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Cell Offers an Interesting But Misguided Take on Zombies

Cell - Stephen King

Clayton ‘Clay’ Riddell is a struggling artist from Maine who just landed the graphic novel deal of a lifetime. While at the airport he decides to call his alienated wife to share the awesome news as well as to Facetime with his son. However, right in the middle of the call, his cell dies. While he’s looking for his charger, everyone around him begins turning into raging zombie-like psychopaths. Clay witnesses everyone ripping each other apart. As the viewer, we quickly learn that someone appears to have positioned a deadly signal over the global cellphone network.

John Cusack Cell

Clay quickly tries to run for cover from all the violent murders and get to his wife and son. He meets up with a man named Tom, a strong character with plenty of wit who works at the airport as a transportation worker. The two begin their journey together, watching each other’s back, meeting new characters, and trying to find Clay’s family and perhaps, even a way to stop whoever/whatever created the signal. Along the way they meet a teenager named Alice, who joins them on their journey. One of the things I liked about this film is the cast. John Cusack plays Clay, and Samuel L. Jackson plays Tom. The two are cast perfectly and have awesome chemistry. It’s unfortunate that their roles seemed so limited.

Cell movie groupCell isn’t an awful movie, due to the fact that the infected people, known as “phoners”, are actually creepy. I find them to be especially creepy when they swarm together, bopping their heads around. Unfortunately, it has plenty of flaws. Its two most noteworthy flaws are that the film seemed to be rushed and the ending sucked like no other. I have not read the novel, but perhaps Cell would have worked better as a mini-series like Stephen King’s The Stand, The Langoliers, Rose Red, 11.22.63 and others!

The most disappointing part about this film is the ending. I will do my best to explain why I disliked it without spoiling the film for others. The finale is super confusing and didn’t make any sense at all. It kind of made me regret watching the entire film. On the plus side, there is a good amount of  blood and gore in on display.

Cell PhonersOverall, Cell isn’t a horrible film, but it seemed rushed. I recommend it only if you’re curious. My advice before watching would be to go in with an open mind and perhaps lower your expectations.

Title: Cell
Director: Tod Williams
Writer: Adam Alleca
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman
Release: 2016
Studio/ Production Co: Genre Co.
Budget: Unknown
Language: English
Length: 98 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

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Written by Zena Dixon
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific at Real Queen of Horror for over three years. She has also contributed to iHorror and Bloody Disgusting. She has always loved horror films and someday hopes to be known for writing and directing her own feature-length horror pictures.
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