Reporter’s Notebook: ‘The Black Phone’ is Wired to Cause Ghostly Scares | News, Sports, Jobs


“The Black Phone”, directed by Scott Derrickson, is based on a short story by Joe Hill. (Photo provided)

Decent horror movies are hard to come by these days, with many lacking in plot, character development, or spooky atmosphere. But “The Black Phone” delivers on all counts and should delight all horror fans with its unique approach.

When previews debuted I knew this was a movie I would be interested in and immediately knew I had to try it (along with my horror movie sidekick Haley) and although the tape -ad is quite vague, I could tell it was an interesting notion.

The trailers showed a boy who was held captive in a room with nothing but a black rotary phone on the wall and a man with a creepy mask who was his captor. I was intrigued and curious to see how the phone would fit into the story.

It started in the 1970s and to my delight it stuck to that era for the rest of the movie. I always love movies that are set in a different time period, the history buff in me loves to see the fashion styles, design choices and character mannerisms.

Rumors circulated in the small town about the disappearance of several children in a short time. Gwen, a young girl, has dreams where she sees the missing children and ends up helping the detectives solve the case.

She becomes closer to home when her brother Finney is kidnapped and the dreams continue.

Finney is alone in a seedy basement, except for a few random visits from the “Grabber,” the killer’s nickname.

The phone rings and he hears the voices of the other children who had disappeared. Finney soon realizes that the children are dead, but they help him find ways to escape.

You automatically root for the child and hope that he can survive and escape. His experience keeps you on the edge of your seat all the time.

What I liked the most was the combination of styles and themes; “The Black Phone” is a mix of horror and thriller as it includes paranormal elements with the “on the edge of your seat” characteristic of thrillers.

Ethan Hawke plays the “Grabber” and he executes the role perfectly with his unsettling, calm demeanor similar to Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter.

At the end of the movie, you find yourself thinking that it will be like most horror movies. a cut ending that leaves you with more questions than when it started. But to my relief, this movie actually has a solid ending that doesn’t leave you wanting more.

Anyone remotely interested in horror or thriller movies should see “The Black Telephone.” Even my husband loved it and he’s usually not a fan of these genres.

Check it out. You will not be disappointed.




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