The Black Phone

The Black Phone

Finney Blake, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

  • Released: 2022-05-29
  • Runtime: 102 minutes
  • Genre: Horror, Thrillers
  • Stars: Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone, Banks Repeta, Kellan Rhude, J. Gaven Wilde, E. Roger Mitchell, Gina Jun, Ryan Cronan, Braxton Alexander, Andrew Farmer, T. Maxwell Martin, Brady Ryan, Jacob Moran, Jordan Isaiah White, Spencer Fitzgerald, Kristina Arjona, Tristan Pravong, Ron Blake, Robert Fortunato, Chris TC Edge, Mark Riccardi, Brady Hepner, Troy Rudeseal, Megan Petersen, Bay Allebach, Ray Strachan, Mike Bailey, Christine Connelly, Matthew Simmons, Ray Strachan, Ray Strachan, Miguel Cazarez Mora, Rebecca Clarke, Sheila M. O'Rear, Rocco Poveromo, Parrish Stikeleather
  • Director: Scott Derrickson
  • wonderwellwisher - 1 June 2024
    Innovative Storyline with thrill intact
    The horror genre, a good review, and box office success are quite good parameters for selecting a movie to watch and thus I ventured into this one. "The Black Phone" is about 13-year-old Finney, who gets kidnapped by a psycho killer who has murdered many other kids in town. Finney is held hostage in a soundproof basement with a disconnected phone that starts to ring. The callers on the other side are the previous victims of the killer, who want to save Finney.

    The film slowly builds momentum, and once the tone is set, it becomes interesting. It is a slow burn where the protagonists try to survive the killer with his various stints. These stints could have been more interesting though. The suspense element keeps you hooked on the narrative to an extent. However, the ending is quite underwhelming and diminishes the overall effect.

    Mason Thames, as Finney, has done a fabulous job. His transformation from being timid to showing immense strength is evident in his body language, which elevates the movie. Madeleine McGraw, in the role of his sister, is endearing and showcases warmth and love with utmost earnestness. The rest of the cast performs well too.

    The background music could have been better to provide that eerie feeling; it lacks in this regard. Additionally, the menace with which the antagonist should be projected doesn't instil the necessary sense of fear in the viewers, which is crucial for such movies. While the plot is interesting, the movie lacks the lustre it demands. However, it's worth a try. It doesn't have any blood and gore, making it suitable for those who prefer to avoid such content. #pranureviews #TheBlackPhone #TheBlackPhoneReview.
  • denise-882-139023 - 3 May 2024
    Coming of age, thriller, horror and ghost story.
    All the pieces in this film slot into place well, pay close attention to the final few reels.

    The general sense of all pervading fear and imminent violence is just chilling; and that is just the kids.

    The two leads, Mason Thomas as Finney and Madeleine McGraw as Gwen, do a really good job.

    The Grabber, a heavily masked, top hatted magician, played by Ethan Hawke, is nuts and nasty. "Hey kid do you want to see a magic trick? The suggested answer is "no".

    Think Child Catcher crossed with a prolific serial killer who has a side job as a children's entertainer; you know who I mean.

    The relentless and seemingly fruitless search for a way out of the basement by Finney, racks up the tension.

    I will not tell you what the black phone is. You need to watch the film to find out, needless to say, it is central to the story.

    I really liked this film which is a mix of coming of age, thriller, horror and ghost story.

    Highly recommend.
  • pedroquintaoo - 14 February 2024
    A solid horror movie
    It's impossible to watch "The Black Phone" without highlighting the remarkable performance of young actress Madeleine McGraw, who simply dominates every scene she's in, especially the most dramatic ones, showcasing an impressive talent. I'm convinced she'll have a bright future in the movie industry. Additionally, Ethan Hawke's portrayal as the villain is extremely impactful. His demeanor becomes bizarre at times, sending shivers down your spine, and his unpredictability adds an extra layer of suspense to the plot.

    The cinematography and artistic direction also deserve recognition, providing a vivid portrayal of the 70s. The attention to detail in the setting significantly enhances immersion in the storyline. As for the sound, the editing is simply amazing. The melodies and eerie effects contribute to the film's terrifying atmosphere, which is characteristic of Scott Derrickson's artistic identity.

    The narrative is excellently executed, resulting in a solid film that doesn't try to be more than it is. The experience is engaging, keeping the audience glued to the screen for almost two hours. However, it's worth mentioning that the third act of the film felt a bit rushed and didn't do justice to the previous development. Additionally, there's a minor plot twist that may be predictable for more attentive viewers.

    Despite these minor negatives, "The Black Phone" offers tension-filled moments that push our anxiety to the limit, leaving any viewer eager to discover the outcome of the main story.
  • lostritto - 8 January 2023
    Could have been soo much better
    What a letdown at the end...but my big did his brother not know about the crimes when his brother Ethan is sitting in the kitchen with a mask on waiting to abuse a kid with a belt? He was such a great detective too trying to figure out the crime, lol..that premise was stupid.

