Cell (2016)

June 10, 2016 - 6:26pm | FrighT MasteR

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Tod Williams
John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach

Cell has had a pretty troubled production ever since the film rights were purchased shortly after the Stephen King novel was released. Initially Dimension Films was behind it and Eli Roth was attached to direct. He ended up leaving the project a few years later due to "creative differences" and it wasn't until another few years that things would pick up again. Directed by Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2) and completed in 2014, the film wouldn't get proper distribution until June of 2016 when it received an on demand release. It's a little sad considering it was originally planned to have a bigger budget and a wide theatrical release, though having finally seen the pic I can see why it ultimately landed on demand.

While I haven't read the Stephen King book I'm aware that there are quite a few differences between the two (common for film adaptations). The flick starts off in an airport where dumb luck leaves John Cusack's character "Clay" unaffected by all the craziness around him. Apparently anyone connected to a cell phone will turn into violent drones and lash out at normal people, leaving Clay to fend for himself until he meets up with Sam Jackson's character "Tom" and later Isabelle Fuhrman as "Alice." The trio roam from one location to the other, as Clay attempts to make his way back to his family.

This wasn't an entirely bad movie, but then again I'm partial to these types of apocalyptic films, even if they are a bit on the cheesy side. And once again this is also coming from someone who hasn't read the book, which I'm told is superior (no surprise). The movie itself is an alright watch, offering some fairly decent entertainment if you can look passed all the clichés and terrible CG. I'm not sure how the book is, but the flick is essentially your standard infection tale, but with a slight twist involving technology and A LOT of social commentary.

The film is a little longer than it needs to be, clocking in at nearly 100 minutes--at least 10 of which could've been shaved off since there are a some pacing issues at times. Had the budget been bigger, the script been more polished and the pacing a little tighter, this could've been a fun ride, but as it stands it's an okay watch and nothing more.

Coming from someone who hasn't read the book this was an okay watch if you're into these types of infection/apocalyptic themed movies, but expect a lot of clichéd sequences and noticeably bad CG (thanks to the limitations of its small budget). Book fans will also likely be really disappointed by how much it differs from the source material (from what I've heard). Ultimately, if you're looking for something smart or completely different then I'd advise skipping this, but if you're in the mood for an end of the world-themed flick to waste some time with you could do a lot worse (or better).

Author Information

FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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