I almost didn't blog this one, because I fell asleep for a good chunk of it. But I think I was awake for more than half of it. And if a movie isn't interesting enough to keep me fully awake all the way through, don't you, the reader, have a right to know that? Damn straight you do. So here goes.
John Cusack plays Mike, a mildly successful writer in the "supernatural and creepy places" travel genre. (Didn't know there was such a genre, did you? Neither did I. Maybe there's not.) He's a supernatural skeptic himself, though. He had a bad relationship with his father, and the recent death of his young daughter has caused him to abandon his wife.
The movie needs to establish all that, so it takes a long time to get going, following Mike on an uneventful visit to an allegedly-haunted bed-n-breakfast, a sparsely-attended publicity visit at a bookstore, and a surfing accident at Hermosa Beach. Eventually, though, he's enticed into a visit to New York's Dolphin Hotel, and the seriously evil room 1408. Yes, after years of visiting allegedly-haunted places, Mike's found a place that's actually haunted, one that's in-your-face about it, and not at all reluctant to use his emotional baggage and a reasonably large special effects budget against him.
John Cusack is a decent actor, but it's been awhile since he's made an above-mediocre movie. If you haven't seen Being John Malkovich, Better Off Dead, High Fidelity, The Grifters, Say Anything, or—hey—even Con Air, I'd recommend going with those before you check out 1408.