Mr. Harrigan's Phone: Movie Review

Mr. Harrigan's Phone Movie Review: More Dramatic than Horrific

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Classifying "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" as a horror film is a crime in our opinion. For those expecting even an inkling of fear then you should look somewhere else as you'll definitely leave disappointed. But as a coming-of-age and a film about an unlikely friendship between two completely distinct people, the film actually delivers something decent.  

Living in a small town with nothing much to do, Craig (Jaeden Martell) befriends the rich, elderly, and eccentric Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland). The billionaire employs Craig by paying him a small amount and a lottery ticket weekly to read him books as he can no longer enjoy reading due to his poor eyesight. When Craig wins the lottery, he gives Mr. Harrigan a cell phone. When Mr. Harrigan dies, Craig begins to make calls to his old number sometimes detailing those who have tormented him - only to find that doing so results in Mr. Harrigan's spirit avenging his young friend from beyond the grave.

Coming from a short story, it seemed that this film adaptation failed to build up from its source material. Because at its core, its missing two critical aspects to make it more than a decent watch. First is the lack of any kind of horror. We already mentioned that this film focuses more on the budding friendship between Craig and Mr. Harrigan than anything scary. Even in the moments that Mr. Harrigan's spirit "takes" revenge on those who have slighted Craig, we never see any of these deaths happen first hand. There will be some dark scenes in this film but those are less than a handful and end as quickly as you might expect from a PG-rated flick. The second issue that we have is that we never really get to know Mr. Harrigan. We know he's a shrewd billionaire who is "fair and just" and the film seemingly points out numerous times that there's something more to him than meets the eye - a darker side. But this is never confirmed. Overall, "Mr. Harrigan's Phone" is a decent drama film but is completely misclassified as a horror film. This is a cautionary tale that needed more meat and thrill to it to please even the most easy to scared audiences out there.

Rating: 3 reels
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