Cell is based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile), who also wrote the screenplay, alongside Adam Alleca (The Last House on the Left, Standoff). It is directed by Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2).
“Those who didn’t get it the first time got zapped when they tried to call 911 or their families.”
It’s just an ordinary day for Clay Riddell (John Cusack – 2012, Grosse Point Blank), a graphic novelist who has just learned that his work is being taken up and he might at last begin to earn some money. At the airport on his way home, he calls his estranged wife to give her the news, but his battery fails.
This may be a blessing however, as a strange pulse begins to come through the earpieces of any mobile devices, making their owners crazy and violent. Within seconds, people are ripping into each other, biting punching, kicking and Clay is forced to flee for his life.
He makes it into the underground railway, where he has the good fortune to meet Tom McCourt (Samuel L. Jackson – The Hateful Eight, Pulp Fiction) and together they find their way outside, avoiding “phoners” as they go, to discover that it is the same out here too.
They find their way to Clay’s house, where they meet up with Alice (Isabelle Fuhrman – Orphan, The Hunger Games), Clay’s neighbour. Together they decide to travel to look for Clay’s son and perhaps head for the mysterious Kashwak, supposedly a safe zone.
Cell is a very enjoyable film to watch. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t make any comparisons there, but I found the story compelling. It is chilling that the numbers of people on their phones is probably quite accurate, but in this story they are literally turned into zombies, slaves to their technology.
It’s a clever new take on the zombie movie, the idea of some sort of hive mentality and possibly even someone in control of events and the way it is filmed is very effective and feels desolate. There are also some really well done special effects. The acting is as good as you would expect from a great cast, and the whole thing is really quite scary.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to horror buffs and fans of Stephen King films alike.
“If we’re going to survive this thing, people are going to have to set aside their finer sensibilities. If they can’t, they’re gonna die.”
Cell is available to buy now on DVD and Blu-ray.