Year of Release2021
DirectorScott Derrickson
StarringEthan Hawke

“The Black Phone” is a psychological horror movie directed by Scott Derrickson and based on a short story by Joe Hill. The movie stars Ethan Hawke as “The Grabber”, a serial killer who abducts and tortures children. “The Grabber” has been operating in the town for what appears to be a few years. The towns police notice the kids disappearing one by one but nobody has any leads except for one young girl who is having mysterious dreams / visions. The police start to take her seriously when her dreams correlate to evidence found at one of the crime scenes.

Finn is the brother of the young girl with visions. He too, eventually finds himself abducted by by the Serial Killer. He is held captive in the basement of the abductor’s house. Finn finds that he can communicate with the previous (deceased) victims through an old rotary phone in the basement that has a direct line to the dead. The premise for this sounds ridiculous but this works really well within the framework of the film.

As the movie progresses, Finn becomes more adept at communicating with the dead and attempts to use his newfound abilities to try and escape his captor. However, his abductor is on the ball and not about to let Finn go. Can Finn escape the basement? Again this is about all I can say without ruining the film, so you’ll have to watch it for yourself to find out. But rest assured its a great ride!

The Verdict

The Black Phone” is a well-crafted horror movie that is sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. The cinematography is dark, creating a sense of dread and claustrophobia that is perfectly suited to the film’s subject matter. There is a reasonable level of violence but the movie doesn’t seem to rely on gore alone. The Black Phone has a great plot and keeps the viewers attention the whole way through the film. The movie itself is set in the early 80s and the cinematography is flawless in achieving this. Great costuming and attention to detail make this really special.

Ethan Hawke delivers a morbid but chilling performance as “the Grabber”, the cold hearted serial killer who not only takes pleasure in torturing and killing children, but has gotten away with it for a very long time. He has a sadistic and terrifying presence onscreen that never faulters.

Mason Thames also delivers a strong performance as Finn, the young boy who finds himself in a living nightmare. His character is both vulnerable and resourceful, and his scenes with the rotary phone are some of the film’s most memorable. Over all, I really enjoyed The Black Phone. It’s available to watch as part of the current Netflix roster of films. Not sure how long it will be up there but I fully recommend you check it out if.

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