West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 5 | July 4 - 10, 2007

Koch on film

By Ed Koch

“1408” (-)

I went to see this film, notwithstanding its generally poor reviews, because I enjoy watching the lead actor, John Cusack, on screen. Every actor is usually credited with some bad performances during their career and, unfortunately, this is such a performance. In this movie, Cusack is truly a Johnny One Note in terms of conveying emotion, and the script, based on a Stephen King short story, is seriously inadequate. It may be that the novella, which I did not read, was deficient, but that’s hard to believe since King is such a talented writer with endless successes. Nevertheless, he too may have had a poor writing period.

Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a travel writer who explores alleged ghost-ridden sites and exposes them as fakes. He receives a postcard urging him to visit Room 1408 in New York City’s Dolphin Hotel. The hotel manager, Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), tries to discourage him from spending the night in that room because of the number of former occupants who have died in it. 

Enslin insists on staying in the room and, of course, strange things happen. My commitment as a reviewer is as strong as Tony Soprano’s omerta oath, so I can’t tell you what they are. I can tell you, however, that they make little sense and, for the most part, they don’t frighten the audience. You’ll be sorry if you go.


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