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.
Hotel rooms are, in essence, purgatory charged at a nightly rate. They exist in that same curious hinterland as the departure lounge at airports, not quite in one country and yet not quite at the destination. They are, in essence, neutral spaces, transient environments which are defined, which exist, only for as long as it takes you to check out.
They’re also prime horror real estate, this very transience allowing for the things on the other side of the door, the wet things, the singing things with impossible claws and the voices of children to break through. From the hotel in The Shining to the Bates Motel in Psycho and the snuff palace in the recent Vacancy, hotels have provided fertile ground for horror writers for years and one in particular. Stephen King has survived stays in Hotel Horror before with two versions of The Shining and last year returned to the field again, when Lasse Hafstrom adapted his short story, 1408.
So join us as we pay a visit to the Dolphin Hotel, home to the most evil hotel room in the world and the crucible which will either destroy Mike Enslin, or rebuild him. Welcome to 1408, room service is suspended. Forever.
A shape in the distance, a killer in suburbia, a psychiatrist pushed to his limits and an innocent girl in the firing line. Halloween is one of the acknowledged classics of horror, the patient zero of slasher movies. Now, we take a look behind the scenes, examining how it’s structured, what it says about the times and crucially what makes it tick. Welcome to the Pseudopod Autopsy. Now glove up…
Nothing makes us happier than seeing how far we can get from the campfire before we get scared. Horror cinema has been around almost as long as cinema itself and whether it’s Nosferatu walking jauntily through Bremen, Ellen Ripley discovering exactly how little she matters to her employers, or Laurie Strode running from the blank, featureless evil of Michael Myers, it’s given us some of the most enduring images of film history.
Which is where we come in. Pseudopod’s new film review section will be looking at the best new movies, the acknowledged classics, and the cult films we know you need in your life. Japanese survival horrors, very English armageddons, and masked killers bent on revenge — we’ve caught and caged the lot for your listening pleasure.
So join us, on this first episode, as we look at the slasher movie patient zero, the film that has spawned countless sequels and arguably a subgenre all of its own: John Carpenter’s Halloween.