Stephen King novel adaptation sees cell phones turn us into zombies Discuss this article

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Stephen King’s books are a minefield for filmmakers. His prose is so persuasive, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many of his concepts are totally bananas.

The best King adaptations tone down the crazy and focus on the author’s narrative genius. The worst swallow the book wholesale then vomit it back all over the screen.

And with the notable exception of alien-invasion shocker Dreamcatcher – truly one of the most awful films ever made – this might be the pukiest King movie yet.

To be fair, the book wasn’t up to much. Like a watered down cover version of King’s masterpiece The Stand, Cell descends into apocalypse when mobile phone signals transform everyone into flesh-eating crazies.

It’s basically The Happening with phones, a meaningless parade of feeble effects, unscary scares and laughably earnest scenes of bizarro exposition.

There are times when Cell feels like a surreal pastiche of po-faced apocalypse movies. But no such luck: this is every bit as bad as it appears.

The bottom line
The most unconvincing horror in years.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 98
  • Released: Thu, 11 Aug
  • Language: English
  • Director: Tod Williams
  • Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman

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