The King family of horror writers hopes that 2022 will be a good year for movies about phones. “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” by horror master Stephen King from his If It Bleeds collection will join his son Joe Hill’s 2022 film “Black Phone” in the growing micro-genre of phones making death calls from the afterlife.
Netflix has just released a number of images of the upcoming adaptation via its Twitter account to whet fans’ appetites for the upcoming horror thriller starring Donald Sutherland (himself no stranger to the world of Stephen King, as he was in the 2004 miniseries “Salems Lot” and “Salems Lot”). continuing the father-son bond, Kiefer Sutherland was in “Stay With Me”).
This isn’t the first time Stephen King has written a horror story about phones making seemingly impossible calls. One of them, “Sorry, The Right Number,” was written and adapted as an episode of the old 1980s horror anthology “Tales From The Darkside” about a woman who receives a mysterious phone call with an ominous message-a message that she later tragically realizes was a future version of herself calling for a temporary a noose to warn her of her husband’s impending demise. Another ghost of King was his dubiously received novel “Cellular”, where a strange signal plunges everyone who listened to their phones at a certain moment into a zombie-like rage and leaves them forever changed after that. An equally poorly received film was made based on it, starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, probably in an attempt to restore the magic of 1408.
Mr. Harrigan’s phone, however, is very similar to Joe Hill’s “Black Phone,” in which the named phones can communicate from the afterlife, bringing messages of horror and hope to those who receive them. However, unlike the “Black Phone”, the central relationship in “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” is not so sinister — the young man in question, Craig (Jeden Martell, aka Bill Denbrough) and Mr. Harrigan have a completely different time than Finney and Grabber. Craig becomes a friend of the ailing Mr. Harrigan, teaching the old man how to use the phone to gain access to the world, which is now so difficult for him to get out of. When Harrigan dies, Craig puts the phone back in the old man’s pocket at the funeral. Once he sent a message, he was surprised when he received a reply.
Referring to Harrigan’s voicemail—long after the battery in the old man’s phone should have run out—he mentions the bully who bothered him at school. When his bully later dies, Craig is left wondering if the call really woke up his old friend to help him get out of the grave, or if it was just one of life’s grim coincidences. When he realizes that the only way to know for sure is to make another call, things get really interesting. When “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” hits Netflix on October 5, 2022, those who are tuned in to chills and thrills will find out what a special tariff plan the phone has.