1408 (2007) Ending Explained

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1408 Ending Explained - Brainless Pen

1408 (2007) is an American psychological horror film directed by Mikael Håfström and the lead character is Mike Enslin played by John Cusack.

The movie is very popular worldwide for its excellent storyline and ending twist. The film is created based on Stephen King’s short story of 1408 which is published in 1999.

You can check Stephen King’s recently released movie Firestarter (2022).

1408 (2007) Official Synopsis

The film follows Mike Enslin, an author who investigates allegedly haunted houses and rents the titular room 1408 at a New York City hotel. Although skeptical of the paranormal, he is soon trapped in the room where he experiences bizarre events.

— Wikipedia

1408 (2007) Movie Plot & Ending Explanation

*  * * Spoiler Alert * * *

In the opening scene, a strong downpour hits a road. A car stops at a lodge. A man gets out and enters soaked. He is Mike Enslin. The man walks up to the front desk and begins chatting with the elderly couple in charge. The couple tells him they’ve been expecting him.

Through their conversation, it is quickly revealed that Mike is the author of cheesy horror tour guide books. He travels from place to place, staying at allegedly “haunted” places before writing about them in his books.

The couple tries to tell him all about the lodge’s history as he talks to them. The story of the lodge’s former servant who hanged herself. The female head of the house lost all five of her children to tuberculosis in the bed where Mike will stay.

However, Mike seems oblivious to these stories. There is nothing he seems to care about the history of the place and he feels as if he knows as much as he needs to about it. Like so many other times, he just wants to study it once again in his room.

Mike is later seen in the attic room that’s supposed to be haunted, but it seems completely normal and harmless. He checks things out as time goes on. Even breaks out of the equipment he uses to test for the presence of supernatural forces. The tests are all for naught. There is no supernatural force to be found so Mike falls asleep.

Strange Girl In Bookstore

In the morning, Mike wakes up and leaves right away. Afterward, he heads to a small bookstore for a signing he is scheduled to attend. Upon arrival, he sees a stand set up, but no one greets him, and he doesn’t seem to see anyone waiting in line to meet him.

Mike walks up to the counter and explains to the man there that he is here for his book signing. First, it appears the man doesn’t understand what Mike is saying. He shows him a pamphlet announcing the event that has his picture on it. After that, the store clerk remembers. The clerk at the counter announces the event over the loudspeaker of the store to the few customers present. However, most seem uninterested.

Afterward, we see Mike talking about his various books at the “event,” which is attended by four or five people. “The 10 Scariest Mansions” and “The 10 Scariest Lighthouses” are a few of his derivative works. As one of the attendees asks, does he believe in ghosts because of his experiences? He says that all this is fantasy and nothing he has encountered in all his travels led him to believe in such things as much as he would like to. Using a sarcastic tone, he tells one of the people that if he wants to see a ghost, he should visit the “Haunted Mansion” in Orlando.

For the handful in attendance, he signs a variety of horror guides. A young girl approaches him and places before him a book written by him called “The Long Road Home.”. Michael is surprised that the girl has a copy of the book. The book is not among his horror works. Anna explains that she was genuinely touched and moved by the book and how it seemed authentic, especially the part about the relationship between a father and son.

“Is it true?” she asks. Mike denies it. Mike’s expression, however, indicates that is not entirely true. He doesn’t want to dwell on this point despite being flattered by her words. He says that period is now over when asked if he will write another book like it.

The Postcard

Following the book event, Mike heads back to his home base in Los Angeles. He then goes surfing at the beach. While Mike is surfing, a plane flies over his head as he emerges from the water. A message banner is attached to the plane. Mike is distracted as he attempts to read it and misses the huge wave heading his way. Eventually, Mike washes up on the beach after being knocked over by the wave.

In the evening, Mike picks up his mail at the post office. Later he is seen at a nearby diner picking his mail up. They are mostly advertisements for more “supposedly” haunted places that the owners want Mike to visit.

Michael’s eye is caught by a postcard in this collection. The postcard depicts the Dolphin Hotel in New York. A single warning message appears on the back: “DON’T ENTER 1408!”. When Mike examines the number on the card, he sees that it is equal to 13, so he writes it on the card. “Clever,” he comments.

