Written by: jamhorner
I don't care what people think about Stephen King adaptations. I would buy any SK adaptation know matter what, even if it was a flop (Maximum Overdrive). Looking back on myself, I did not want to see this movie because it John Cusack in it. He is a good actor, better than his sister Joan. I was really wrong about him this time. The movie is based off of a short story in the book Nightmares and Dreamscapes, which tells the story of a paranormal investigator/author, who is recently divorced and lost his daughter, checking into a room with a very grisly past. A skeptic at first, he quickly learns the horrible haunts and pains that this room holds. I will say this, it is genius how Mikael Håfström approached this and created a whole movie inside a hotel room. The set, with looks like it came from a Broadway play, was masterfully done and really stayed true to the book's description.
John Cusack really established himself as a great actor. His performance in this movie was nothing short of brilliant and perfect. Though in the beginning of the movie he is sort of stale and kind of tired, he quickly takes a swan dive into madness once the room starts mindscrew him. His performance is believable even when he becomes emotionally damaged when he sees his dead daughter. Samuel L. Jackson who we all know from Snakes does not overdue his character to point of ridiculousness. He does not have that big of a role but more of a supporting character, and for his magnitude is just right. He is in plenty other movies where he is perfect for a main character, this one he is just fine as a supporting character. He adds a sort of charisma to the hotel manager, who is seldom, calm, very proper and persistent. If it weren't for the emotions, the movie probably would be just another haunted house story.
For a PG-13, this movie had some pretty good scares, but the main "scare tactic" was not jump out scare, which it had, but more psychological scares. Granted, the jump-out scare worked effectively, especially in enclosed areas and dark open areas but psychologically you never know what is real and what is not and that is the biggest scare out of the whole movie. Only SK and Håfström could make a radio seem so creepy, which they did perfectly. The room also plays horrible emotional tricks on our protagonist and at one point you feel for him, especially since the room is just playing games on him. I think that his movie is very different from some of the SK adaptations for these exact reasons, and this movie is definitely a must-see for any SK fan or horror fan.