Nightmare Fuel / 1408

The Film

  • Absolutely everything that happens in room 1408.
    • "As you are, I was. And as I am, you will be."
    • When the room directory changes to show the hotel completely blacked out except for 1408.
    • "Five. This is five. Ignore the sirens. Even if you leave this room, you can never leave this room..."
    • That... fucking... phone. And the clock radio.
    • The windows.
    • We've only just begun to live . . .
    • To say nothing of when it hijacks his video chat with his ex to get her to come up to the room so she'll die too.
    • One of the alternate endings on the blu-ray has Mike's editor receiving the manuscript he wrote —though God only knows how he got it— and reading it. Quotes from the movie begin to play, looping and overlapping each other, including a few from that delightful phone (including one that didn't happen in the movie—"Your daughter is being eaten by wolves on the Connecticut turnpike") as the camera slowly backs away from the editor...through the now-inexplicably empty office. The doors swing shut accompanied by "As I am...", and the movie cuts to black just before " will be." -shiver-
    • The creature in the vents. Which is not just some kind of monster, but the reanimated corpse of Kevin O'Malley, one of 1408's first victims.
    • The Reveal that at the end of the hour, Enslin gets to look forward to experiencing it again. And again. And again...
  • The very Adult Fear of watching your child slowly dying from a horrible illness. Full stop.
  • The false ending gives way to a worse piece: the evil room trots out Cusack's dead daughter, lets him hold her as she begs him not to let "them" take her away, then she crumbles to ash in his arms.
  • The very real possibility that Enslin might never have escaped the room after all. Earlier he hallucinated that it was All Just a Dream, and the vision lasted days, perhaps weeks from his perspective, before the room revealed the truth, and Enslin was completely fooled. When the credits roll there's no way to know if he actually made it out, or if the room just did the same stunt and is letting him enjoy the reprieve before pulling him back in...

The Short Story

  • It's more psychedelic than Gothic and ghostly, but the imagery (and the protagonist's increasingly disjointed comments) will still make you sleep under the covers. Same with the descriptions of the room's "effects" on visitors. Even if you're not creeped out by the long (very long) beginning sequence where the hotel manager tries his best to convince Our Hero that he should just walk away, the room itself starts messing with reality before we've even seen the inside of it;
    The door was crooked.
    Not by a lot, but it was crooked, all right, canted just the tiniest bit to the left.
    He pushed RECORD [on his minicorder] as he straightened up, saw the little red eye go on, and opened his mouth to say, "The door of room 1408 offers it own unique greeting; it appears to have been set crooked, tipped slightly to the left."
    He said The door, and that's all. If you listen to the tape, you can hear the words clearly, The door and then the click of the STOP button. Because the door wasn't crooked. It was perfectly straight. Mike turned, looked at the door of 1409 across the hall, then back at the door of 1408. Both doors were the same, white with gold number-plaques and gold doorknobs. Both perfectly straight.
    Mike bent, picked up his overnight case with the hand holding the minicorder, moved the key in his other hand towards the lock, then stopped again.
    The door was crooked again.
    This time it tilted slightly to the right.
  • Stephen King actually reads 1408 on an audiobook called Blood and Smoke. It's even worse hearing his weird, creepy voices than it was reading the text!
  • For Enslin, he's so traumatized that he disconnected all the phones in his house and has to sleep with a nightlight. After an experience like that, you can't blame him. "Even if you leave this room you can never leave this room"
  • The Evil Phone screeching in a high-pitched robotic voice "This is nine. Nine. We have killed your friends. Every friend is now dead."
  • Enslin's final realization: "It was never human." So what was it?
  • The cleaning woman who was struck blind while working in the room. She wasn't even struck blind technically, but suffered some sort of mind-breaking amalgam of colors not belonging to our reality in her vision. Once she was outside, her vision returns to normal again.
  • The menu sequence. Enslin flips through the pages, before settling on one particular item. Each time he closes his eyes the menu changes to a different horrific vision, ending with a boy being eaten by wolves.
  • "My brother was killed by wolves on the Connecticut Turnpike..."
  • "Remember that if you try to solve the puzzle and fail, you will be put out into the snow beside the Connecticut Turnpike and the wolves will eat you."
  • The changing painting of the woman.
  • "I have to get out of here."