After that, Mike calls his publisher Sam Farrell in New York. He tells him he plans to finalize his book tour in Room 1408 of the Dolphin. He says it sounds cool, but asks Mike if he wants to come back to New York after “all that happened.”. Although Mike says he is over “that” now, it is clear that he is still deeply affected by what happened there.

Related: 1922 (2017) Ending Explained

Afterward, Mike begins to look for newspaper clippings of the incidents involving former occupants of the Dolphin’s infamous room. There is one article in particular about the first victim of the room. One week after the hotel opened, a wealthy businessman mysteriously jumped from the window of the room.

After that, Mike calls the hotel and asks for a reservation. They say fine, but when Mike asks for room 1408, they immediately tell him it isn’t available. Mike says he did not specify a date. As he persists in asking when it will be available, they keep saying it won’t and hang upon him. That seems to be a ploy to Mike.

According to Farrell, Mike cannot legally prevent Farrell from renting the room. They must rent him any available room if it is a hotel, according to the official New York guidelines. Mike says this is great and tells them to reserve the room right away. Mike is asked if he is sure about this, given the room’s incredibly sordid and wicked history. Mike says he isn’t worried and prepares to go to the Dolphin.

The Reservation

The next scene shows Mike arriving at the Dolphin Hotel. This isn’t the kind of creepy, macabre establishment he expects to find and that most of the places he visits try to be. It seems like a normal hotel. The lobby is quite busy when he enters. He approaches the counter and speaks to the woman behind it.

Dolphin hotel NYC

Dolphin hotel

Mike introduces himself to her and tells her he is here to take a look at Room 1408. When she enters his information on the computer, an alert pops up to notify the manager immediately before allowing Mike Enslin to check-in. He is asked to wait.

In a hotel lobby, a bellboy approaches Mike and asks if he can take his bag. He politely declines and walks away. Mike then meets Gerald Olin, the manager of the hotel. Mike is asked to accompany Gerald back to his office. Gerald says that he needs to discuss the matter of Mike staying in Room 1408. Mike agrees, and they head off.

Gerald tries to explain to Mike why he cannot stay in Room 1408 inside Gerald Olin’s office. As a friendly gesture, he offers Mike a bottle of some expensive Bourbon in the house. Then, he describes the room’s horrifying history and how dozens have committed suicide inside it in a variety of shocking ways.

During this time, Mike interrupted him and continued what Gerald was saying about the entire grizzly history of the room. Gerald smiled and said, “I see you did your homework well.”. However, he tells Mike that he does not know the whole story. Besides the suicides, there have been over 20 “natural” deaths in the room from strokes, heart attacks, and people who appeared to have panicked to death.

This news seems to startle Mike, but he nonetheless remains largely stoic in the face of it all. Gerald explains to him that staying in 1408 will allow him to write a nice piece about it and increase the hotel’s occupancy by 50%. Gerald says that the hotel usually runs at 90% capacity and doesn’t need Mike to write about it in one of his books.

Gerald tells Mike that the hotel doesn’t want to draw attention to 1408. The hotel is afraid of it claiming more victims. No one has ever stayed in room 1408 and lived, and no one has ever lasted longer than an hour. Mike is shown a folder with the case files of the room’s myriad victims and he is told that 56 people have died there in total.

Gerald says this is not for publicity or any other reason – he just doesn’t want anyone else to die there. Mike can see the folder along with staying in the same layout of Room 1404 if he just agrees not to stay in Room 1408.

The answer is no from Mike.

Gerald throws the folder at Mike and says, “Here!”. Just look at it!”.

Mike examines the folder and examines the photos of the many former occupants as Gerald recounts their stories. Particularly one involving a man who was found stitching his body parts together. Mike is disturbed by this, but he insists on going to 1408.

In response to Gerald, Mike explains that despite all the grizzly tales he has told Gerald, he is adamant about staying in Room 1408. Mike says he has stayed in countless places over the years. He has never been injured.

Gerald relents and takes Mike to get the key to 1408. This old brass key is standard. Gerald tells Mike that for some reason, no electronic cards work in the room.

