Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Ending Explained: What Did He Keep in His Secret Room?

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, starring Jaeden Martell and Donald Sutherland is an adaption of Stephen King’s novella of the same name from his 2020 If It Bleeds collection.  Netflix now has the frightening drama film available to stream. The film was written and directed by John Lee Hancock.

When a young person befriends a reclusive billionaire and gives him an iPhone, what will he do with it? At first glance, it doesn’t seem too extraordinary… Mr. Harrigan passes away, and Craig places the phone in the casket. Odd things start occurring to Craig, and people start passing away, and it all seems to be related to Mr. Harrigan’s phone and Craig’s use of it.

Summary of Mr. Harrigan’s Phone 

Craig and his father are locals in the kind of community where everyone knows one another. His mother had passed away a few years before, and the loss had been traumatic for both the youngster and his father. One day, a local billionaire named Mr. Harrigan makes an offer to Craig. His eyesight is deteriorating as he ages.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Ending Explained

He requests that Craig spend one hour at his residence three times a week, reading to him. Craig is afraid of Mr. Harrigan at first, but as time goes on, he grows to like and respect him.

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Craig has been reading to Mr. Harrigan regularly for the past five years, despite the fact that he is now a teenager and attends a different school, both of which provide new problems. Craig asks his father for money to purchase him a phone since he knows that having one will help him get closer to the girl he likes at school.

Later on, Craig also purchases a phone for Mr. Harrigan, who, despite his initial resistance, comes to see the benefits of having modern technology in his home. After Mr. Harrigan passes away a few months later, Craig secretly puts the phone in his pocket. His cell phone was buried with him when he died. When Craig finally hears back from Mr. Harrigan after sending him a message, trouble begins.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Ending Explained

  • Have Anybody Been Killed by Mr. Harrigan?

The film strongly implies that Mr. Harrigan was involved in the deaths of several characters, including Craig’s bully Kenny Yankovich (Cyrus Arnold) and Ms. Hart’s (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) killer, the drunk driver. Not only did all of these killings take place after Craig made a phone call to Mr. Harrigan, but they also occurred under suspicious circumstances, the facts of which were known only to Craig.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Ending Explained

  • What Did Mr. Harrigan Keep in His Secret Room?

Craig avoids going into a certain room in Mr. Harrigan’s house. The one time he inquires, the millionaire says the room is full of mysteries. Craig enters the room towards the end of the film and learns the “secret,” that like him, Mr. Harrigan experienced the loss of his mother at a young age. Like Craig, he experienced isolation as a child. As a result of their shared religious experiences as youths, he went out to Craig and offered him a job.

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  • What Happens to Craig at the End?

The film’s conclusion isn’t exactly riveting. Craig visits the gravesite of his mother and Mr. Harrigan after using the telephone to have Ms. Hart’s murderer apprehended. He tells them both he’s sorry and inquires of Mr. Harrigan whether his texts pleading with him to stop were sent because Craig was hurting him or because Mr. Harrigan wanted Craig to stop harming himself.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone Ending Explained

Craig eventually throws his old phone (the one he kept rather than donated at the phone store and the one he was using to contact Mr. Harrigan) in the lake, but he can’t bring himself to get rid of his personal phone. Craig says in the voiceover that he knows we’re all attached to our phones, but that he plans to die with his hands empty.

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  • What Was Mr. Harrigan Trying to Tell Craig by Text Message?

Throughout the film, Craig receives threatening texts from Mr. Harrigan’s phone, usually consisting of a random assortment of letters that read like nonsense. The movie doesn’t reveal until the conclusion that Mr. Harrigan was trying to warn Craig to “stop” by sending the letters “C-C-C” and “S-T.”

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