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Release Date: 06/24/22 [Cinemas]

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Studio: Universal Studios


"After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls."


Scott Derrickson’s latest horror-thriller The Black Phone does what it sets out to do; to tell the story of a little boy named Finney who is kidnapped in his neighborhood by a scary man in a scary van. Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Joe Hill, our protagonist Finney is confined to a concrete room where the ghosts of his kidnapper’s past communicate with him via a phone on the wall that isn’t hooked up. The kidnapper, or as the kids in the neighborhood call him, “The Grabber”, attempts to lure the boy out of the room he’s locked in, into tortuous traps that the ghosts are able to warn him about within seconds via the phone. Meanwhile, his little sister Gwen, is left alone to deal with her missing brother’s investigation and her drunk abusive father, all while trying to help the police find her brother thorugh her dreams.


The film does not pose the question as to what The Grabber specifically wants with his victims. It doesn't waste its time on that because it already knows the audience will make their own assumptions. My mind naturally thought of a few key names of certain real life serial killers while watching. The film doesn’t reference one off hand circumstance, but a harrowing mixture of these types of kidnappings, proving how normal it is to us by now. Truthfully, that might have been the scariest thing from The Black Phone


The cast as a whole displays some of my favorite acting I’ve seen this year. Every kid actor knocked their performance out of the park no matter how big or small their role was. Ethan Hawke as The Grabber is a ball of terror, taking so many villianous expectations you may have about him and not always feeding into them. 


The film presents a few different themes but clearly has a hard time coming to a decision by the end. For me personally, the parts that didn’t make total sense did not overshadow all the parts that did. So with that being said, I had a great time. You should definitely check this one out in theaters now before it bops over to Peacock in about a month!

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