They say every PG-13 movie gets two or three nonsexual uses of the F-word. "1408" knows how to use 'em wisely:
Olin (played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson): "It's an evil f---ing room."
"1408" is the most recent vehicle for John Cusack, who has a penchant for playing characters who are too witty for their own good. You've seen this kind of performance from him before - if you queue up "Identity" or "Being John Malkovich," you'll quickly grasp the psychosis Cusack is aiming for. The run-up to the actual room is probably the film's best part.
The script, as so many reviewers have pointed out, eschews gore and violence for more subtle menace. At first, the room seems fine, but things start to spiral out of control. Soon it's less about surviving and more about maintaining your sanity in the face of a hostility that is all too personal. Is this Hell? Is there an evil in the room? Is Cusack's character merely going insane? Is this a dream? The answers never really come (heck, the movie has two equally fitting endings), and that's a good thing.
What keeps "1408" from being another "The Shining" are the sometimes-ridiculous turns of plot that occur midway to keep the audience occupied. This is, after all, a movie about a man in a room, so it's evident that the filmmakers had to relieve the claustrophobia somehow, and this is not always entirely successful. Additionally, while the score, cinematography, and effects are all serviceable, they aren't as striking as Kubrick's masterpiece.
A little in-joke for those who've seen the movie: "We've Only Just Begun" performed by The Carpenters. And man, Karen can drum: