October is officially upon us, which means horror movie fans have every excuse to hunker down in front of their screens, big and small, to indulge in this year’s creepiest offerings. Among the new releases coming to Netflix in October is Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, an adaptation of a Stephen King novella, that’s set for release October 5 on the streaming site. The horror flick features some veteran Stephen King stars in Jaeden Martell (IT and IT: Chapter Two) and Donald Sutherland (2004’s Salem’s Lot miniseries), and the reviews are in to give the critics’ opinions on the film, whose trailer does look pretty haunting.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone tells the story of Craig (Jaeden Martell), who gives his elderly friend Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland) a cellphone, and after the old man dies, spooky things start to happen with the titular technology. It’s usually a good sign when the author gives his stamp of approval, and Stephen King seems incredibly happy with this rendering, so let’s see if the critics agree. We’ll start with CinemaBlend’s review of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, with Eric Eisenberg giving it just 2 stars out of 5. He says the story that works as a novella struggles in its translation to the screen:
Allison DeGrushe of Distractify rates the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, praising Spanish composer Javier Navarrete for the film’s score. As far as the story itself, however, the critic calls the movie boring and says there are little to no scares. More from the review:
Frank Scheck of THR agrees that Mr. Harrigan’s Phone just isn’t very scary, and says this is the rare Stephen King story that gets less interesting as the horror grows. In the critic’s words:
Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting rates the film 2.5 skulls out of 5, saying the two halves of the movie don’t come together as neatly as they need to, and the film struggles once it loses Donald Sutherland. According to the critic:
Chris Evangelista of SlashFilm rates the film slightly above average, at 6.5 out of 10, noting that while the movie lacks jump scares and CGI ghouls, the horror is more likely to hit in the dark of night after the movie ends. This critic appreciates the loyalty shown to Stephen King’s text but says director John Lee Hancock isn’t able to create the necessary fear or tension. As others indicated, this critic thinks Donald Sutherland is the highlight of this adaptation, saying:
If you want to check out Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, the movie will be available to stream via Netflix subscription on Wednesday, October 5. In the meantime, check on the status of other upcoming Stephen King movies and series. Fans of the famed author won’t want to miss our weekly Adapting Stephen King column, which publishes every Wednesday, featuring the full history of the author's books that have been made into movies and television.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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