The Netflix original horror movie machine has moved into its typical Halloween season overdrive, queuing up a long slate of upcoming new chillers, though not all can boast a quality cast like Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. The upcoming adaptation of the Stephen King short story by the same name stars the unlikely duo of 19-year-old Jaeden Martell and 87-year-old Donald Sutherland, as a high school boy and his aged mentor, before working in a supernatural twist from beyond the grave. Premiering on Netflix on Oct. 5, 2022, the film dropped its first trailer today, which you can see below.
Martell plays harried high school student Craig in the Blumhouse film, adapted from Stephen King’s still-recent 2020 collection of four novellas, If It Bleeds. Craig shares a longtime friendship/mentorship with the aged Mr. Harrigan, a mysterious and prickly recluse played by the always wonderful Sutherland. And when Mr. Harrigan inevitably passes away, the duo’s relationship continues on in seemingly impossible ways, via the iPhone with which the old man was buried.
It’s a simple, high-concept premise that evokes a number of horror classics such as The Twilight Zone’s “Long Distance Call,” in which a young boy communicates over the phone with the spirit of his deceased grandmother, or the work of King’s own son Joe Hill, whose The Black Phone was adapted this year with ideas that aren’t too far off. Still, any time one gets to see Donald Sutherland indulge his creepy side is usually a treat, and the thought of a high-schooler egged on toward revenge by a supernatural force also fondly recalls such classics as Let the Right One In.
Notably, the film is something of a departure for direct John Lee Hancock, better known for sports dramas such as The Rookie and The Blind Side, though he’s also helmed films such as 2016’s biographical drama The Founder. Making the jump to psychological horror is no small thing, but we’ll see how Hancock handles the transition on Oct. 5, 2022. In the meantime, check out the first trailer below.