At First Glance: “Cell”

Long awaited films are nothing new. Some take years upon years to make, and other take years and years to be released. There’s usually some complex reason for this, but it doesn’t stop you from wanting to so desperately see the finished film. Hopefully, like with most films, it’s good and worth it. Other times, it might not matter, you get to see the film you’ve longed for.

The upcoming Saban Films film “Cell”, looks creepy and exciting, but might not be much more than a fun movie about the dangers of cell phones.

This horror film stars John Cusack (“Chi-Raq”, “Dragon Blade”), Samuel L. Jackson (upcoming films “The Legend of Tarzan”, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), and Isabelle Fuhrman (upcoming “Dear Eleanor”, “Masters of Sex”).

The film is directed by Tod Williams (“Paranormal Activity 2”, “The Door in the Floor”) and written by Stephen King (“Harvey’s Dream”, “Desperation”) and Adam Alleca (upcoming “Delirium”, “Standoff”). It is based on the novel of the same name by King.

The film is set to be released on Video on Demand (VOD) on June 10, 2016 followed by a limited theatrical run on July 8.
This year, for a small moment, looks like the year that long awaiting films will make their way to the masses. Earlier this month, the horror film “Flight 7500” made its way, somehow, to DVD. It was scheduled to open in US theaters years ago, but never did. Other countries managed to get it, but not those in the states. Was the wait worth it? Well, you’ll have to wait until I get to writing about it to find out. Regardless, at long last the film has been release. People can love or hate it or love to hate it all they want. Now with this film set to debut this Summer, that makes two long awaited films. In fact, it’s been so long, that I hadn’t even remembered (or known, as is more likely), who was in the cast. I can at least be optimistic about this.

Now, on to what I think about this film and whether or not I’ll depend any of my time with it.

The actors are a huge plus for me. I’ve seldom been let down by the work of Cusack or Jackson, and am still getting acquainted with the work of Fuhrman, although the few things I’ve seen haven’t disappointed me. With that in mind, I’m incredibly optimistic! While not much of their characters is known, they look good in the film’s chaotic environment. They look like they’ll do wonders, and help lead people to safety or, maybe, even save the world from whatever is causing people to turn into maniacs. Although, mind you, none of this really matters. I like these three lead actors, and I’ll watch just about anything with them in it.

The cell phone plot device, be it man made or alien, we’ll find out, is somewhat refreshing. Taking something we use so often and turning it against us is nothing new to King, or many other writers for that matter. King somehow interests me, even though I’ve only read one of his published works, and because of that I’ll definitely check out this film. What will he do with it? After having recently watched “Haven” and “Under the Dome”, both adaptations of his work, I’m certain he’s still someone who knows how to craft complex and creepy mysteries or horror. It also makes me wish I’d read more of his stuff when I was younger. So, as far as this film goes, in a lot of ways, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. I won’t ever be expecting some amazing adaptation, but I don’t think it’s going to suck.

It looks fun. Do I think it’ll be particularly scary? No. It also doesn’t come off as a King adaptation. Although I can still credit him for taking something so commonplace and maybe making us afraid of it. I must admit, that for a little bit after watching the trailer, I was afraid of my phone. I didn’t even want to hold it. And it involves a kind of apocalypse! Those are typically fun! Chaos, murder, and running!! All staples, all welcome. Regardless of what I ultimately think about the final film or the experience, if King and Alleca can get me into it enough, I’ll be fine with that. That’s all I ask for, and with King adaptations, it’s really the only way I can figure out what I truly think. Some are just okay. Others, are bad, and some, as we’ve seen, are amazing! But only if you can get into them enough. Let’s hope this fun feeling actually

And lastly, the people turned creatures. It’s almost “Body Snatchers” like, which is interesting given that King’s trying to comment using a different horror favorite. Zombies. They’re seriously still all the rage. Even though these people affected by their phones aren’t zombies, they’re certainly Zombie-like creatures, which is a (especially since it’s been about a decade since the source material came out), very on the nose observation on society and its addiction to technology. It’s not an original observation any longer, nor would it have been in 2006, but it’s an interesting reminder, and a clever way to give us these types of violent creatures. We’ve seen just about all kinds of people turned into zombies, but not like this. Because of this, I’m excited to see what unfolds, and how these creatures could be frightening, or just something to laugh at.

Long awaited films could go either way. Some are worth it and others aren’t, some are okay and not as bad as they cold be. While occasionally there are some where it doesn’t matter. Somehow, someway, probably in that special way that makes sense only to you, you’ll find just the right things to enjoy the overall film. Nothing will stand in your way from enjoying another film, especially when it’s from the twisted mind of a creative genius. Or, he once was. Will this film help or hurt that image?

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