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Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

On 1408

2007-06-24

Category: movies

The movie ?1408? is the tale of an author of paranormal books who stays in a haunted hotel room. It would be easy to mistake the movie for a vampire flick because of the way it will suck the life out of you. I cannot recommend this film unless you have been having trouble sleeping and don?t want to take pills. (NOTE: I have not included a link to the official site because they use way too many decorative elements and not enough content. If you really want to go there, Google it.)

Don?t get me wrong, there are god parts to the movie. Some scenes were surprising or unexpected. There were even funny moments. The acting was good particularly the performance by Jasmine Jessica Anthony who played the author?s daughter. For her age she did an exceptional job.

Problems arise with pacing, unnecessary symbolism, and predictability. The space between the interesting parts tends to drag on. The film wants extra time to beat a dead horse. It seems the author character is disturbed by being in a haunted room and has to go on about it over and over again. We get it already; move on.

There is much emphasis on paintings in the hotel room. One gets integrated into the story, though there were better ways to have reached the same action that did not involve the painting. The other paintings should have been relegated to background scenery.

When other things happen, they are usually predictable. Even some of the twists are a bit obvious and add little to nothing to the story. Too many times a concept gets carried on further than necessary just to include something ?spooky?. This is exacerbated by the fact that most of those concepts have been used so often that they are now clich?. Does anybody fall for that stuff anymore?

Because of the time spent in with the above mentioned dead horse, you lose sympathy for the author. When the story is over, you don?t care if he survives his ordeal or not and are more concerned with whether you will survive the film without nodding off. The worst part is that with a little tweaking it could have been a really good movie. The background of the main character is someone for whom an audience could feel real empathy. The acting and special effects supported the story well. It was just poorly paced. That seems to make me think the director should be sued by everyone else involved.

That?s my opinion. Don?t waste your theater bucks with this one. Wait till it comes out on video and watch it on a rainy Saturday afternoon when it?s gloomy out and you?re going to feel depressed anyway.


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