I do not know what John Cusack has with motels but three of his movies that I have seen him star in all have a motel as the setting, As an opener to welcome you to this post, the first clip features Cusack in his most recent check in. This movie has two titles 1) THE CARRIER and 2) THE BAG MAN. It matters less which title yours DVD package reads. You will be delighted to find that Cusack, who despite his tastes for roles with rooms that have an old carpets and paint peeling off the wall decor, he often manages to have a lovely companion share his double occupancy . In BAG MAN that lovely supporting actor is the rising star of Rebecca Da Costa. She is a distraction that can get any BAG MAN killed.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the motel's guest. Cusack's choice of Inns are often the place where drifters (packing all sort of weapons) tend to nest. The least menacing characters you'll get and low lifers whose comic relief are no less problematic.
If you doubt my assessment, rewind back a few films and watch IDENTITY (2004). Again the rain is falling outside and as the death toll mounts the blood soak carpets squishes with brain matter. This claustrophobic rain soaked thriller was Cusack's first role as a guest in a motel not unlike the BATES MOTEL. the place is falling apart and the dream like setting seems inescapable. At least here his character exudes some semblance of a normal John. But nothing is as he seems.
Maybe I am wrong and the room of the movie 1408 was in a hotel rather than a motel. John did move on up. The stakes seemed higher as Samauel Jackson was the front desk clerk who warned John of the room's paranormal activity. This would turn a normal guy away, but Cusack seems to enjoy these push yourself to the limits kind of roles. He is good at it because he had seen a blood stained bed spread or two and its no accident that all the guests who came before Cusack are dead by the time he arrives. Here in the role of a grief stricken father Cusack is on a mission to disprove the supernatural. This movie borrows from THE SHINNING. Yellow walls with bright lampshade replace the peeling periwinkle wallpaper and film cover shower curtains dominate. In 1408 we can feel the homage to Jack Nicholson doing his scary thing. Yet John Cusack does not strike me as a scary looking guy....ever. Nonetheless, he keeps searching for roles that liken him to a Norman Bates-like character.
I still like him, I like him as a everyday looking guy caught in circumstances beyond his control. Still, just to be on the safe side, I would not spend the night in any motel he might just happen to be a guest in. Well maybe if he brings Rebecca Da Costa along.....