Mr. Harrigan's Phone
Mr. Harrigan's Phone (2022)
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‘Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’ – Movie Review: Stephen King and Ryan Murphy Team Up to Bring Us A Coming of Age Thriller, With a Slight Touch of Horror

Review

Total Score
6/10
Overall
6.0/10

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is a 2022 movie directed by John Lee Hancock, starring Jaeden Martell and Donald Sutherland. This horror-thriller is currently streaming on Netflix.

It is based on the epynomous novella by Stephen King. Produced by Stephen King, Blumhouse Productions and the, as of late, seemingly omnipresent Ryan Murphy.

Premise

In the small town of Harlow, Maine, a young boy, Craig, who has recently lost his mother, is hired by an eldery, reclusive billionaire, Mr. Harrigan to read to him after the old man has heard Craig read a passage from the Bible during mass. Overtime they form a bond over books, and few years into their friendship Craig gives Mr. Harrigan a cell phone also teaching him how to use it. When Mr. Harrigan passes away, Craig keeps his number and discovers that not everything dead is gone, as he finds himself able to communicate with his friend from the grave through the cell phone that was buried with him.

El Teléfono del Señor Harrigan
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (2022)

Movie Review

This movie is difficult to categorize but after much discussion on this matter, we have concluded it is a horror-thriller coming of age movie. It is by no means a bad movie. It has everything required, but it does become a slightly disappointing experience for those of us who were expecting something more dramatic; and to the viewers who expect a real shocker of horror and fear will be left likewise wondering if this really carries the Ryan Murphy stamp.

The setting is in a small town in Maine, a King staple, which delighted us, as well as the plentiful literary references in the beginning, and metaphors throughout (as was done in Storm of the Century).

At the helm we have the veteran, John Lee Hancock, who once again does his job so well he is imperceptible in the piece (that is intended as a compliment to his work as a director). Everything in this film is in its place, without the need to “act out” in order to stand out. It is a movie that is balanced in all its facets.

Counting on the über-charismatic Donald Sutherland, whose presence elevates our expectations significantly, and whose mere appearance gives the movie that exclusivity it nurtures itself of, to a significant extent for us the oldies among the viewership, even after the death of the character played by Sutherland. The young actor Jaeden Martell, plays his role well, and knows how to carry the protagonist’s character throughout convincingly.

At the risk of stating the obvious, we will add that it is difficult not to think of recently released The Black Phone Book, which was based on Joe Hill’s (King’s son) novel, and produced by Blumhouse as well; as both movies recur to the same theme, technology as a means of communicating with the other side.

This is a strange film about which we can’t say that it blew us away nor that it is the most terrifying we have seen. But it does have something peculiar, although that peculiarity factor is blurred by certain classicism that ultimately denies the movie precisely its least traditional trait.

Our Opinion

A movie that is woven like a drama, or maybe a drama that is undercover as a horror flick and therefore, does not provide the scares anticipated. As a horror-thriller there is nothing particularly notable about it, but if we look closely enough and regard its metaphorical take, it does have more substance to it than what is immediately apparent.

Release Date

October 5, 2022.

Where to Watch Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’

Nettlix

Direction

John Lee Hancock

John Lee Hancock

John Lee Hancock, Jr. (born December 15, 1956) is an American screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for directing the sports drama films The Rookie and The Blind Side. Description above from the Wikipedia article John Lee Hancock, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia

Cast


Donald Sutherland / Mr. Harrigan

Jaeden Martell / Craig

Kirby Howell-Baptiste / Ms. Hart

Cyrus Arnold / Kenny Yankovich


Thomas Francis Murphy / Pete

Joe Tippett / Craig’s Dad
Caitlin Shorey / Young Margie
Iván Amaro Bullón / Sheriff Deputy

See full credits >>

Mr. Harrigan's Phone
Mr. Harrigan's Phone

Movie title: Mr. Harrigan's Phone

Movie description: In the small town of Harlow, Maine, a young boy, Craig, who has recently lost his mother, is hired by an eldery, reclusive billionaire, Mr. Harrigan to read to him after the old man had heard Craig read a passage from the Bible during mass. Overtime they form a bond over books, and few years into their friendship Craig gives Mr. Harrigan a cell phone also teaching him how to use it. When Mr. Harrigan passes away, Craig keeps his number and discovers that not everything dead is gone, as he finds himself able to communicate with his friend from the grave through the cell phone that was buried with him.

Date published: October 5, 2022

Country: United States

Duration: 1h 45m

Author: Veronica Loop

Director(s): John Lee Hancock

Actor(s): Jaeden Martell, Donald Sutherland, Joe Tippett, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Cyrus Arnold, Colin O'Brien, Thomas Francis Murphy, Peggy J. Scott, Alexa Shae Niziak, Polly Kreisman

Genre: Horor, Thriller

Our Opinion

A movie that is woven like a drama, or maybe like a drama that is undercover as a horror flick and therefore, does not provide the scares anticipated. As a horror-thriller there is nothing particularly notable about it, but if we look closely enough and regard its metaphorical take it does have more substance than what is immediately apparent.

Overall
3

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