What Time and Place Does Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Occur? Is Maine’s Harlow a Real Village?
The heartwarming and complex relationship between Mr. John Harrigan, a notorious businessman, and Craig, the young kid Harrigan hires as his personal book reader, is the focus of the Netflix horror movie “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone.” Craig presents the elderly man with a new phone after buying a winning lottery ticket. Craig keeps the phone in his coat until just before the businessman is buried. The text messages Craig receives from Harrigan’s phone, which is buried with her body, move the plot along. The historical drama takes place in a remote Maine village during a different era. You have come to the right site if you want to learn more about the subject.
When is the Phone Set for Mr. Harrigan?
The story of the movie starts in 2003, the year Mr. Harrigan hires Craig to read his books. The absence of technology, particularly in the remote village they reside in, is what gives the era its relevance. Director John Lee Hancock is successful in establishing the story at a time when mobile phones haven’t yet become commonplace, and as the story progresses, he can show how the use of mobile phones has grown with Craig’s upbringing. Craig’s classmates at school categorise each other into groups according to the phones they carry, and the gadget also starts to represent importance and status.
Craig must have attended high school in the late 2000s, when the iPhone and iPhone 3G were first introduced and the mobile phone industry began to truly take off. Harrigan receives an iPhone as a gift, introducing him to the wonders the portable device can accomplish in his hand. The businessman uses the phone and behaves like a child playing with a toy, which isn’t all that far from how early mobile phone users would have acted or behaved. A few years after Harrigan’s passing, Craig settles into life as a college student, and by then, cell phones are an everyday item that everyone owns.
Hancock can explore how mobile phones have transformed from an alien sight, toy, and luxury to a device, used by everyone, with the potential to heavily influence one’s life, which is metaphorically manifested by Harrigan’s text messages after his death. This is made possible by the narrative’s gradual progression from 2003 to the second decade of the second millennium. In keeping with the post-modernist ideas of the era in real life, Craig’s decision to discard his first iPhone appears to take place in the second half of the 2010s as he raises questions about its unexpected influence on his life.
Is Maine’s Harlow a Real Village?
The majority of “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” takes place in the Maine town of Harlow. The community of Gates Falls, which is close to Harlow, is where Craig attends high school. Stephen King, who wrote the film’s eponymous source novella, invented both Harlow and Gates Falls. One of the many locations King constructed in Maine for his books, novellas, short tales, etc. is Harlow. Harlow is also the major location in Stephen King’s book “Revival,” and it also occurs in other works by King, such as “Under the Dome,” “Lisey’s Story,” “Bag of Bones,” “The Body,” “N.,” “Salem’s Lot,” etc.
As with Derry (from “It,” “Dreamcatcher,” etc.) and Jerusalem’s Lot (from “Salem’s Lot”), King’s creation of Harlow is reminiscent of other locations. Even though Harlow is a made-up town, there are still some real-world elements there. King’s areas are strikingly similar to Durham, a town in the state of Maine, where he is said to have grown up. Like other imagined places by the author, Harlow might be a fictitious version of Durham. Harlow, Derry, and Jerusalem’s Lot all share a solitary lifestyle and an adventurous past, which also contributes to the locales’ ominous atmosphere.
Based on Stephen King’s novella of the same name from the collection If It Bleeds, John Lee Hancock created the American horror movie Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, which he also wrote and directed. Donald Sutherland, Jaeden Martell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Joe Tippett, Cyrus Arnold, and Carl Zohan all appear in the movie.
Review of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
Stephen King’s writing successfully creates horror from the banal and sentimental by capturing the sentimentality and details of small-town life. In Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, a novella from the year 2020’s If It Bleeds, a charming coming-of-age tale is combined with the perils of modern technology. The former is the main focus, and details are prioritised over story or scares, which results in an inconsistent yet frequently moving experience.
Mr. Harrigan, a reclusive billionaire played by Donald Sutherland, engages Craig, a young boy, to read to him a few times per week. In his younger years, Mr. Harrigan engaged in cutthroat business activities that cost him friends, and as he becomes older, his eyesight deteriorates. Due to their similar love of literature, the two end up developing an unexpected friendship that only gets stronger with time. When Craig gets Mr. Harrigan an iPhone, he then shows him how to use it, bringing him into the modern day. When Mr. Harrigan dies, Craig learns that some relationships never fade since he can contact with him in the afterlife.
