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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando


John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in 1408 (Dimension)

Like those infamous Roach Motels, 1408 (opening June 22 throughout San Diego) is a place where you can check in but you can't check out. But if you plan to check in, please do your best to avoid seeing the trailer before hand because it gives away key moments in the film.

Before I start my review, Id like to take a moment to rant about movie trailers. If I were a filmmaker, Id object to the trend of telling too much in the promos for films. When the trailer for 1408 came on at a recent screening I was at, I knew I didnt want to watch. When I go to a film, especially one thats meant to be scary or tense, I hate to see or read anything about it in advance. I dont want to be sitting in the theater waiting for a particular shot or a scene to occur. As I reluctantly watched, the 1408 trailer proceeded to give away key shots and plot points from the film, leaving little, I thought for the full movie to reveal when it opened. This also happened with another hotel-themed horror film, Vacancy . In both cases I felt cheated when I saw the films because I was prepared for a number of the scares, and was impatient with trick endings. After all, you cant fall for a twist or turn if the trailer has provided shots and information that prevent you from being duped. I seem to remember that when The Shining (another hotel horror film) came out more than two decades ago, the trailer was simply a static wide shot of a hotel lobby as blood gushed from an elevator and the hallway became a sea of red. That was creepy, it peaked your interest, it built anticipation yet it didnt give anything away. So I end this mini-rant with a plea to the studios to please reveal less in their trailers and promos.

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