Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (2022)
Genre: Drama | Horror | Mystery |
Runtime: 104 min
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Jaeden Martell, Joe Tippett
When Mr Harrigan dies, Craig, the teen who befriended and did odd jobs for him, puts his smartphone in his pocket before burial. When the lonely youth sends his dead friend a message, he is shocked to get a return text.
EMOTIONLESS AND A WASTE OF MONEY
John Lee Hancock, director of The Founder and The Blind Side, directs Mr Harrigan’s Phone which is based on a short story by Stephen King. As much as this proves to be a horror film or thriller, it never appeals to the bigger story. It spends a lot of time exploring the relationship between John Harrigan and Craig, portraying them as a grandson and grandfather. Making it personal would make it a more immersive effect when Harrigan dies.
It’s also sending a signal of the worthiness of the smartphone and its meaning. It didn’t need to be a smartphone, per se. Hancock just tries to illustrate the diminishing world of smartphones and how the elder handles the entities. Craig is the character that constantly, regularly visits the rich Mr Harrigan and reads from his book and later becomes a friend of his. Once Donald Sutherland’s character is dead and buried, the boy gets strange messages from him. The plot seems to intrigue some big shoots from Hollywood producers to make this film with so an uncertainly and weak story. It feels weak mostly because of the scattered dialogue and the irregular editing. The actors do their best to distinguish themselves from the characters, but the script holds them away.
The film is plotted with a bad soundtrack, and horrible co-stars and is filled with an unnecessary voice-over explaining everything instead of showing emotions or suspense instead. The absurd thing with this feature is that it tries, like so many other films, to emulate the sense of Craig’s unstable psyche. Jaeden is good in this film in the first half, mostly because he has Sutherland in the same scene. When Harrigan dies, he struggles to stand alone and lead the film.
As usual in a story like this; he’s bullied in school, has a teacher that he relied on, a naïve parent that doesn’t get his son’s weird activities, the church for seeking help from God and reciting quotes from the bible, having few friends in the beginning but never talks with them afterwards. A lot of this is still on repeat, movie, after a movie. Grand companies like Netflix surpassed the knowledge of pursuit or are more likely to ignore the knowledge of getting sophisticated and well-produced content on their services that’s very expensive and doesn’t even have an annual year membership.
For sources of a decently experienced director, one of the best writers and big production houses like Blumhouse and Ryan Murphy, this is an emotionless bag waste of money. A higher standard should be set for a film with these producers.