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If You’ve Streamed ‘1408’ You Might’ve Seen The Wrong Ending

A few years ago I was feeling nostalgic for John Cusack’s hotel hell movie, 1408. I’d seen it in the theater and it just kind of stuck with me. I think that’s the case for a lot of people. Cusack tries all of the various ways we’d do to get out of that hotel room, and nothing works. The futility permeates everything. But when I finally watched it again, this time on streaming, I was left confused. This wasn’t the ending I remembered. Was I wrong? Was this a case of yet another horror movie Mandela Effect? It turns out, if you’ve streamed 1408, you might have caught the wrong ending. Spoilers ahead!

The Theatrical Ending

Mike Enslin lives. 1408

Haunted house book author Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is invited to write about a spooky hotel room in an otherwise un-haunted hotel. The room is 1408, and the staff don’t want him to stay there. After insisting, he ends up in the fated room. Unfortunately, spooky stuff starts to happen and, try as he might, he can’t get out.

However, after destroying the hotel room, he manages to finally crawl his way out. He’s back with his wife and she’s skeptical of what happened to him in room 1408. He finds the tape recorder he used in the room and turns it on. Their late daughter Katie’s voice comes from the recorder, much to their shock. The End.

The Alternate Ending

Olin gets spooked. 1408

In the alternate version, which is actually the director’s favorite version, after Enslin destroys room 1408, he dies in the process. The hotel’s manager, Olin (Samuel L. Jackson) visits Enslin’s funeral. He’s happy that someone finally ended the horror of that terrible room. When Olin gets back into his car, he briefly sees Enslin in the backseat through his rearview mirror. Then we see Enslin back in the burned out room smoking a cigarette. He hears his daughter calling for him and walks away to find her, disappearing as he reaches the door.

This is the depressing ending that many of us have found while streaming the movie, much to our confusion.

But…why?

1408

It turns out, the alternate ending of 1408 was supposed to be the original ending. This was director Mikael Håfström’s preferred ending. But when he showed the cut to test audiences, it just didn’t resonate with them. They didn’t like that Enslin didn’t make it out of the hotel room. And even the original story by Stephen King had Enslin living in the end. Although Håfström wasn’t happy with it, he reshot the ending to have him living, and that was the version we saw in theaters.

But when it came time to release the movie on disc and streaming, the director quietly chose his alternate ending. There was no warning on box art or movie summaries, so many of us were confused that we were seeing an entire ending that we didn’t remember. Now, some streaming services have the theatrical version, and some have the alternate ending. And you won’t usually know which one it is unless you read reviews/comments or test it out yourself.

Where to Watch Both Endings

Want to choose your ending? Here’s where to watch either ending right now.

Theatrical Ending: Roku Channel, Tubi, Plex, Vudu

Alternate Ending: Prime Video, DVD and Blu-Ray Versions, Netflix when it was on it