Films with kidnapping and horror are my jam when it comes to suspense films, because there’s always the question whether the kidnap victim can survive. The Black Phone had me asking that question multiple times.
The Black Phone is a new level of horror and terror with a unique setup. The film contains a generous amount of back story and frequent twists. Ethan Hawke plays a character known as “The Grabber”, and he is the one who drives the terror. Hawke still has that nice guy personality in this role, but here it’s blended with a healthy dose of evil.
The Black Phone is set in a small town where children have been going missing. There is a boy named Finney, played by Mason Thames, who is fascinated with horror flicks on TV. His world changes when he is abducted by The Grabber, who puts him into a soundproof basement. A creepy feature of The Grabber is that he always wears a ghoulish mask. Finney’s options are limited until he comes across a phone that is broken, but can mysteriously be used to talk to The Grabber’s previous victims. These victims help Finney try to find a way to escape the basement.
The Black Phone is a film with many dark corners that can be very anxiety-provoking. It is also one of the best horrors flicks I have seen in a while. It manages to come off as authentic, and Hawke is truly magnificent as the stylish masked enemy. He delivers his performance in his mellow-toned, but here very menacing, demeanor.
For fans of the horror genre The Black Phone is going to be a wild ride. Again, this film takes scary to new heights. The realism grows the horror and there are many mind-boggling moments as Finney tries to fight back and The Grabber enjoys tormenting Finney. Do not miss this original horror blockbuster. Three and a half stars for The Black Phone.