As Mike jokes, “What do the Phantoms dislike about modern innovations?”

Gerald says he never mentioned a ghost or phantom to him. As he leans against Mike, he says “It’s an evil place”.

Is Room 1408 An Ordinary Room At The Dolphin Hotel?

Next, we see Mike and Gerald riding the elevator up to the 14th floor. As haunting as the room is, Mike asks how it is maintained. The hotel staff and Gerald go up to the room once a month for a special visit. Among other things, they change the bulbs and sheets. They always go in groups, and the door remains open at all times, according to him. The room is treated as a biological hazard zone, he tells Mike.

Room number 1408 door view

Room number 1408 door view.

Nevertheless, he says that once a maid wandered into the bathroom and the door closed on her as she tried to leave. Gerald says the maid was in the room for no more than a minute. Michael says, “I guess she died”.” Gerald says “No, she went blind!”. As they pulled her out, he claims she poked her own eyes out laughing.

Mike appears to be distressed by all Gerald has told him, but when the elevator stops he gets off. In the end, Gerald tells Mike to not go to 1408 and that this is all he can do. Mike keeps going and the elevator door shuts. He walks down the hallway of the 14th floor.

At first glance, passing maids and hotel guests seem normal. At the same time, something seems strange. As Mike approaches 1408 with his key, he opens the door. Initially, Mike is not impressed. The room looks completely uninspiring. No different from any other modern hotel room. He walks in and shuts the door behind him.

Mike begins to adapt to his new surroundings. Checking out the room, he finds nothing unusual. The room is fully equipped with all the usual amenities of a typical hotel room, including a copy of The Bible. As he lays down on the bed, Mike makes sarcastic remarks into the voice recorder he brought with him about how much of a joke it is that people speak with such fear in this room.

The time passes by and Mike gets up to look out the two windows of 1408. Mike is looking out the window when he hears some strange sounds. Suddenly, Mike finds two chocolates laying on his pillow as he turns around. Mike laughs, thinking this is some clever scare tactic by the hotel staff. He goes into the bathroom and sees the toilet paper has been replaced. It’s great! There’s a ghost here who takes care of me.”

Mike thinks whoever made the changes must still be in the room, but he can’t locate them despite looking everywhere. After that, a series of bizarre but trivial events begin. Noises, flashes, and other strange events seem to be occurring. Yet nothing cannot be explained.

Suddenly, the room starts to heat up. Mike believes that the hotel staff is trying to force him out of the room. He complains to the hotel operator. He demands someone come to fix the problem. The hotel operator agrees.

Even though he thinks the hotel staff is trying to antagonize him, Mike seems surprised by how easily she complies with his demands.

The mechanic arrives a little later. Mike tries to open the door but it won’t open. As Mike pulled on it with great force, it finally opened, sending him to the ground. He tells the mechanic to come in and repair the thermostat when he sees him at the door. However, the man refuses, saying there is no way he can enter 1408. Mike wonders how he can fix the temperature. The man says he can walk him through it and just needs him to tap on a button on the box. After that, the cooling comes back on. After he thanks him, he turns around to look at him, but he has already left and the door has closed.

The 60-Minute Countdown

As Mike relaxes in his room, the strange occurrences from before begin to become more intense. He notices that the clock in the room has started a countdown of 60 minutes. Mike doesn’t mind at first, but as events progress, he becomes more and more terrified. After a frightening experience in the mirror, he cuts his hand. Suddenly, he panics and calls reception for help. He speaks again to the same woman operator. He is livid at what has been happening, but he has changed the operator. He is mocking and raging. Telling Mike to calm down and stop speaking to her with such a harsh tone of voice. Mike waits for the manager, but the manager never appears.

After hanging up the phone, Mike grabs his belongings and runs for the door. Mike can no longer open the locked door no matter how hard he pulls and bangs on it. Mike goes back to the bed and sees a ghostly specter of a man (who looks like the same man who committed suicide the first time in the room) emerge from the wall. The ghostly specter goes towards the window and jumps out.

