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John Cusack • Samuel L Jackson • Mary McCormack
DIRECTOR: Mikael Hafstrom

John Cusack THE CONCEPT:
Renowned Horror novelist Mike Enslin (Cusack) has written many bestsellers discrediting paranormal events in the most infamous haunted houses around the world. But his phantom-free run is about to end when he checks into suite 1408 of the notorious Dolphin Hotel for his latest project, despite the warnings of the hotel’s manager, Gerald Olin (Jackson). Based on a short story by Stephen King

U.S. RELEASE: June 22 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


”I think my first encounter with Stephen King film-wise was watching Brian De Palma’s Carrie. This was in the mid-Seventies, and I got really obsessed by that film. I think King’s genius is in short stories, which is a very tough literary genre to pull off, but I think he’s a great master in this contained way. 1408 is 40 pages long but you get a lot of information from it – obviously our film is longer, but I feel very much that we are true to the heart and soul of the short story, and I feel like Enslin’s character is the guy that Stephen King writes about.”

“My parents took us to Boston in 1978 or 79, and The Shining had come out, and it was already sort of a classic, and I snuck into the theatre because it was an R rated movie. And when I got out it was night, and I had to walk back to this cottage where we were staying, and it was the scariest walk home I’ve ever taken after a movie. I was about 12 years old, and that movie freaked me out. Years later I did a movie in upstate New York, and there was this very scary old hotel [we stayed in], and I found out that it was what Stephen King based The Shining on. It was supposed to be haunted.”

“I grew up in Tennessee around people who believe all kinds of things. I was told ghost stories at night by my grandfather and his brothers. There were people who died in our neighborhood that we saw long after they were dead. If you were out at night doing something wrong , you’d look up and there would be that lady who used to call your house and tell your mother you were doing something wrong. You’d be like, ‘She’s dead.’ And you weren’t the only person that saw her. We had phenomenon like that that went on throughout my life.”

“The cool thing about this movie is, the thing where you say, ‘Don’t go in the room,’ that happens at about minute 16, and then we go for another hour and see if we can top it or sustain it. The only times I’ve had kind of weird paranormal events, I had a couple of times where I thought things had moved, but it wasn’t a bad spirit; I’ve never really been in the presence of anything truly evil that I couldn’t explain.”

“I’m the opposite of fearless. I’m the guy that sits in the horror movie and says, ‘Don’t go in the dark room.’ Even in my house, if I’m at home by myself in Beverly Hills, if I hear something down the hall, I’ll just stay in my room, I’m not that interested I’ll take the gun out and I’ll sit there and if somebody comes in the room that’s not supposed to be in the house, I’ll just start shooting.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #685, July 2007 cover

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