Confession time: Not only have I read (literally) every story ever written by Stephen King (some of 'em two or three times), but I've also seen (literally) every movie inspired by his books. Some of 'em four or five times. I discovered the man's work around the time I was 13 -- and I devoured his early paperbacks like a junkie devours his drug of choice. I was hooked. All through high school and college and "grown-up" life, if there was a new King paperback out there, I had to have it. Most I liked, some I truly did not, and I few I really went crazy for. And since I'm even more of a movie geek than I am a passionate reader, I'm always pretty excited to sit down with a new cinematic adaptation. (And no amount of Dreamcatchers will ever change that.)
It's been pretty well-documented over the past two decades: LOTS of the movies based on Stephen King stories are grade-A, bona-fide awful. Some of the turkeys had good intentions; some of 'em were low-rent knock 'em offs mounted solely to capitalize on the mega-author's name. But every once in a while ... you'd get something like The Dead Zone or Pet Sematary or Misery or The Shawshank Redemption or Dolores Claiborne or (choose your own favorites like I just did). So yes: this long and roundabout introduction is meant to lead you to the following assertion: The newest King flick is (most definitely) one of the good ones. Save for a few minor stumbles in Act III (and easily forgiven ones at that), Mikael Hafstrom's1408 is actually one of the best Stephen King adaptations in quite some time.