Blumhouse Productions is back with another twisted thriller that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat: The Black Phone.
The film follows shy tween, Finney (Mason Thames), who gets kidnapped by a sadistic, masked-murderer known as “The Grabber” (Ethan Hawke). Finney is being held captive in a soundproof basement, where a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring. And ring. And ring with voices of the Grabber’s previous victims. What do they want? To make sure Finney does not end up like them.
Although the film gives off serious Stephen King vibes, The Black Phone is a tense yet thoughtful thrill ride, whose horror is engrained in the reality of the situation.
In other words, the entire concept of a masked man going around suburbia and kidnapping children is far terrifying than the paranormal factors that influence the plot. In my opinion, the supernatural actually detracts from the film, although it does add in some terrific jump scares. Like, pretty sure the lady behind me screamed so loud it scared my friend half to death.
Scott Derrickson (who wrote, directed and produced this bad boy) takes devilish delight in constructing a hyper realistic situation rooted by three vivid performances.
Ethan Hawke is utterly spine-chilling and unforgettable as the Grabber. He skulks around in creepy devil masks with subtle nuances that will make your skin crawl.
Unlike some horror films where you’re rooting for the villain, Hawke portrays the Grabber in such an unnerving manner that you will hate this detestable creep for the entire runtime and root for his demise — even though, I admit he does have the best one line of the film; “He was an idiot. But he was my idiot.”
However, the QUEEN of the one liners is Madeline McGraw, who plays Finny’s younger spitfire of a sister. Her innocence, heart and humor radiate off the screen and completely steal the show. Along with Thames, I am constantly blown away by the young talent Hollywood is getting ahold of and cannot wait to see what more they accomplish.
Final Thoughts: An entertaining and suspenseful ride, The Black Phone is a sure fire hit of the summer and another solid flick to add to Blumhouse’s impressive collection.