The Black Phone
Alfred Hitchcock would be proud. This is a good horror film that is also a very good movie.
With The Black Phone, Blumhouse Productions has again cooked up a nasty yet captivating horror film. Think of Get Out (2017) and The Purge (2013) and you will know what I mean.
Taking place out west in the 1970’s, teenage boys are being kidnapped off the streets and killed. Some sick soul in a van filled with black balloons is responsible but he has escaped detection.
The movie centers on Finney Shaw (Mason Thames), a 13-year-old boy who is the latest victim, finding himself held in a soundproof basement. The sadistic masked killer torments him with occasional visits down a dark staircase.
What brings magic to the film is a disconnected black phone hanging on the wall. After it suddenly rings, Finn discovers that the killer’s previous victims are calling him to help him avoid their fate.
The movie is helped with a magnificent script. Known as the Grabber, Ethan Hawke leaves you hating his deranged character while you are forced to peak at him through your fingers.
However, the most creative character is Madeleine McGraw, who plays Gwen, Finn’s younger sister. She has dreams that connect her to the Grabber and her brother, and she proves to be a female fountain of youth.
In particular, watch her use a cross and religious artifacts to seek guidance from Jesus. There is a hysterical scene where she dismissed the failure of our Lord to help in a vulgar, profane outburst that you will never forget.
So, follow my lead and find the nerve to see this film. Just make sure you see it at a matinee where it is still light out while you are walking to your car.