The Pseudopod Autopsy: Stephen King’s 1408

A man alone in a hotel room. The past, present and future colliding beneath banal wallpaper, store bought faux art and carefully neutral furniture. A courtesy phone, a mini bar and every surface covered in the blood of the previous victims. 1408 is a meticulously constructed assault on reality itself, a film where the normal is abnormal and where it’s a very, very bad idea to try and steal the complimentary towels. So glove up, and join us as we pull the most evil room in the world apart apart and find out what makes it tick.

01
Mari Mitchell
March 13th, 2008 8:07 pm

I recently bought my copy of 1408. I have as of yet, read the story on which it is based on. I will, but like many of you, so little time so many books. These days, I do not even seem to be able to tread water, I am drowning in must reads. (What a way to go.)
I will have to dig out my copy again and give it another watch. Perhaps enough time has past where I view with more open eyes than those I first watched it with. I had this movie built up in my head, as sometimes happens, it was not what I had in my head.
I will watch again. In a proper way–late at night, all the lights out.
I was very impressed the review. As with any good review, it made think of movie in a new way. This rarely happens in movie reviews, and to tell the truth, I clicked on not expecting much.
Now I am the kind of person who watches movies multiple times, look for favorite moments, delighted when I find something new or discover something I had never noticed before.
This was very nicely done.

02
themindfantastic
March 14th, 2008 12:25 am

I dunno if Horror is so much ‘taking away’ as it ‘gives’ to the audience more than the characters, a view of the abyss. This is what happens when everything is taken away… this is what we can be reduced to, watch, learn, and never forget. The viewer/reader is given the wisdom of what humans can be at the core, the good and the bad. The Wisdom that we hope never to ever put into real use. Or so thats my opinion.

03
March 14th, 2008 5:40 am

Hi Mari:)

Thank you, I’m delighted you enjoyed it. What we’re trying to do with the movie reviews is exactly what you describe; highlight different perspectives on the films, show different ways to approach them and it’s made my day that that’s what you took away from it:)

04
March 14th, 2008 5:41 am

Hi themind:)

That’s a fascinating viewpoint and one which I’d never really consciously applied to anything outside Lovecraft. It’s second nature I suspect, to think in those terms, with Lovecraft’s ‘What man was not meant to know’ approach, but yeah, that actually fits a lot of horror remarkably well. Horror as cautionary knowledge, interesting. Thanks for pointing that out:)

05
AnneMarie
March 14th, 2008 12:08 pm

I agree that the Horror genre is very under-appreciated. It’s a shame that is the case, as horror is a well developed genre (perhaps historically one of the first to pay real attention to story development, timing, pacing and setting, I’m thinking of Matt Lewis’ THE MONK)
However, I would disagree that horror is a “subtractive” genre, while the others are “additive.” I get your theory, and I understand what you are trying to say, I just disagree with it. Horror is really an extension of folklore, which is why it works so well here, people want to hear folklore, not read it. There is something singular about the horror genre that does set it apart from other forms of fiction, and not just the blatant disrespect (ask any author of romance or mystery, genre seems to a dirty word these days). I think what sets horror apart is the collective subconscious acceptance of it’s warnings. We as a culture as afraid of Michael Myers because we as a culture fear the unstoppable/inevitable. We are afraid of Freddy Krueger because we fear what we can’t control or prove in scientific terms.

Wow, heck of a post. Sorry. Anyone want this soap box, I’m done with it?

06
March 14th, 2008 12:46 pm

Hi AnneMarie:)

You’re absolutely right, folklore has so much more impact presented orally than textually. And your point about the warning inherent in it is a fascinating one. I remember a little while ago reading a quote about how the vast majority of iconic, almost baseline monsters in fiction are tall and pale and thin. The writer made the point that we fear the dark because of what hides in it, we fear other animals because of what we know they can do and we fear the loss of our young because we know that will not only be devastating but actively damage the chances of our own survival. They then wondered what, back in the evolutionary past of the species, has made us afraid of tall, thin, pale men who come at night.

That’s ghastly paraphrasing but the point’s a fascinating one and feeds into yours I think. And don’t worry about the soap box in the slightest:) Discussions like this fascinate me:)

07
AnneMarie
March 15th, 2008 8:25 pm

Fabulous. I have a crush on this webiste, if that’s even possible.

08
Mari Mitchell
April 29th, 2008 3:30 pm

I have huge crushPseudopod as well. I’ve listen to all most everything. I found this site a couple of months ago and have just found it to be a lovely box of chocolates.
Sadly, now I am down to a few. I can count them on one hand.
Still, I know there is more to come.
I wonder what movie he will cover next? Perhaps: The Exorcist, Slither, May?

09
May 2nd, 2008 6:30 pm

Hi Mari:)

You will be delighted to know they’re on the list. And Slither is actually very close to the top of the list. I love that movie:)