Black Phone: A Movie Whose Horror Continues to Ring Loudly with Audiences


Larissa Howell, Writer

The new hit film, Black Phone, premiered in theaters on  June 24th, and horror fans went wild. The film was quite successful, earning $150 million at the international box office, and standing as one of the biggest  movies of the summer. 

Starring Mason Thames in his premier movie, alongside long time cinema veteran Ethan Hawke, the film follows protagonist Finny, a young man from an abusive household who awakens suddenly in the basement of a man who kidnapped him. Finny is guided to escape through conversations he has on a black phone with children previously attacked by the serial kidnapper, known as “The Grabber”, played by Hawke. Finny’s sister, Gwen, has premonitions of it all taking place, and is able to save her brother. 

I quite enjoyed the movie because it quickly got to the point and had a plot that was easy to follow.  It was straightforward, but still gave a mysterious aura that increased unsettling feelings in the viewers. It was a risky move mixing ‘serial killer scary’ with ‘paranormal’ thriller but somehow writer Joe Hill made the strange combination work. Even though the ‘ghosts’ of the children were meant to play well defined characters instead of monsters, the audience  still got a chill every time one of them appeared on the screen. This film has a unique twist in that the “ghosts” are actually the good guys, helping our protagonist to escape, while a human man plays the monster of the film. The movie kept the audience on their toes and kept them thinking about what might happen next. 

Although Black Phone was a great film overall,  the movie still had some rough patches like every film does. I found a couple things a little cliche and kind of watered down. The movie wasn’t as scary as some might come to expect from a summer blockbuster thriller.  It was quite suspenseful, but traditional horror fans might find this film lacking in terms of jump scares and gore.  

All in all, this film is one that stays with you, and forces you to think about it long after you’ve left the theater. Overall it was a great movie, and another classic film that Hawke can add to his long-running repertoire.