This year, short story adaptations by Stephen King and Joe Hill were published. Here are some ways in which they are alike and dissimilar. In this comparison and analysis, we will be looking at Mr. Harrigan’s Phone as well as the Black Phone.
The majority of October’s Netflix releases are horror-related in anticipation of the spookiest night of the year, and one of the most eagerly awaited titles, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, just came out. The new film is based on a short tale written by none other than Stephen King, the reigning horror king. King’s son Joe Hill, who is also a writer, had The Black Phone, an adaptation of his own short story, published in 2022.
The King family has a tremendously inventive imagination for horror and thrillers, there is no disputing that. Even earlier, the father and son worked together to write books and novellas, including the book Sleeping Beauties. Given that they share many similarities while yet being vastly different, it is intriguing that both films were released in the same year.. Their unique understandings of horror, mood, and tone further highlight the differences between the two stories. There is no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by seeing new horror films, particularly those made by this family. Here are comparisons and analyses of both movies, along with suggestions on which to see based on your preferences.
Mr. Harrigan’s phone and the black phone Story
It is important to have a general understanding of these films’ themes before delving into what elements they share and where they differ. Finney (Mason Thames), a little boy who is abducted by a serial murderer known as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke), must escape before he becomes one of the victims of the great Black Phone. Finney obtains assistance from a broken black phone in the dark cellar where he is being imprisoned, as well as the paranormal assistance of his sister, who has the ability to predict events through her dreams. He can make escape plans and contact The Grabber’s murdered prior victims over this phone. A young teen named Craig (played by Jaeden Martell, who is familiar with Stephen King’s adaptations for the big screen because he was in IT) is the subject of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. Since talking over the phone is easier for them to do, Craig has worked for the elderly billionaire Mr. Harrigan (Donald Sutherland) for a few years. Sadly, the billionaire passes away. However, before they bury him, Craig puts the phone in his coat, ensuring that they would stay in touch even after they are gone. (Spikytv.com)
Difference between The Black Phone Movie and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone
There are some components that are identical in the synopses alone, but the tone and approach to these themes are entirely different. It is crucial to note that they have extremely varying age ratings, which can significantly affect how horrifying and graphic the content is. The Black Phone is a far grislier, more horrifying, and unsettling movie. There are many topics that are shared by both films. Both of the young male characters in the stories have lost their moms and are still struggling with grief and parentlessness, but the father in The Black Phone is abusive while the other is doing his best to keep things together. The bullying that both children experience is depicted with a lot of physical and psychological brutality, and the bullies’ seeming lack of consequences is also highlighted (at least until they are too severe). Both of the characters struggle with loneliness since they lack friends (particularly in the Netflix film, as Finney has a sister he is close to in The Black Phone) or other people they feel comfortable relying on.
It was a wonderful coincidence that both films tackled the concept of maintaining a link with the deceased through the use of a phone. Another necessity is to beg the assistance of those who have passed away; this is a little more macabre than the previous requirement, but it is nonetheless necessary. Finney waits a while before requesting assistance from the ghosts of The Grabber’s other victims. It makes sense because the movie gruesomely depicts the aftermath of the violence they endure and what will happen to Finney if he doesn’t flee, and he genuinely sees their ghosts and is horrified. Craig, meanwhile, doesn’t see Mr. Harrigan at all, therefore it is much simpler for Craig to seek for assistance when he needs it.
The concept of getting even and being able to avenge the deceased is another subject that attracts a lot of very varied points of view. In The Black Phone, the murdered children exact some form of vengeance while also discussing how to deter the perpetrator from committing similar murders in the future. In Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, the youngster who is still alive exacts revenge on the deceased.
In Harrigan’s and Black Phone, horror and drama clash.
It seems sensible that anything that originates from a Stephen King short story is automatically associated with the horror subgenre. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth in the instance of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. The author’s tale is one of his or her most upbeats, and the few and brief instances of horror are quite rare. Additionally, it looks that the PG-13 designation has established a safety net that prevents the director from delving as deeply into the terror as Scott Derrickson did in The Black Phone. Though for very different reasons, both films are enjoyable. The Black Phone is the one to watch if you want a more unsettling horror that will make you jump out of your seat. But if you’re searching for a more dramatic and emotional tale with a strong message of hope rather than one that focuses on being frightful, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone would be the one to choose. Depending on who you want on the other end of the phone, you can dial either number to get into the Halloween spirit.