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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Mr Harrigan's Phone (2022)

I'll admit I had forgotten I'd read this story whenever it was released, but had the strangest feeling that even the title alone was oddly familiar. When the narration started and Maine was mentioned, the Stephen King story came flooding back, as if I had only read it last week. Memory is a wonderful, unusual thing.

Now I'm not the least bit sure that I would send my child off to the lofty mansion of the richest man in town, unaccompanied, on the suggestion of making some easy money.

Read to him? Yeah, right!

The speed dial to local law enforcement would be on the tip of my finger, at the very least. King is now so adept at skilfully framing small Maine towns and their inhabitants, that you don't even feel like he even has to try anymore. Pretty faithful to the original short story, this just feels homely too much for it to be in the realm of scary, despite the strangeness of the tale we are told.

The performances are fine, though rarely hitting the heights that your own imagination had probably already set up for the characters you had only ever seen in your minds eye before. The story may have been pitched as a mystery, even a thriller perhaps, but as I say this is played just the right side of wholesome with a 'what if' message worth considering. You might go so far as to say that Apple is the work of the devil, but if/when they paid for the sponsorship, I doubt such a thing occurred to them.

As a coming of age tale, it is very well done, but that is down to the content, rather than the delivery. A lot of King's work sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls when it reaches the big screen, but this is much sweeter, and that is down to the delivery. Engaging and satisfying throughout, this is a very easy watch, practically devoid of the normal King content. Maybe he's showing his age. Tragic and often even sad, this is better than most King adaptations of late.


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