MISTER HARRIGAN'S PHONE. Stephen King is Getting Old.
And I don't mean that in a bad way. With a little luck it happens to all of us.
"Mister Harrigan's Phone" is an example of a creative force who has mellowed over the years. Decades ago King wrote a novella and adapted it for the screen, "Apt Pupil." The plot involves a young man fascinated by a neighbor who just happens to have been a concentration camp prison guard during WWII. The young man has a personality given to fascism so he is, indeed, an apt pupil.
The malevolence of the film "Apt Pupil" is apparent from the first frame through the bloody and destructive ending to many involved.
King is now a geriatric man in his late 70s. He still cranks out very good popular fiction.
But the differences between "Apt Pupil" and the recently released "Mister Harrigan's Phone" speaks to the benefits of age and an ability to look back at life.
King is looking back.
And it is reflection borne of sentimentality and sweetness.
Which ain't, as anyone a fan of the Master of Horror knows, Stephen King.
"Mister Harrigan's Phone" involves Craig (Jaeden Martell) who lives in YET ANOTHER SMALL TOWN IN MAINE, which is an homage to King. Craig is bullied by the uber creep, Kenny (Cyrus Arnold).
Through the use of an iPhone, Kenny is dispatched in dramatic fashion; Harrigan reaches from beyond the grave to help eliminate another low-life; and Craig is finally able to deal with the long ago loss of his young mother.
Despite the loss of life, "Mister Harrigan's Phone" is more a film of coming of age, redemption, and acceptance. It is not, as was "Apt Pupil" a two hour descent into madness and self-destruction.
Both films are quite good, and worth the time of anyone. But the comparisons of a young man and his eccentric old neighbor end at just that.
Watch as a double feature. They also highlight the maturity and mellowing of a creative force we will not see again.
Netflix has "Mister Harrigan's Phone."
"Apt Pupil" is on Prime.