Suddenly, another ghostly female appears and leaps from the other window. Mike looks out the window. Through a window on the other side of the street, he can see a man sitting in a building across the street. Mike tries to signal the man and screams for help. He looks at Mike and gets up. The man across the street keeps signaling to him and Mike sees him signaling back, but he realizes that he is just emulating his actions. Mike is confused.

The other man sees him holding the lamp up to his face as he tries to signal him. Seeing the man across the street do the same, Mike realizes the man across the street is him. On the other side of the street, he sees a knife-wielding figure approaching the mirror version of him. When Mike turns around, the same hideous figure attacks him. It eventually disappears. After picking up the lamp, Mike throws it out of the window toward the ground to see if he can attract the attention of the people and cars below, but as he drops it, the lamp vanishes. He goes back towards the door, but it won’t open.

Having just thrown the lamp’s shade out the window, its shade now sits on the floor beside him. The shade still emits light, despite the lamp not being present.

Is Mike Hallucinating?

Michael has now come to the conclusion that he is hallucinating. Gerald gave him a bottle of Bourbon and one of the chocolates left on his bed that he ate. He realizes these could have been used to drug him.

The TV in his room suddenly turns on. A scene from his past appears on the screen. The picture shows him playing with his wife Lily Enslin and their daughter Katie. While watching this old memory, Mike becomes visibly morose and distraught. The scene on the TV vanishes when he touches it.

Mike is influenced to hang by rope at room 1408

Mike is influenced to hang by rope in room 1408

From the next room, Mike hears more commotion over what he had heard earlier. He hears a baby crying and knocks on the wall asking the woman he assumes must be with the baby for help, but no one answers. Rather, the baby’s crying gets louder and louder, eventually becoming unbearable. Mike throws a chair at the wall and the noise finally dies down.

At this point, he realizes that he must get out of there.

He returns to the window. Mike has been recording his comments on a voice recorder he brought with him to document his stay in 1408. In preparation for leaving, he comments on the voice recorder. Any passerby who finds the recorder wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he slipped and fell and was injured as a result. It wasn’t the room that drove him to kill himself.

Mike climbed out of the window. He decides to cross over to the window of the next room. Mike wonders how far away it must be as he keeps going further and further away. After looking down the ledge, Mike is unable to see any other windows. It’s as if the room is somehow able to change reality not only inside, but outside as well.

Upon realizing that he cannot continue, Mike returns to the window from which he came, but a ghost of the woman who jumped in front of him startles him as he attempts to get back in. She then jumps again and disappears before she hits the ground as Mike watches her fall.

When Mike finally gets back inside, he continues having delusional fears. Meanwhile, another scene from his past appears to him.

This time, we see Mike and his wife Lilly comforting one another about the condition of their daughter in a hospital room next to Mike. He assures her that everything will be okay. Katie, who is sitting in a hospital bed beside them, can hear what they are saying and is concerned.

Next, the walls begin to bleed. While he says this must all be a nightmare, Mike wonders why he isn’t able to wake up. Mike looks in the window to shake himself out of his dream, but as he does so, the elevation of the room rises dramatically, and he falls back in sheer terror. All of this culminates in the room becoming overwhelmed with paranormal activity, like a whirlwind. He discovers that the room around him has changed physically when he finally recovers from this disorientating experience.

A white covering has now been applied to the windows, preventing him from looking out. A powerful white light now permeates the entire room. The wallpaper in the room has changed to one of the white flowers, and everything else appears to have been altered strangely. The temperature has also dropped significantly.

It’s Time To Escape

Mike notices that another section of the room has become a scene from his past. An old man sits in a chair in what looks like a mental institution. Mike approaches him, and the two begin to talk. The man complains about his presence. Mike realizes that this is his father. Mike’s father smiles and warns him that soon he will suffer the same fate as him. He realizes he must contact someone on the outside.

Mike in room 1408 when it is unusually snowing

Mike in room 1408 when it is unusually snowing

In the past, he tried his cell phone, but he could not get a signal. He now uses his laptop’s wireless connection. Somehow, he has managed to connect. Lilly can see him through a video signal he gets through. When she sees Mike, Lilly is shocked a+nd wants to know why he has finally contacted her after all these years. He can’t explain why he contacted her. She must help him, but he can’t explain why he contacted her. He asks her to send the police to his location. He tells her that he is at the Dolphin Hotel in New York. Lilly is surprised to find him back in New York, where she is also. Mike keeps telling her to please send the police to where he is by telling her why he hasn’t been in communication for so long. Mike implores her to just do it regardless of why she is confused.

