Cell review: What The Hell Did I Just Watch?


It is 2016 and Hollywood is still scooping around super action films and comic books that show the same-ish story with technological upgrades. But even then, every once in a while, we get to see the difference in stories and action, mostly due to the books written by great authors. Stephen King’s name is what drew me to this movie, otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near it. I simply wasted 2 hours of my precious time watching this slow paced, violent and depressing zombie garbage.

People turn into brainless, malevolent zombies, after using their cell phones, which seemingly sends electric waves which corrupt their brains. It starts in an airport where Clay Riddell (John Cusack) was making a last minute call to his son. He witnesses people turning into Zombies. He runs for his life and he teams up with Tom McCourt (Samuel L Jackson), Jordan (Owen Teague) and Alice Maxwell (Isabelle Fuhrmann). Riddell is on his way to rescue his son.

When I watched the trailer which showed how cell phones were corrupting people’s minds, I thought to myself, this is another symbolic film about how cell phones are destroying people’s humanity. There was a good scope for a perfect thriller backed with ample pacing. The end result turned out to be a boring and cringe-worthy experience. The action scenes had substance, but it is shot in a typical zombie movie style with shaky cameras and gory visuals. Otherwise, we just see people walking and talking sentimental stuff, clearly affecting the plot. One does not have to talk about the plot holes, like how someone as young as a 15-year-old was able to handle guns proficiently and about the foundations of the apocalypse. Apparently, the human beings are upgrading to an organism that is connected together and zombies work as a single organism. Perhaps technology does play a similar (ish) sort of role as it connects people onto one platform but the movie is more of a metaphor. But, what’s the point in making something intriguingly symbolic if it lacks the necessary substance?

You have let me down Stephen King. And, what were you doing in this film Sam L Jackson?! His films have minimum guarantee and it was the second factor which prompted me into buying this movie. He was fun to watch as always. John Cusack delivered a performance that is similar to 2012 and Identity, there was no depth whatsoever and the only person we feel for dies in this movie early on (not revealing who). I was super excited to see Isabelle Fuhrmann in a major role since orphan. Orphan had class and a twist which blows your mind, Isabellle was just wasting her time on this one. Owen Teague delivered controlled acting and the circumstances surrounding him was the only silver lining I saw. Technically this film is mediocre. CGI looked too obvious, notably the dark scenes as it was clear that the movie was shot during daytime. The pacing was poor, clear failure of the script which was written by King himself. And it would have been better if they elaborated more on the red hooded phoner.

The movie turned out to be an unintentionally sentimental film instead of something that requires suspense and plot-lines which drew in anticipation. Not worth your time.


Featured image: rrrr


  1. Cell is a very good sci-fi horror thriller that turns cell phone users into the Walking Dead. Immediate relationships developed between characters as writer Clay searches for his family. These King’s cell zombies have their own set of criteria to be destroyed. New turns and an unexpected ending. In all worth a watch.Thanks for review.

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