Starring: John Cusak, Samuel L Jackson
Director: Tod Williams
Perhaps Stephen King horror movies should be their own genre? Whilst you do get fine films like The Shining, you also get amazingly random creations like Dreamcatcher (which you can read more about HERE). They often seem to attract big names, like in this film Samuel L Jackson and John Cusak, but I’m often confounded as to how or why.
I often think it’s that some things are scary on paper and not on film, and vice versa.
Either way, here we have John Cusak waiting for a flight home to see the wife and son that he’s become estranged from over the course of his work as a graphic novelist over the last year. But something strange happens, and everyone who is on their cell phones (hence the title) turns crazy and starts murdering anyone in their immediate vicinity.
During his escape from the terminal, he meets Samuel L, who is a train driver, and they team up. They soon find themselves on a road trip with a young woman and teenage boy that they pick up along the way, as Cusak is determined to find his son. His wife he can apparently take or leave. Whilst they stumble across various people on their adventures, what strikes you is that although the film functions a bit like a zombie movie, these two are quite happy to proceed killing people without waiting to find out if there’s a cure, or if the madness will stop by itself.
There are odd bits of foreshadowing, implying that there is a red hoody wearing head villain, that the graphic novels foresaw some of what was coming and that Cusak may be some kind of messiah, but it all comes to nothing with a very abrupt and disappointing ending. But the ride is mostly fun.
The film feels quite quaint in its distrust of phones and young people called things like DJ Liquid, and the modern obsession with having followers which translates into the hive mind of the mad population. Like so many Stephen King adaptations, it just doesn’t all come together that well.
See It If: you like zombie movies and want a slight variation, or if you’re a Stephen King fan, otherwise it’s perhaps not for you.