The Black Phone (2021) Poster

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Could have been so much more.
IgorNascimentoVeiga25 July 2022
Starting from a really good and somewhat original premise, it's not because it addresses a repeated theme (Kidnapper and a basement) that it's generic or copy, it's the same as saying that every mafia movie is a copy of The Godfather.

However, I believe that what was lacking in The Black Phone was to delve more deeply into its characters, using the star Ethan Hawke more, giving his character a dual personality tone, which would consequently result in a greater wealth of details and plot.

The scenes inside the captivity with the boy are really chilling, however, I believe that if the secret of the film was revealed later leaving the viewer in doubt, the film and psychological horror would have worked better, certainly better than jumpscares.

In addition, the film doesn't bring the repercussion of the facts that happened outside the captivity where nobody seems to worry much (Several children from the same location disappear and no parent worries about letting their children walk alone to school? Really? )

In addition, there are certain scenes that add nothing to the story.

There are obviously its positive points, like the scene between father and daughter that is really shocking probably because it involves a child, but it really turned out really good the girl's expression is really creepy (A shame because after nothing an abusive and alcoholic father becomes a loving and caring father).

The movie is obviously far from bad, but for maybe promising so much and creating expectations for something deep or a plot twist and not delivering it ended up frustrating me a little.
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I wish there was more depth to the story
Polotovar15 July 2022
In the end, I'm disappointed. It started off fine, but it stayed fine for the rest of the film and in short I was expecting something more than just fine. I was waiting for some questions to be answered, some revelations, some explanations. I was most puzzled by the ending, which seemed too quick, almost cut off. Not to criticize, I liked the time setting. It added a bit of magic. At least for me. Summary. Bottom line. It was okay, but I was expecting a little more. A little more depth to the story. I missed some revelation or explanation. For me, an above average horror film that I would only recommend to fans of the genre.
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creepy but a good watch.
decimatorcortez4 August 2022
An intense movie, worth a watch. May make your skin crawl/

Takes me back to my days as a kid growing up in Houston and the Houston Mass Murders. Wiki one of the killers, Elmer Wayne Henley for the story.
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I fell for it again
gaarauzumaki_99226 July 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I saw a horror movie with a score over 7 and I fell for it again.

This movie had so much potential, but that's about it.

Acting was great as well so it's a shame all of it was wasted.

Watching this movie felt like watching a 2nd movie in a trilogy where you have skipped the first one.

So many unexplained things in this one. Why does the sister have visions? Don't know. Oh it's apparently cause of her mom? Do I need to watch a prequel to see that story? Nah, just consume.

Why is the phone doing what it's doing? Is it explained in the prequel? Nah, just consume content.

Why is the Grabber doing what he's doing? What is his connection to the phone? What is the "game" he wants to play with the kids before he kills them? Don't worry about any of that, just consume.

You can literally remove the sister, the cops and the Grabber's brother from the movie and absolutely nothing would have changed in the ending. They did NOTHING of importance for the main plot. All of their scenes were just shoved into this movie cause the main plot would have been half an hour long.

A classical example of an overrated movie.
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Love is a strong and powerful thing....
PerryAtTheMovies24 June 2022

This movie was definitely a solid 7 and is absolutely worth seeing in theatres.

The chemistry amongst actors was really good. I especially found that Mason Thames (Finney) and Madeline McGraw (Gwen) were adorable as brother and sister. Their relationship reminded me of the one I have with my sister so I was able to make the story more personal. Ethan Hawke was very methodical and creepy without getting too close to the extreme, but definitely could've reached even better heights of true discomfort. His chemistry with Thames worked really well for their interactions.

The story was very engaging. Everything flowed so well that the hour forty-five minute runtime flew by. While it's in the title of the movie, the black phone was actually an uncomfortable aspect of the film because you never know when it will go off and the jump scares are perfectly timed to match. There was discomfort throughout the entire film, but it never hit the extremes it could've.

If I had to relate this film to another of similar aspects it would have to be "The Kid Detective". However, instead of focusing strictly on the search for the missing person, we get the benefit of seeing the missing person suffer.

Why should you go see this film? Because it's actually scary. So much so that those in the theatre actually jumped and a couple may have thrown an audible scream out. While the story could've been darker, for what were given it's actually pretty good. And like I said above the chemistry is really good. This film was not a disappointment and I suggest you go see if you want a good movie to watch.

Thank you for reading my review. Tune in tomorrow for my review on "Elvis". Until next time.... Enjoy the show!
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You don't have to rate a film higher just because it's popular or loved from other people..
ubasarsahin24 June 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I was so hyped and hopeful for this movie for a long time but I'd never thought I would find it overrated. I haven't read the book despite the fact that I'm a huge fan of Joe Hill and Stephen King and their common stories but unfortunately I couldn't like this one so much. I don't find it neither unique nor original at all among their other stories.

