Being so out of touch with the horror genre, I wasn't really sure if this constituted a horror film. I did grip my armrest a couple times, so there were moments of surprise for me. Got a little more predictable later on.
From a camera point-of-view, I got sick of the revolving camera bit. I swear, I almost got motion sickness from it. I mean, while actually in the room, it makes some sense, but in the lobby when Cusack and Jackson's characters first meet? Is that really necessary, especially when they carry the conversation into Olin's office? Aside from that, I thought they did a decent job with that. The effects and visuals were ok.
I liked the occasional usages of humor... "$3 for beer nuts? Olin's right, this room IS evil!" And after failure via ventilation vent "It's good to be back." And the running gag with that particular song, and the particular CHOICE of song, too. Anytime you can make the Carpenters sound ominous, that's funny.
Wading in Mr. Enslin's psyche... it was necessary, seeing as that seemed to be the room's modus operandi, but I think they really drew it out too much, especially with the daughter and the wife. Got to the point where it became more pathetic than sad or scary. But on that psychological note, I liked how they make it apparent why there were so many suicides.
Cusack's acting was nice, as was Jackson's. The female voice on the phone was well done. That was some nice writing towards the end, phrasing things like messages you'd hear from the hotel while you were on hold. On the subject of writing, including the natural deaths to the conversation in Olin's office was a nice touch too.
Little things...why would the wireless internet work if the cellular phone didn't? The fridge bit where he can't see he's knocking drinks all about, cuz he's arguing with Olin... interesting. The paintings changing was an obvious gimme. The engineer who came to fix the thermostat--I do believe he played Capt. Quentin Rockingham on an episode of M*A*S*H. The realization that the digits of 1408 add up to 13, and that the room is really on the 13th floor were good. His part about how if he fell, it was an accident... really accentuated by what the room said via phone near the end, so pretty cool there
SPOILERS AHEAD: The false ending was a nice touch. Add another layer of frustration, right? I kept saying to myself "No way would they screw us with a wake-up-from-a-dream ending" and of course, the waitress was the big tip-off. But nice touch with the parking tickets on his car. That, for a moment made me think they really would do that to the audience.
The fire was weird but interesting. Still not sure how much I liked it. Good that he had to do it only with things that went in with him to make sure it was real. Good that he would have died if his wife hadn't told the firefighters where he was. Questionable on how the door actually gave way when they rammed it. I guess outside the room, laws of physics apply, therefore, the door must give way to the outsiders.
Girl's voice on tape at the end...again, questionable as to how much I liked it. It pretty much defeats the notion that the room acts like a holodeck that wreaks havoc on a journey to the center of the mind. But, it still leaves the nature of the room up in the air, which I guess was the whole point of it anyway.
Overall, a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends, but one I'm not itching to see again.
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I just got this on DVD not too long ago and I loved it! It was especially scary watching it at 3am in a dark bedroom with the volume turned up.. The only part I thought was weird was when he was talking to Samuel L. Jackson through the refrigerator. Oh, and no way in hell the laptop would have worked at all the second time; no cell service but there's wi-fi? And it got wet when the sprinklers cam on earlier. Oh, and when he was talkin to his wife, another window opened and it was an evil John Cusack?
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5