Scott Derrickson, the director of The Black Phone, presents a violent horror-thriller that shows a teenager’s daring encounter with one of the most dreaded serial killers. The director creates a heady mix of violence and horror by combining conventional horror themes with the unbridled violence unleashed by some children and a masked child murderer. By adding some supernatural elements, the director aims to depict horror in all its glory. The film is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story of the same name. Considering that June 24 was the Black Phone release date, it was the third date of probable release, the earlier dates being January 28 and February 4. The Blumhouse-produced movie is the latest horror movie of the production house that premiered in 2021 at the Fantastic Fest.
The Black Phone – The Plot
Those who saw the Black Phone trailer could gather a hint about the film being set in 1978 in a North Denver neighborhood where five children of almost the same age go missing. The police do not have any clue about the missing children until another teenage girl Gwen reveals her dream to the police. She claims to have seen a black van and balloons while admitting that her dreams mostly turn true. She derived power from her mother. Despite interrogating her repeatedly, the police do not search for the objects described in her dream. The plot gathers steam when Gwen’s Brother Finney goes missing. A deadly child serial killer, ‘The Grabber,’ is behind the children’s abduction. He holds Finney in a soundproof basement. A black phone hanging on the basement wall deemed non-functional suddenly comes alive.
The plot turns from here as Finney hears the earlier victims of ‘The Grabber’ voices over the phone. The spirits of the earlier victims want to ensure that Finney meets with a different fate than what happened to them. The voices provide crucial hints that help Finney escape.
The Cast and Crew
The Black Phone movie cast includes Ethan Hawke, who plays ‘The Grabber,’ the child kidnapper and serial killer. Mason Thames as Finney is the likely protagonist of the film. Madeleine McGraw portrays the role of Gwen, Finney’s sister, and Troy Rudeseal and E Roger Mitchell play the detective due to Miller and Wright. Jeremy Davies as Terrence, Gwen and Finney’s abusive and alcoholic father, and James Ransone as ‘The Grabber’s’ brother Max are the other main actors of the movie. In addition, Rebecca Clarke, Spencer Fitzgerald, J. Gavin Wilde, and several others make the complete cast.
Despite being a horror movie packed with a lot of violence, the Black Phone movie lacks the elements that can seem too scary, commonly seen in horror movies. Instead, the film is a celebration of youthful resilience; on that count, it’s a very successful movie. Moreover, amid the sinister plot that reeks of child abuse and abduction, and dead bodies, the rays of hope for life are prominently visible. The director successfully maintains a delicate balance that makes the Black Phone a must-watch.