I realize that the bar of quality for Stephen King adaptations has been set pretty low over the last few years, but 1408 is a surprisingly good movie. This is not necessarily a good reflection on King himself, as his original short story on which the movie is 'based' accounts for probably less than 1/4 of the film. The rest is fleshed out by the screenwriters, and both they and the director do an admirable job maintaining an unsettling tone throughout. One might consider the source author and theme of the story and immediately think 1408 is a riff on or even a knock-off of King's The Shining, but it manages not to really raise the spectre of the previous work until the end. Probably the best compliment I could make is that 1408 holds its own against Kubrick's creepy masterpiece.
Both Cusack and Jackson comport themselves well; Cusack's performance at first might seem a little tired, but ultimately it comes off as more of a characterization than just phoning it in. His role is of a jaded author who is resigned to never getting a peek at what lies beyond, and Cusack realistically holds this tone of subdued grace. Jackson expertly walks a line between menace and concern as the hotel manager.
These characterizations hold a firm centre while the creepy machinations whirl about in 1408, and make for some enjoyable chills on a dark and windy night.