Mike’s laptop’s power is shorted by the sprinkler system, breaking their conversation. Mike is furious and doesn’t know whether his wife even got the message. He looks at the clock once more and sees that it is still ticking down. Mike realizes that he must flee.

The man approaches the room’s door. On the wall is a floor plan of the 14th floor. He had previously seen an air duct above the room. The ducts might be accessible. Mike climbs up and enters the ducts. Passing through the air ducts of the rooms below, he can see more scenes from his life, including one of his wives holding his child as a baby.

He tries to continue, but suddenly a grotesque-looking old man pursues him. He kept grasping at Mike as the old man crawled after him. The old man’s face is shattered when Mike kicks him. Finally, Mike falls into Room 1408.

The temperature has dropped yet again, and snow has engulfed the room. As Mike returns to the floor plan, it has changed. All that is visible is 1408 and nothing else. Through the keyhole, Mike sees only a wall.

Trying to stay warm, Mike burns the various articles in the room. While doing so, he sees more images from his past. He sees a picture of his wife and sick daughter in the hospital. They are telling Katie that everything will be okay and that she doesn’t have to worry about dying. He does his best to keep her spirits up, but his real fears and doubts are obvious. Last but not least, we see Mike and Lilly at home bereaved and grieving over the death of their daughter. Mike is angry at his wife for his feeling that she “Filled Katie’s head with fantasies of a heaven, instead of willing her to fight!”. His faith is gone and he is filled with despair. He then sees a vision in the wall.

Gerald Olin is back in his office. He begins talking to Mike. Gerald says Mike had every opportunity to pass on staying in 1408 and Mike is furious at him. Throughout the years, he reminds Mike that he should not have been so skeptical and doubtful of paranormal activity and ghosts in his books and appearances. It is for a reason that people believe in this sort of thing. There is a glimmer of hope that life goes on beyond death. Mike reaches for Gerald to hitch, but he just punches a wall.

Finally, Mike is ready to give up when his wife contacts him again on his laptop. She asks him if she sent the police to 1408. He runs over to it and tells her she did. She says the police are in 1408 and it is empty.

It is now clear to Mike how powerful 1408 is. His room has now transported him into a different dimension than the one he is currently in. Trying to tell his wife he will die, Mike tells her he is done for. Mike’s wife says he is crazy and that she will go down there to him. Then he pleads with her not to do this, but he suddenly realizes she isn’t listening to him.

After that, Mike’s laptop appears with a new window. Now the video shows him. In the new image of Mike, he tells his wife to come down to 1408 and please join him. To no avail, Mike begins screaming at the video of his wife on the laptop. All she hears is the impostor’s words. After she logs off, the false Mike smiles and winks at the real Mike. Mike now understands it’s not just his life at risk. His rage is overwhelming.

The Nightmare

The room is filled with paranormal activity. Even the pictures on the wall appear to come alive. Water starts pouring into the room from a picture depicting a ship in a violent storm.

The room soon disappears and Mike is trapped underwater. Above him, he sees a light coming from the surface. After swimming towards it, Mike realizes that he is no longer in 1408. Now he’s at the beach he was at at the beginning of the film. As he looks up, he can see the plane from earlier flying overhead, and this time, the message on it says to call XXX-1408 to get great life insurance. After washing up on the beach, Mike eventually finds himself back on the beach where he washed up before.

Then, Mike goes to a hospital in Los Angeles. His wife Lilly is seated next to him. He asks her if he is in NY, but she tells him he is in LA and that he has never been to NY. He tells his wife he dreamed of staying in Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in NY. She responds that she’s never heard of it.

We see Mike and his wife in a restaurant, and his wife tells him that the dream must have been a metaphor he concocted based on the events in his life. Mike looks calm, but he spots a waitress who looks exactly like the ghost from 1408. Mike becomes flustered, but then he looks over and realizes it’s not her. His wife suggests he write about the experience.

