Critics, who are used to roundly cursing just about every newly released horror film, aren't doing so in the case of 1408, a film based on a story by Stephen King about a cursed hotel room. Desson Thomson begins his review in the Washington Post by writing, "Listen up, all you Hostels, Saws and other purveyors of bloody terror. Think you're lords of the fright market? Lay down your whips, chainsaws and paring knives to watch a truly Scary Movie. You might just learn something." John Cusack is also receiving kudos for his performance as a ghost debunker: "Cusack, in a veritable one-man-show, gets to play mournful, funny, reckless, cocky, contrite and scared out of his wits. The effects are well-orchestrated, and the sly humor oozes out like toothpaste from a tube," writes Stephen Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Glenn Whipp in the Los Angeles Daily News remarks that the movie "is essentially a one-man show, and Cusack makes the most of the opportunity." Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune comments that "the actor deploys his deadpan cool very artfully." But Elizabeth Weitzman concludes in the New York Daily News, "n this mix of recycled scares and half-hearted twists, the only real fright is the sight of an interesting actor wasting his talents in yet another mediocre movie."