I knew and predicted how the ending would be right in the fifth minute because this is not the first time Hill is winking right in the face how everything is going to end up.

The thing that bugged me the most was the father's reaction to his lost son. I'd want to have seen more reaction and also Ethan Hawke's character became uninteresting after some point and I was disappointed when we were left without any backstory for his character.

Why does he do all of this stuff? When did he start? Why doesn't he like his face? How is he getting away from being caught for so long? Etc. Etc.

I don't agree with people say " you are supposed to read the book " , a big no to that from me. If I am at the cinemas and paying for the picture, that film is supposed to serve me. This is not an exam.

And I am really hoping for a future that people will stop overrating movies just because it's popular or something. I think some people feel really pushed to rate films higher. Don't do that to yourself people. Don't be a sheep.
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The Phone From Beyond
claudio_carvalho3 August 2022
In 1978, in Denver, the siblings Finney (Mason Thames) and Gwen Blake (Madeleine McGraw) live with his widower alcoholic father Terrence (Jeremy Davies). They miss their mother, who had psychic abilities and committed suicide. Finney is bullied at school by three mates, but his friend Robin (Miguel Cazarez Mora) defends him. When a child abductor known as "The Grabber" kidnaps a boy named Bruce (Tristan Pravong), Gwen has a dream and mentions reference to black balloons unknown by the public. Detectives Wright (E. Roger Mitchell) and Miller (Troy Rudeseal) come to the school to interview Gwen, but they do not believe in her statement. But when Finney is abducted by "The Grabber", he is locked in a soundproof basement and learns that the black phone on the wall is disconnected. But out of the blue, Finney receives phone calls from the beyond.

"The Black Phone" is a tense and creepy horror movie, with a good ghost story. The character "The Grabber", performed by Ethan Hawke, is scary and his masks are frightening. The acting of the cast is top-notch. Fortunately, the screenplay does not show any scene of child abuse and is not too graphic. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Telefone Preto" ("The Black Phone")
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The A Teams missing their van 😏
sithstalker-757893 August 2022
Judging by the reviews this really seems to be quite a polarising film. I'm not sure what some of the lower scores would have wanted to see maybe seeing children getting tortured and then killed on screen perhaps I dunno?

But me I found this to be a rather enjoyable flick. Hawke is brilliant as the antagonist but it's really the child stars that shine in this film and make it all that more immersesble.

One reviewer did say that a bit of a depth and backstory could have been nice, but do we always need that? Sometimes you've just gotta take things at face value and enjoy them for what they are. That's my train of thought anyway.

Personally I'd class this more as a thriller rather than a horror and not having seen the trailer maybe they amped it upto 11 to make it more marketable and scary and coz honestly this movie wasn't scary.

But if you like slow burn films, sprinkled in with a bit of mysticism and the unknown, good storytelling and great acting I don't think u can go wrong with this one.

I don't watch many trailers for films and prefer to go in blind not knowing what's going to happen that way you're either gonna find a dud or a gem and I would put this film in the latter category.

Easily an 8 out of 10 from me. But don't just believe what I say watch it and decide for yourself 😎👍
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Great crowd pleasing horror
masonsaul28 June 2022
The Black Phone takes a while to get going but once it does it delivers plenty of tense moments without a complete reliance on jump scares with a consistently unsettling atmosphere and lots of satisfying moments of set up and pay off.

Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw are both terrific, carrying a lot of the film on their shoulders and ably rising to the task. Ethan Hakwe is really terrifying as the grabber, able to convey a lot despite being hidden under the mask for a most part.

Scott Derrickson's direction is amazing, the film is constantly mobile to cleverly contrast the confined environment with plenty of 70s style. The music by Mark Korven is excellent, beautifully haunting and era appropriate. There's also a few solid needle drops.
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Works well with its interesting premise and features some solid performances from its cast
MrDHWong25 August 2022
"The Black Phone" is a horror film based on the short story of the same name by Joe Hill. Directed by Scott Derrickson ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose", "Doctor Strange") and starring Ethan Hawke, it works well with its interesting premise and features some solid performances from its cast.

In 1978, young Finney Blake (Mason Thames) and his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) live in a small suburb in Denver, Colorado. At school, the physically weak Finney often faces off against bullies while Gwen's psychic dream abilities attract the attention of the local police. One day, Finney is kidnapped by a masked murderer known only as "The Grabber" (Ethan Hawke), who locks him away in a soundproofed basement with a disconnected phone mounted on the wall. While Gwen aids the police in finding Finney's location, the latter starts to receive calls from the phone that belong to the disembodied souls of The Grabber's victims. As Finney answers more of their calls, the victims start to give him advice on how to avoid meeting the same fate as them.

