Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is a 2022 horror film about a teenager who befriends an old man who dies but carries on communicating from the grave.
Produced by Jason Blum, Carla Hacken and Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story). Executive produced by Jeremy Gold, Scott Greenberg and Chris McCumber.
The Blumhouse Productions movie stars genre stalwart Donald Sutherland (Alone aka Final Days; The Puppet Masters; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978; Don’t Look Now; The Castle of the Living Dead), plus Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jaeden Martell (Metal Lords; Knives Out; IT; IT: Chapter 2), Joe Tippett, Cyrus Arnold and Peggy J. Scott.
A teenager named Craig (Jaeden Martell), living in a small town, befriends an older, reclusive billionaire, Mr Harrigan (Donald Sutherland). The two form a bond over books and an iPhone.
However, when the old man passes away, the boy discovers that not everything dead is gone, and finds himself able to communicate with his friend from the grave through the iPhone that was buried with him…
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone will stream worldwide on Netflix on October 5, 2022.
“The social commentary is there, but it’s clunky at best in a horror tale about a dead old guy making a teen boy’s wishes against others come true. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is decently made and skillfully acted, but not as affecting, chilling, or thoughtful as it probably should be about a monkey’s paw for the digital age. It’s just trite and underwhelming. C+ The Artful Critic
“Donald Sutherland winds up serving as the glue that holds this feature together. The tenured actor plays well off Martell […]. But without Sutherland’s gravitas, Hancock struggles to convey the terrors of karma or the double-edged sword of technology. A strong start tapers off into a quiet and uneven morality fable that’s ultimately too vague to make an impact.” 2.5/5, Bloody Disgusting
” …made for those in a King-ly mood for a more modest understanding of fear. Hancock puts his faith into performances (Martell and Sutherland are fantastic here) and the hook of the unknown, but the material ends up more psychological and personal, interested in the ways of grief over the influence of ghosts.” 7/10, Blu-ray.com
“Compared to The Black Phone, with which it shares some obvious similarities, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is even more of a moody thriller with some horror elements than a full-on horror fest. In fact, it is perfect for people who believe horror is too scary for them. Then again, after watching Mr. Harrigan’s Phone you may never look at your iPhone in quite the same way…” A Celebration of Cinema
” …a tale easier told as a work of short-form fiction than dragged out to be a feature-length mediocrity. I enjoy performances by an up-and-coming Martell and Sutherland at his old-man stage of his career, but with a less-than-memorable supporting cast, and an even less memorable execution, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone won’t be leaving the viewer with a sense of true cinematic fulfillment.” 2.5/4, Film Festival Total
“It’s solidly acted by Martell and Sutherland, although the latter seems as desperate as we are to let loose and have a bit more fun, and has a confident sense of place as King adaptations often do but it’s all rather unforgivably dull, a call to be swiftly ignored.” 2/5, The Guardian
“Being both a sucker for coming-of-age stories and Stephen King’s storytelling, as well as John Lee Hancock’s filmmaking, I was very happy with Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. If you let go of any wild horror expectations, I think you’ll see the wonders of this little gem as well.” 3/5, Heaven of Horror
“Hancock simply doesn’t seem very interested in mining the concept for its chilling aspects, which, to be fair, weren’t particularly well developed in King’s novella either. Instead, the film mainly comes across as a contemplative portrait of an unlikely friendship and a coming-of-age story in which a young man learns the perils of getting what you wish for.” The Hollywood Reporter
“Craig and Harrigan’s friendship may seem a bit weird, but the kindly rich grandfather vibe present in King’s text is pushed to new heights in cinematic form. Sutherland and Martell play off one another well as they chew through contemplative, layered dialogue […] Those coming for only the horror element may leave a bit disappointed, mainly because Mr. Harrigan’s Phone never manages to go full-tilt stereotypical scary.” 3.5/5, Josh at the Movies
“It is exciting and while a little dark, it is not scary. The storytelling and the actors are amazing and you should not miss out on witnessing this understated movie. While it may seem more like a boring lecture for the generation who is unable to leave behind their phones, it is also an important message for those who have become addicted to the same.” 4/5, Leisure Byte
“Vagueness is important, if only because, after spending so much time in thoughtful conversation and considered character development, the plot’s central conceit really does come out of nowhere. This is a morality tale at its core, wrapped up in a supernatural mystery that’s initially intriguing. Unfortunately, Hancock doesn’t seem to know where to take this story.” 2/4, Mark Reviews Movies
“The character development and relationship between Craig and Mr. Harrigan are the stronger points of the film. These elements worked the best in the original novella as well. As time passes, you can feel the struggle to expand this short novella into a feature, and the struggle with its tonal shift from character drama to a gentle haunting.” Nightmarish Conjurings
“This is a mildly spooky little distraction, harmless entertainment for entertainment’s sake. It’s certainly not perfect – the pacing has a bit of a hitch in its giddy-up, and some of the child actors are a little rough – but for me, it’s worth the price of admission just to see Donald Sutherland being old, curmudgeonly, and enigmatic.” Parent Previews
“The script doesn’t seem to figure out if it wants to be a murder mystery, coming-of-age film, or ghost story. While I will give credit to the two lead actors and the always delightful Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone dull plot and snails level pacing make the film one of Netflix’s weaker Stephen King adaptations.” Reviews and Dunn
” …writer-director Hancock demonstrates no particular feel for thriller mechanics — though Mr. Harrigan’s Phone still works better within that general framework than his ponderous serial-killer police procedural The Little Things from last year. This latest may not rank among the best screen Stephen King adaptations, but God knows it’s nowhere near the worst.” Variety
For YouTube reviews click the page 2 link below