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Stephen King

Stripped of literary touches, Stephen King's 'Cell' is just another zombie movie

Stripped of literary touches, Stephen King's 'Cell' is just another zombie movie

It’s never been easy to adapt a Stephen King novel, since much of what makes them special — like the characters’ rich interior lives — doesn’t translate easily to the big screen. When those personal touches are missing, what’s left are mediocre monster movies.

Take “Cell.” The book’s story about a mysterious cellphone signal that turns technophiles into violent beasties functions as metaphor, as satire and as a vivid portrait of contemporary life. In director Tod Williams’ hands, though, the premise generates another ho-hum zombie picture.

John Cusack plays Clay, a graphic novelist who becomes one of the few...

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