Netflix’s ‘Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’: To Watch or Not To Watch?

Netflix released another adaptation, but is it worth watching? Here’s everything we know about Netflix’s new Stephen King adaptation ‘Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’.

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Netflix released Mr. Harrigan’s Phone on October 5 as a part of their “Netflix and Chills” Halloween releases, but is it worth the watch? Here’s everything we know about the newest Stephen King adaptation.

It’s a busy time for Netflix— they haven’t held back with their outpour of new releases, including their newest Stephen King adaptation, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, written and directed by John Lee Hancock. We’re all aware of the abundance of King adaptations out there for us to watch, but is Netflix’s take on Mr. Harrigan’s Phone worth the time? Let’s find out.

If you aren’t familiar with the newest adaptation, here’s the trailer Netflix released.

Spooky, right? You can always expect as much from Blumhouse. The film is based on the story by Stephen King of the same name. The story is a part of a collection of unpublished novellas by King titled If It Bleeds, which includes “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” “The Life of Chuck,” “If It Bleeds,” and “Rat.”

The movie follows Craig (Jaeden Martell) as he befriends an old recluse billionaire named Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland). The two form a bond over books and reading, but when Mr. Harrigan sadly passes away, a few secrets begin popping up and Craig finds he’s able to communicate with his friend from the grave.

This isn’t Jaeden Martell’s (Craig) first go at a Stephen King adaptation. The actor is well-known for portraying Bill Denbrough in It and the 2019 sequel It: Chapter 2. Mr. Harrigan’s Phone also stars Donald Sutherland as Mr. Harrigan. Sutherland carries an extensive background with him spanning over six decades that include The Hunger Games and Forsaken.

Mr. Harrigan's Phone Netflix Adaptation
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Mr. Harrigan's Phone Netflix Adaptation
cr. Wiki

What Are Fans Saying?

Fans quickly took to Twitter with feedback about the new King adaptation on Netflix. There’s mixed feedback with some claiming the film is a great King adaptation by Netflix, while others were unimpressed by the storyline.

cr. via Twitter @horrorfreak1984
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The film is very much a coming-of-age story and follows the same small town kid trope we know and love by Stephen King. However, while we see all the natural King elements, this film is missing a lot of horror, which is shocking given Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum served as parts of the production team. It instead lingers on the fear of technology and seems more drama-thriller than horror.

What’s on Netflix says,

“While it may have some bright spots, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone lacks the urgency, propulsion, and bent more befitting of its author and its Ghost Story genre.”

What’s on Netflix

We also looked at a few other sources to get some details including CNN Entertainment who said,

“Written and directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side”), “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” exhibits a level of restraint not regularly associated with the movie’s two high-profile producers, Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story”) and the prolific horror maven Jason Blum.”

CNN Entertainment

The movie is definitely supernatural as it shows what happens when a boy makes a call to the afterlife and people die, but it does lack the horror we’ve seen in other King adaptations like It and Pet Sematary. Despite the lack of horror, if you’re a Stephen King fan, definitely add this adaptation to your list.

Even with its reserved approach, we think it’s worth watching!

Want more Stephen King content? Click here to read how we celebrated King for his birthday!