which is why he claims "Mike did not die in vain". Olin listens to the recording in his car, becoming visibly upset when he hears Katie's voice on the tape. He looks in the car mirror and sees a glimpse of Enslin's burnt corpse in the backseat. Olin places the tape recorder back in the box and drives off. The film ends at the gutted room, with an apparition of Mike looking out the window and smoking a cigarette. He hears his daughter calling his name, and disappears as he walks towards the room's door. A sound of a door closing is heard and the screen blacks out.
The alternative ending is the default ending on the Blu-ray release and two-disk collector's edition. Canadian networks Space and The Movie Network broadcast this version of the film, as does U.S. network FX, although Space did broadcast the original ending version on July 23, 2012. The UK and Australian DVD and U.S. iTunes version also use this ending.
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