Fans Discover Buried Stephen King Gem On Netflix: “It creeped me out!”
While audiences await Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of The Life of Chuck from Stephen King’s 2020 collection of stories, If it Bleeds, they can check out another hidden gem from the collection currently streaming on Netflix.
John Lee Hancock’s Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is adapted from King’s story of the same name, and while it didn’t make much of a splash when it premiered on the streamer in 2022, fans are eagerly rediscovering it now. Check out the trailer below.
Per Netflix: “Craig, a young boy living in a small town befriends an older, reclusive billionaire, Mr. Harrigan. The two form a bond over books and an iPhone, but when the 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 stars both Jaeden Martell (It, It: Chapter 2) and Donald Sutherland (everything, basically). Netflix certainly did Hancock’s work here a disservice, marketing the film as a straight-up horror film when, parallel with the story’s thematic heft, it’s much more akin to a haunting tragedy with supernatural elements rather than an explicit scare fest. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is certainly chilling, but it doesn’t pack the genre punch its marketing suggested. That isn’t a bad thing, though expectations can regularly influence a movie’s reception, and unfortunately, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone drew the ire of audiences expecting something scary from Stephen King.
Still, while Mr. Harrigan’s Phone never reaches the heights of The Shawshank Redemption or Stand by Me, it is worthy of inclusion among them as a noteworthy adaptation of King’s more dramatic work. Even the forthcoming The Life of Chuck, Flanagan has made it clear, won’t be a horror movie. Fans have been having a great time rediscovering the film on Netflix.
Check out some of their reactions here:
With the release of The Life of Chuck next year, more fans will likely discover Mr. Harrigan’s Phone on Netflix. It’s not a groundbreaking Stephen King adaptation, though for those cold winter evenings, audiences could do a lot worse.
What do you think? If you caught Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, were you a fan? Which recent Stephen King adaptation is your favorite? Let me know over on Twitter @Chadiscollins.