1408—Dimension Films (Blu-ray)

Video: 4/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5

John Cusack plays a skeptical writer investigating paranormal events. When he insists on staying in the reportedly haunted suite 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel against the grave warnings of the hotel manager, he discovers the room's deadly secret - an evil so powerful, no one has ever survived an hour within its walls.

Stephen King adaptations have always been real hit or miss. I just recently read the short story this film is based on and overall I think they’ve gone a good job with the material here. Cusack does a great job carrying the film on his shoulders as he battles a haunted room and the sense of suspense is better than I would have expected. The film stumbles a bit in the third act but for a King adaptation this is one of the better few out there.

I imported an HD DVD version of this film sometime ago and this version is very close in terms of presentation. The image has an outstanding balance of contrast and detail with inky blacks and outstanding depth of image. Despite the claustrophobic nature of the film, the every changing landscape of the room makes for an interesting visual experience. Dimensionality is first rate throughout though I did see some minor jaggies pop in from time to time. The color palette shifts considerably throughout the film but interior shots have a subtle tint toward amber that works well. Overall a great HD presentation.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is not quite as aggressive as the DTS-HD Master Audio mix of my import copy, but the soundstage seems to be about the same. The DTS mix was a bit more intense on the lower end but this mix seems a bit more controlled in low level extension. There are some really great discrete cues spread throughout this mix and the surround soundstage adds a great level of creepiness to the experience. The score is effectively moody and chilling and fills the soundstage nicely.

Extras include a feature commentary with the director and screen writers along with some deleted scenes. A few alternate endings are included and some production features including an interview with actor John Cusack.

1408 is an effective thriller that boasts a great A/V presentation. It seems that King’s stories are starting to get better treatment than they used to. If you’re a fan of the genre, this one shouldn’t be missed.