Saving and The Blind Side John Lee Hancock, the author and director of Mr. Banks, is a great candidate to head this adaptation when it comes to examining the delicate interaction between two lonely people. The specifics of this important friendship are developed throughout the first half of the movie. Shortly before running into Mr. Harrigan, Craig lost his mother, and his father (Joe Tippett) is more lost without her than he is. Then, shortly after the turn of the century, he enters the turbulent high school years. The introduction of cellphones adds an a new level of social complexities.
Like the original novella, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is divided into two discrete parts. Pre-death, the first half is more in line with King’s poignant, non-horror works, like Stand by Me. The supernatural element is gradually introduced in the second, and Craig is forced to deal with the fallout from speaking with his deceased friend. The tale veers off of Hancock’s meticulous control in this latter part.
Plot of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
The movie depends on Martell and a few mysterious iPhone messages to bear the weight of that crucial bond without Sutherland. Hancock prefers to approach any moral lessons acquired only from Craig’s young perspective, leaving any supernatural rules open-ended and unexplored. Craig struggles with high school bullies, first loves, and other tragedies. This fits nicely with a subdued horror aesthetic that follows the proverb “be cautious what you wish for” and a systematic exploration of Mr. Harrigan’s background. All of these disparate and haphazard plot threads don’t come together as neatly or cogently as the movie’s tightly focused opening act. The second half is lacklustre as it watches passively while Craig goes through adolescence.
The thread that binds this movie together in the end is Donald Sutherland. The experienced actor complements Martell well, and together they are successful in making the unusual couple’s friendship emotionally compelling. The relationship between the reclusive billionaire and the abandoned young kid has a natural delicacy to it, but Sutherland tempers it with underlying brutality. The entire second half is set up by that representation, in which Mr. Harrigan teaches otherworldly lessons in vengeance. Hancock, though, finds it difficult to portray the horrors of karma or the double-edged nature of technology without Sutherland’s gravitas. An impactless morality narrative emerges after a promising beginning but is ultimately too nebulous.
Netflix aired Mr. Harrigan’s Phone on October 5, 2022.
The elderly Mr. Harrigan makes friends with a boy named Craig, who also offers him a cell phone. When Mr. Harrigan passes away, Craig starts calling his old number to complain about the people who are torturing him. However, as a result of these calls, Mr. Harrigan’s ghost uses the iPhone that was buried with him to exact revenge on Craig.
Cast of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
As Craig, Jaeden Martell
Mr. Harrigan is played by Donald Sutherland.
As Ms. Hart, Kirby Howell-Baptiste
The father of Craig is Joe Tippett.
Kenny Yankovich as played by Cyrus Arnold
Funeral Attendant, Carl Zohan
Iván Amaro Bullón as a deputy sheriff
Popular high school student Josie Axelson
As Pete, Thomas Francis Murphy
Craig the young actor, Colin O’Brien
Young Margie played by Caitlin Shorey
Clerk Alex Bartner
As Edna Grogan, Peggy J. Scott
Wallstreet #1 is Gregory Jensen.
Deane Whitmore, played by Daniel Reece
Production for Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
The rights to “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” a movie that will be written and directed by John Lee Hancock and produced by Blumhouse Productions and Ryan Murphy, were purchased by Netflix in July 2020.
Donald Sutherland, Jaeden Martell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Joe Tippett joined the cast in October 2021.
On October 20, 2021, principal photography commenced in Connecticut and ended on December 22, 2021.
Release Date of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
Netflix released the movie on October 5, 2022.
33% of the 18 reviews from critics on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes are favourable, with an overall rating of 5.3/10.
“Viewers might expect a horror-thriller, but this is more of a coming-of-age narrative about the risks of retribution and a reflection on how we’ve evolved with the emergence of the smartphone,” said Brian Costello, who awarded it a 4/5 rating in Common Sense Media.
Frank Scheck wrote in The Hollywood Reporter that “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, although its intriguing premise, has the vital ingredient to make it truly unforgettable; it is simply not that scary.”
Bill Goodykoontz awarded it a 4/5 rating in the Arizona Republic and stated that “The best portions of this tale, like the greatest King works, are not the terror components (of which there are few). The time spent getting to know the characters.” It received a 2/5 rating on CinemaBlend from Eric Eisenberg, who described it as “a slow and sluggish flick that attempts to be both a coming-of-age drama and a supernatural horror thriller, but it ultimately fails to make an emotional impact with either genre.”