When reading Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, a sharp and unsurprisingly superb new novella by Stephen King, one will naturally predict that an on-screen adaptation will bring with it the same level of scares, insight, and fun. Sadly, the new Netflix film, directed by The Blind Side’s John Lee Hancock and produced by camp horror aficionado Ryan Murphy, is nothing more than another disappointing take on a top-rate work from the beloved author.
Set in Maine (where else?), Mr. Harrigan’s Phone follows Craig (Jaeden Martell), a young boy who is enlisted by a mysterious billionaire, Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland), to read him old classics as his eyesight wanes. The reading sessions go on for years, and the odd pair become close – so close, in fact, that Craig buys Mr. Harrigan his first-ever iPhone. Harrigan becomes infatuated with his device, which leads Craig to stuff it into his coffin when he dies. Craig mourns his death, and the old man rests peacefully underground. The end.
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