Mike continues to research the same stories from before but this time the stories are different and the victims are not related and did not die in 1408. After that, we see Mike writing about his experience of 1408 and how it was a nightmare he built in his mind.

After completing the 1408 story, Mike mails the manuscript to NY. He notices that the man at the counter is not the usual guy at the counter. It’s the bellboy from the Dolphin he met earlier. Turning around, Mike sees some men working on the wall behind him. They are also from the Dolphin hotel.

They all break down the walls of the post office and Room 1408 appears behind them. Suddenly, Mike realizes that this nightmare is going to continue.

The Last Minute at 1408

Mike is back in 1408, but he can’t believe it. He stares at the clock. It is still running down. Eventually, Mike’s daughter appears in front of him. However, Mike doesn’t believe that this is her. Katie asks Mike, “Don’t you love me anymore?”

He kneels and grabs Katie in his arms. He tells her he loves her and that they will be together forever. Suddenly, Mike feels Katie’s body go limp. Katie lies dead in his arms when he looks at her. Mike begins to weep uncontrollably and falls to the ground. “You can’t take her from me twice,” he explains. Her body crumbles into dust before him.

The room begins to shake and flash violently. While watching the clock, Mike watches the last few minutes of the hour pass.

Mike returns to Room 1408 after the meeting is over. The clock has reset and has begun counting down from 60 minutes.

As we see Mike sitting in a chair, he answers a ringing telephone. He picks it up and asks “Why don’t you just kill me?”. We then hear the same annoying and rude woman hotel operator from before “because all our guests enjoy free will, sir!”. She tells him “You can either repeat this hour over and over forever or you can take advantage of our express checkout!”.

When Mike looked over, he saw a noose dangling above the bed. After that, the operator says, “Your wife will be here soon, and I’ll send her up as soon as possible.” Please remember that there is no escape.” Meanwhile, Mike tells the operator that she won’t be in the room. Then he says that if he is going down, he will make sure that Room 1408 is there too.

Mike now has a full bottle of Bourbon that he picked up earlier that is tied with a string once again. Using the string as a Molotov cocktail, he throws it at the wall. In an instant, the room is engulfed in flames.

Some distance away, Lilly, Mike’s wife, is in a cab near The Dolphin. She wonders what’s happening at the hotel since something is not right. She jumps out of the cab and runs to the hotel, where she sees the fire. Everyone is heading for the streets. Lilly begs the firemen for help on behalf of her husband.

disaster 1408 room

The nightmare at 1408

The Final Scene

At the same time, we see Mike back in 1408 smiling and laughing, knowing that he has beaten the room, even if it means his death. He crawls under a table with flames engulfing the room around him. Mike thinks he’s done, but the fireman breaks through the door and pulls him out. In the hallway outside the room, Mike tells them not to go in there because it’s cursed. He is ignored, figuring he is delirious from the trauma. Gerald returns to his office after being dragged out by a fireman and comments, “Well done, Mr. Enslin.”

Mike awakens in a hospital to find Lilly at his side again. Mike explains to her what happened and why everything he has written about and dismissed all these years is true. Mike’s wife is skeptical, believing that he is delusional after all that has happened.

Eventually, we see Mike and Lily together again in their home. Mike is going through some old boxes. Mike’s belongings that he brought back from the Dolphin Hotel are found by Lilly. Lilly believes that it should be thrown out since it stinks and it brings back bad memories. “Bad memories are not to be forgotten; they are meant to be lived with,” he tells her. Even though Lilly is still doubtful of the 1408 haunting, she realizes Mike is ready to move on from the death of his daughter.

The things contain a recorder that Mike used occasionally to comment on the events in the room in 1408. Mike realizes he left the recorder on for longer than he originally thought. He fast forwards to the end of the tape. Mike is listening to Lilly as she talks to her father.

Suddenly, they hear Katie’s voice. Lilly and Mike are both bewildered as they realize 1408 is real.

The movie ends here.

Recommendation

1408 (2007) is recommended as a ‘must watchStephen King’s psychological horror film by Brainless Pen.

Brainless Pen Rating

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