“The Black Phone” (2021) starring Ethan Hawke / Z-View

The Black Phone (2021)

Director:  Scott Derrickson

Screenplay: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill based on “The Black Phone” short story by Joe Hill

Stars: Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies and E. Roger Mitchell

Tagline: Never Talk to Strangers

The Plot…

A sadistic serial killer of children has been dubbed The Grabber by news media.  Despite multiple kidnappings and murders, the killer leaves no clues.  When Finney, a thirteen year old boy, wakes up in a locked basement, he comes to realize that The Grabber plans to torture and kill him… unless Finney can find a way out.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Although The Grabber’s “name” isn’t that scary, the masks he wears are.  The scene (picture below) of the serial killer sitting shirtless, in a mask, whip in hand waiting in the kitchen to see if Finney will come up is truly creepy.

The Black Phone has a supernatural aspect to it that makes it less scary in my opinion.  A kid, alone in a serial killer’s basement is frightening.  When he begins getting “help” from beyond, it is much more likely that he’ll survive.

There are couple of cool plot twists and the ending works well.

The Black Phone earns 3 of 5 stars.