From year to year, it seems that more and more films and series are made based on the works of Stephen King. I have a feeling that the doodles he wrote on the toilet no longer exist and that someone did not decide to turn them into a film, and the last in the series is the distinguished American filmmaker John Lee Hancock, who himself wrote the screenplay based on King’s short story of the same name published in the collection “It Bleeds” in April 2020. And believe it or not, the rights to all four stories published in this collection have already been purchased, with “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” being the first to see the light of day. And if that hadn’t happened, the world wouldn’t have been deprived of anything special because Hancock has made a film that is not only not terrible, which is a rarity when it comes to King, but also quite boring.
More than half of the film practically needs to be spent there for the introduction and for what is written in the short introduction on IMDB to happen. After Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland) dies, says the short description, teenager Craig (Jaeden Martell of “It,” “St. Vincent” and “Midnight Special”) who befriends him and does odd jobs for him, prepares will the old man’s cell phone in his pocket before the funeral. When a lonely kid sends a message to a dead friend, he gets a reply to his surprise. But before the fabulously rich Harrigan, who decided to live in the old days, believe it or not, in a small town in New England, more precisely in Maine, a good hour will pass. Those “odd jobs” as described by IMDB that Craig does for his rich uncle are not perversions, don’t worry, but he was hired by the old man to read him books as a boy.
Over time, the boy and the old man will become friends and connect, and the rich wise man who decided to separate himself from the world will receive a Smartphone from Craig as a gift, which he had been avoiding until then. And of course uncle will predict how the world will develop once everyone gets hooked on smartphones, how these devices will be used to spread fake news and misinformation. But that prophetic part about the phones here is actually unnecessary and not so important because the smartphone that Craig will put in the old man’s coffin seems to have an impact on the real world even after his death. There will be some minimal hints of ghosts and we will wonder if it is just a coincidence or if it really has something to do with the phone, and this film is another proof that everything that may work on paper as a literary template, does not necessarily have the same effect on film.