Though not many people would be familiar with the author Joe Hill, I'm certain virtually everyone knows who is father is - Stephen King. Following in famous father's footsteps, Hill is slowly but surely crafting a name for himself with stories such as "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Horns" all making waves within the horror-fiction community. Aside from the moderately successful TV series "Locke & Key", which is based on a set of comic books he wrote, Hill has had very few other adaptations of his work that are worth mentioning. Now with 2022's "The Black Phone", Hill finally has an adaptation that can be considered a true defining point in his career as a writer, because it succeeds not only as a good horror film but as a pretty decent coming-of-age film too.

Much like his father before him, Hill's storytelling technique manages to combine the two genres together to create something that sets itself apart from most other similar films. We get to properly know our lead characters through the conditions they grow up in and the type of people they are surrounded by. For instance, Finney is a supportive older brother to Gwen, whom the latter faces frequent abuse from her alcoholic father. Although his intentions are honourable, Finney can never quite muster the courage to stand up to injustice and instead relies on others to do the job for him. Over the course of the film, we get to see how Finney grows as a character, gradually finding ways to build his self-confidence through various methods, either through the people he meets or on his own merits. Without divulging too much else, the film does a solid job at establishing Finney as a well-rounded protagonist that practically any young teen watching can find ways to identify with.

However, the one major problem I have with the film is Hill's overreliance on the story tropes pioneered by his father. While I was watching, I couldn't help but pick out nearly all of the typical Stephen King clichés that were being used left, right, and centre. The insecure alcoholic parent, the young child with unexplained supernatural abilities, the subtle slighting against Christianity, the school bullies attacking the protagonist, and even the small town setting are all used here prominently. The only thing that seemed different was that the story takes place in Colorado instead of Maine (I guess that would have been too obvious). I understand that Hill has taken a lot of influence from his father's writing style, which is fine, but if he wants to form his own identity, he really needs to do a whole lot more to create something unique for himself that won't leave him remembered as being simply "Stephen King's Son". With that in mind, the tropes still make for an effective horror story, even if we've seen them all many times before.

Under the direction of seasoned horror filmmaker Scott Derrickson, the film has just the right amount of flow and pacing to properly carry itself along without wearing out its welcome. Derrickson goes for a classic approach to horror, relying primarily on mounting dread rather than straight-up blood and gore. Whenever something frightening happens after the appropriate build-up, it always felt earned and wasn't simply shoehorned in there as a cheap jump-scare. If anything, Derrickson's directorial style is reminiscent of John Carpenter, in that he uses suspense and atmosphere to set the tone of a particular scene, allowing for a more streamlined horror experience.

The audience is also given little information about what The Grabber's motivations are other than to abduct children and keep them prisoner for an extended period of time. This works well because while it's obvious his intentions are sinister; we never quite get to see the extent of how bad things could get for someone like poor Finney. Instead, we are drip-fed small moments of what The Grabber is truly capable of through the phone calls Finney receives, which allows the audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks of what atrocities have been committed. Sometimes, minimalism works best in scenarios like this and Derrickson uses all of that to the film's advantage.

Another thing that helps the film in the long run is the performances from its main cast. Mason Thames manages to hold the audience's attention throughout scenes that could have dragged on if a less talented young actor played the role. Best of all, he actually acts like how a real person might if they were trapped in a situation such as this. He never comes across as an annoying teenager resorting to extreme measures when trying to escape but instead as an intellectual using more practical means to break free. Thames's chemistry with his on-screen sister Madeleine McGraw felt like a real sibling relationship, with the two of them looking out for each other during the worst of times. McGraw does a nice job balancing the story out with Gwen's psychic powers providing a "Shining"-esque method of hunting down her brother's kidnapper. Although I wish we could have had more scenes of her using these abilities throughout the film, what we ended up getting in the end was satisfactory.

Additionally, Ethan Hawke takes a threatening turn in portraying "The Grabber". While this isn't the first time Hawke has played a villain, I don't believe we've ever seen him play one this unhinged and unpredictable. Apart from the fact that he wears a large scary mask that looks like it came straight out of "The Purge" series (which coincidentally starred Hawke in the first film), it's alarming to think that there really are abductors out there like him who would do such evil things to children. I was always curious to see what his true intentions were with Finney and without giving away spoilers it was eventually explained as the film went on. All you need to know is that he is a dangerous man who derives sick pleasure from what he does.

