The other night there was a terrible stink in my apartment. I had never smelt anything like it before, and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Finally I realized it was coming from my dvd player where I had just loaded the movie 1408 to watch. The cast was headed by the fearless John Cusack (fearless in the sense of the lousy movie choices he’s been making lately, “Hot Tube Time Machine” anyone?) who plays a L.A. based writer of books on paranormal activity in spooky hotels around the country, and judging by the four or so people who go to one of his book readings at the beginning of the film a not so successful or popular one. The film opens on a rainy stormy night with him visiting a spooky small bed and board whose owners are pleasantly eccentric but creepy and I assumed that there would be strange doings going on here, but no nothing happens and he’s soon back home where he gets a postcard from an unknown person telling him not to stay at room 1408 at the old and somewhat elegant Hotel Dolphin in New York City. So of course John immediately calls them up to make a reservation but they won’t give him that room, and John gets his publisher’s lawyer to intervene on his behalf with a threatened lawsuit if they do not let him spent one night in this supposedly haunted room. I should also mention that John is also a surfer (and at his age no less) and one day in the water he nearly drowns from not paying attention to a big wave approaching. This incident of course will come into play later in the movie. It also turns out that John is separated from his wife who he left back in New York because after their little girl died of some unmentioned disease and he just could not look at the Mrs. without seeing his beloved daughter. This stuff will also come up in the movie like a big flashing neon sign. So John after arguing with the hotel manager played by a suave Samuel L. Jackson who does his best to talk him out of staying in the room finally gets to check in to the room where lots of deaths over the years have occurred and soon the haunting begins. This is stuff we have all seen before and all the little twists and turns did nothing to involve or shake me up. It is well done with decent production values and the usual yawn inducing special effects and is based on a short story by Stephen King. The smell finally went away when I ejected the dvd and put in back in its case.