Carrie. The Shining. Pet Sematary. Children of the Corn. It’s no secret that Stephen King has been producing amazing works of literature that are adapted into some of the scariest movies around since the mid-1970s. With a mix of horror, suspense, and science fiction many of these works have gone on to see sequels, prequels, and remakes as Hollywood continues to cash in on King’s particular brand of fright.
There is now a new film to add to his list of book adaptations. His 2006 apocalyptic horror novel Cell is the basis for the upcoming movie of the same name. Distributed by Saban Films, John Cusack stars in Cell as Clay Riddell, a man who is fighting against a mysterious mobile phone broadcast that transforms cell users into zombie killers. Working with Tom McCourt (Samuel L. Jackson) and Alice Maxwell (Isabelle Fuhrman), Riddell struggles to try and stop whoever is behind the attack, and reunite with his son.
A trailer has been released that shows the classic horror movie styling mixed with a very modern enemy in Cell. Opening with the moment Riddell’s phone dies, we see him being saved from being a victim of “The Pulse” that turns the majority of the population into interconnected zombies. The trailer hits all the high notes of a horror movie preview: mass destruction, the slow turn to reveal to show a woman possessed, and scenes of fear and violence cut with Jackson’s haunting prayer as he asserts that “good will always conquer evil.” You can check out the Cell trailer, above.
The film has been in development for some time, with Eli Roth once attached to direct before he dropped out over creative differences. Cell was later taken over by Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2), drawing from a screenplay written by King and Adam Alleca. This will be the third time that Jackson and Cusack have worked together, having partnered on another King adaption, the 2007 horror film 1408 as well as 2015’s Chi-Raq. This will mark Cusack’s third King adaption in total, as he also appeared in Stand By Me.
Cell looks like an intriguing modern twist on the horror film, even as it explores a the zombie trope which has by now been well explored. Jackson and Cusack are strong established actors, despite Cusack’s more recent streak of Red Box films, and have an established chemistry together. With King behind the source material and co-writing the screenplay, Cell has all of the ingredients to be another great horror film. That said, we will have to wait and see if the final product provides the unique take on the genre that audiences are hoping for.
Cell will hit U.S. theaters on July 8th, 2016