    Also, the whole science fiction of the phone and the ghosts and all of that was never explained and sort of stupid. Was it a game? Were they alive? Did the killer know the phone was doing that? So many questions left unanswered.

    A creepy van, a creepy clown with a mask kidnapping all the kids from the same school one right after the other....and not a single eyewitness or curious eye.
  • darronv - 2 January 2023
    Don't pick up the phone
    Not a good way to start out 23' with a poorly done film as the Black Phone. Please skip on by this one. I thought since Ethan Hawke was playing the bad guy (sadistic, really?). The writer or writers must've been watching Dahmer when they wrote that line. This is simply about a few kids who help another kid get out of a basement while the lame "bad guy" sits upstairs and sleeps. Come on...The police are stooges even come to his house and didn't even search it. Shame on u Hawke...Well IMDB, my first love, I recently joined Letterboxd to write reviews and they don't regulate how many characters our reviews have to be...See u next time....
  • eyadjunaidi66 - 29 December 2022
    Entertaining movie
    Taking a break from the monotonous daily routine provided a much-needed respite. Although the story wasn't particularly riveting, it was still quite enjoyable and held my attention from start to finish. The movie was an action-packed delight that left me with a feeling of satisfaction and elation. There were many elements of this movie that I found exceptionally enjoyable.

    The plot of the movie was enthralling and captivating in its own right. Furthermore, the story introduced elements of mystery, suspense, and drama that kept me on the edge of my seat.

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and it was a great way to take a break from the mundane.
  • ebeckstr-1 - 28 December 2022
    Effective in parts but with significant script weaknesses
    At various moments The Black Phone is an effective supernatural thriller, evoking a safer time (at least, that was the impression), the 1970s, when newspaper delivery kids and kids riding around small town and suburban neighborhoods on bicycles were expected to make it home safely. However, script weaknesses prevent the film from becoming something more effective. For example, after multiple disappearances in the same midsize town there is no curfew, parents don't seem the least bit concerned about their kids being out at night or walking around on a company, the police don't talk with kids during assemblies until multiple kids have disappeared, and no one seems to notice the distinctive van we see driving around town and no one hears or sees the sometimes loud and ostentatious kidnappings? In addition, while it's easy to sit in an armchair and observe what else our protagonist could have done to escape or what he could have used as weapons to fight the bad guy, I found those moments irksome, too. So, in some respects there are some clever moments in the script that they are presented amidst other moments that don't rise to the level of intelligence that the film bumps up against if it never quite achieves.

    The most effective elements in this movie are to the two young leads. Madeline McGraw in particular is extremely talented, exudes charm and charisma, is almost jarringly emotive, and, if she chooses to do this for a living, we'll undoubtedly go on to become a fine actress.

    A warning to sensitive viewers: around 19 minutes into the film there is a very disturbing scene involving the beating of a child by a parent. I found it really difficult to sit through, partly because of the nature of the scene but also because the acting of a child's part was so utterly realistic has to be disturbing. I hope to hell they had a counselor on the set.
  • catdaddyd - 2 December 2022
    Not bad, but just misses the mark
    Blumhouse reminds me of Judd Appatow, his movies are good til about half way through. Blumhouse missed the mark on their Halloween Triology, the first one was pretty good, the second one nothing but filler and the third was just nonsense. This movie had so much potential and just doesn't reach it. My main problem is the black van is parked in a carport and can be seen from the street so easily. No red flags when he goes to the hardware store and picks up several bags of lime, which he must've done at least 5 previous times. Is it a great movie, no but it could've been, as other reviews have mentioned. No back story, what is the game the grabber wants to play, a little more about the mother of the 2 main kids.
  • cassiluther - 16 November 2022
    Creepy, good, and dark
    I enjoyed this movie a lot, it had a great plot to it. The only thing I wished they explained was a little more about the "grabber" and why he was the way he was. Kinda left it open ended at the end. I love how it was a revenge of the spirits though and how they all got their final say to the grabber.

    When thinking about how this was pretty much a single person acting you have to give the main actor major credit. His co-star was the phone!! Loved the dark colors and vibe, reminded me of old fashioned Halloween movies before they became all CGI and cheesy.

    Overall get yourself a bowl of popcorn and some skittles and curl up to this. Only a couple jump scares the rest is just suspense!
  • btdavis-31152 - 9 November 2022
    Finally Something Different
    For generations we have seen final girl and scream queens. But also we have seen final boys but not as much as final girls. But this movie finally uses a final boys who had to been bullied and felt like he couldn't make it out by himself. Overall they have been some few moments that seen cringe but it's normal for movies so no big deal. This movie has strong acting, amazing shots, and awesome story taking places in the 70s. I will definitely rewatch it. You will not disappointed at this movie. There are lots of thrills, not much jumpscares, and comedic elements in this film. All the characters felt there part fantastically.