Dir. John Lee Hancock
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
The beauty of the horror genre is on how diverse it can be and how it moulds the supernatural into a spectrum of good versus evil and a heavy in between.
MR HARRIGAN'S PHONE is a 12A horror film that sees IT star Jaeden Martell befriend old timer Donald Sutherland in a charmingly sentimental escape from his bullied life at school. When Mr Harrigan dies, he's buried with his phone but as young Craig soon learns, some connections never die.
Based on the short story by Stephen King, this is a softer horror and more coming of age in the same tone as IT and STAND BY ME in which the macabre plot point becomes a more meaningful transition from one milestone to another. Martell narrates the story with ease and gives the same doe eyed loser-to-hero persona he gave with his confrontation with Pennywise. Something that you can't help but fall for every time.
While the film touches on grizzlier moments, it's never more than a coming of age film and despite hinting at darker times, narrowly avoids them with what seems like a swift closure on the whole ordeal.
This review is pitched as spoiler free but the films concept is straight from the page of an anime that had an I'll fated adaptation via Netflix but fortunately it's tone and execution are much better handled, even if the deaths are considerably toned down from that feature.
With captivating leads and enough heart to keep it going, MR HARRIGAN'S PHONE is a nice escape from the terror of Halloween but one that reminds us that there's still reason to be scared of ghosts.