The Black Phone
Release Date: June 24, 2022
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Mason Thames, Madeline McGraw, and Ethan Hawke
Mister Marquee Says:
Finney (Mason Thames) is kidnapped by a sadistic child murderer (Ethan Hawke) and locked in a soundproof basement with only a disconnected black phone and a mattress. His sister Gwen (Madeline McGraw) tries to use her prophetic dreams to find her brother before it’s too late.
The Black Phone is a really impressive flick that could have easily come off as exploitative or campy in the wrong hands. In a bit of a subversion in the horror genre, the supernatural elements (kept tastefully light) are in favor of our heroes. Ghosts and visions from beyond serve as comfort, advice, and possible salvation. The real monster is human.
Ethan Hawke after this movie and Moon Knight may have a new niche as a creep. Hidden behind a changing mask, Hawke’s kidnapper alternates between a silly child-like voice and a menacing growl. His unsettling performance is the cherry on top of The Black Phone.
The true core of this movie is the tight, focused human story and growth for Finney and Gwen. Thames and McGraw have incredible chemistry and absolutely carry this movie. Their performances propel a story that is horrific, tragic, and repulsive, but also uplifting and sweet. This is one horror thriller that did not forget the human element and it is made all the better for it.