The screenwriters of this Stephen King adaptation are collectively responsible for Reign of Fire
, Problem Child 3
and Agent Cody Banks
, and director Mikael Håfström's English-language debut was the dreadful Derailed
. Yet 1480
is a surprisingly effective movie, terrifying in its tension and heartbreaking in its release. John Cusack plays a former novelist named Mike Enslin, who, after the death of his daughter and a separation from his wife, abandons all interest in the living to focus on the dead, writing travel guides to haunted locales. In Room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel in Manhattan, in which dozens of corpses have piled up since the 1920s, he finds his first truly "evil fucking room." The horror wouldn't work without Cusack; we're never sure if Mike's losing his mind or saving his soul. More than likely, it's both.