The Black Phone

The Black Phone

A dark, unnerving suspense horror tale about “The Grabber” and a boy trying to make it home. The Black Phone is not for the faint of heart. Yet even in its darkest moments there is humor and hope to be found. But what makes it such a tangible and horrific experience for audiences? Let’s dive in.

The Story

This is not home

In a suburb 1970s neighborhood, Finney is doing his best to survive his father and the difficulties of dealing with bullies. With his sister Gwen on his side, they do their best to get by. But slowly their town becomes more dangerous, as children go missing. With the only clue being a black balloon left behind, detectives are mystified.

Another One Goes Missing

Amongst the disappearances, Gwen learns of private details related to the missing children. At first, detectives assume she’s close to the Grabber. But the truth places them in a even more uncomfortable position. Her dreams are providing glimpses into the missing children and their dire circumstances. Something the detectives scrutinize, and her own father punishes her for.

A Girl Knows Too Much

The future, unfortunately, has darker plans for Finney. As he too eventually encounters The Grabber and is made unconscious. When Finney awakens, he finds himself under the mercy of the demented Grabber. Unhinged, demented, and psychotic, a dangerous game begins.

Thankfully, Gwen acts quickly to help find Finney. Desperate for clues, she prays for guidance that will lead her to her kidnapped brother. When struggles arise, her faith falters. As she suspects no one may be listening to her prayers, and her brother might be lost forever. Yet even in these dark moments, hope remains. But will hope be enough?

Playing the Game

My Game, My Rules

Despite his fears, Finney fights to keep his mind clear. Locked away with minimal resources, he’s slowly starved and dehydrated. Amidst the quiet, a black phone on the wall rings. Confused, he answers and soon realizes he’s speaking to the other victims. But with the phone line cut, how is speaking to them? What message could they have even for Finney?

With each call, Finney learns of a game being played. Play the game, and he may lose his life. And The Grabber is more than happy to play. High risk, high reward has never ringed more true. One mistake, and it’s all over. Finney may be a child, but even a grown man would be lucky to survive.

Win Or Lose, You Play The Game

Watching this game play out is tense and creepy. Ethan Hawke’s execution as The Grabber plays with your mind, as you watch him toy with Finney. Finney and Gwen’s execution as fearful children can be an absolute gut punch to your system, as they endure abhorrent situations. Making the danger surrounding them visceral, and completely real to the audience.

Friends, Family, & Courage

Gwen Searches for Guidance

Beneath the layers of suspense, horror, and thrills lies a story about love and friendship. With few friends and family on his side, Finney and Gwen’s life is incredibly hard. If they’re not dealing with their father, they’re dealing with bullies. If Finney isn’t dealing with those two, he’s in the confines of a dangerous madman. To survive, he must find the courage hidden inside him.  

Every Journey Begins With One Step

As Finney searches for courage, Gwen spends every spare moment searching. If there’s any chance Finney’s going to make, it will take more than what he can accomplish alone. This shared love and friendship carries us through the film’s darkest times. Which is a beautiful message in itself. As we should all strive to be great friends, good people, and never give up on each other. But most of all, have faith in ourselves.

The Black Phone is an eerie, atmospheric suspense-horror fest that delivers meaning to audiences. Complete with amazing performances that pull you into the story and doesn’t let go until the end. By the time this story closes, you will be pleased. The only issue we have is we wish we only had more.

Watch The Black Phone

The Black Phone is available for streaming on Peacock, DVD, and Blu-Ray.

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