As both a horror film and a coming-of-age film, "The Black Phone" is just as entertaining as any Stephen King-inspired story should be, with its well-developed characters and involving plot. In the future, I just hope that Joe Hill finds a way to distinguish himself better by writing something a bit more original that doesn't feel like he's borrowing heavily from his old man. If you're willing to look past its overused tropes, then the film still functions as an efficient treat for horror fans craving a quick fix. With that said, I know I got mine.

I rate it 7/10.
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laragi26 June 2022
Warning: Spoilers
The phone ringing added a great amount of tension at times. The film itself has too much going on that doesn't fit. Too many unanswered questions at the end. A little more development and it would have had a chance.
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Yeah, Ethan Hawke at it again.
Zaid_Khoury9 November 2021
Ethan Hawke is at it again, I loved the vibe of the movie, director came in clutch with this movie, it was truly surprising. Didn't expect it to be even remotely good, when this movie does fully release in theaters please do watch it in the big screens you will not regret it, child actors are incredible. I thought i saw the whole movie in the trailers, oh boy I was wrong.
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Just Ok,...
shahrad14 July 2022
Thought it would be better. It's entertaining, yes, but has lots of plot holes. We have seen much better movies with similar stories. However, we see great performances mostly from Ethan Hawke. He is really twisted and creepy here.

But again, one of those films that you forgot quickly.
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Not that good
tom9922 July 2022
It was not bad and not good, there is no horror in this movie, the story is poor and poorly executed. I'm baffled at all the good reviews, I think it's all very overrated, people saying that it's the best horror movie?? They probably never saw any horror movie.
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The Black Phone reunites Sinister's Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill, and Ethan Hawke for an intense and terrifying ride.
IonicBreezeMachine17 July 2022
Set in North Denver, Colorado in 1978, brother and sister Finney (Mason Thames) and Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) live with their drunken abusive father Terrence (Jeremy Davies). Finney is abducted by a serial child snatcher/murderer known as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) who locks Finney in a soundproofed basement before eventually escalating to killing him. Inside the basement is a black phone that is disconnected, but despite this it rings and Finney answers it and hears the voices of The Grabber's previous victims who give him hints and clues to how Finney can fight back against the Grabber. Meanwhile Gwen experiences vivid dreams that are tied to The Grabber and tries to find her brother before it's too late.

The Black Phone is an adaption of the short story of the same name written by horror writer Joe Hill. The film reunites Writer/Director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill the two having previously collaborated on Sinister and Marvel's Doctor Strange and the duo determined this would be their next project after finishing Doctor Strange 2 which the two eventually left due to creative differences. The film was initiated during the covid-19 pandemic with actor Mason Thames' audition actually taking place over Zoom. The movie has been warmly received by critics and audiences, and rightly so because The Black Phone is a great horror film.

The movie does a nice job of setting up its characters and situation before actually diving into the main crux of the story with the opening half hour dedicated to character building and a big part of that comes down to the casting which is pitch perfect. Both Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw are well defined and memorable characters who despite being brother and sister also have an enduring friendship with the two of them serving as anchoring points in their dysfunctional family due to the barely held together father Terrence who alternates between being in a drunken stupor and bouts of rage. Jeremy Davies plays Terrence and despite this character type being very common to this type of story Davies and the writers give more depth to this character than you usually see with some good scenes of emotionally vulnerability. Last but not least is Ethan Hawke as The Grabber and Hawke is terrifying as this masked unhinged killer who barely conceals his violent predisposition behind not only an unnerving mask but also a demeanor that's not too dissimilar from a psychotic 12 year old bully. It's a solid performance from Hawke and he's really creepy in the movie. The movie gets a lot of mileage out of its usage of the phone with the rules for how the ghosts communicate being fairly consistent and Finney being reasonably intelligent to pull it off. Sometimes the movie does show that it's based off a short story as there are instances where the plot contrives circumstances to keep itself going, but for the most part The Black Phone did what it was supposed to and made me care about the characters and wonder whether they'd make it out alive.

The Black Phone is high concept horror done right with a simple story featuring complex and defined characters. The movie is an unnerving cat and mouse game with solid performances by relative newcomers Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw in the leads, and Jeremy Davies and Ethan Hawke giving usually reliable supporting performances. It's really solid entertainment and if you're a horror fan I highly encourage you to seek this out.
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Hopeless rubbish.
doorsscorpywag19 July 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I've been waiting over a year to see this. The trailers made it look well worth a watch.

It wasn't.

It made no sense that Ethan Hawke snatched kids in a black van with black balloons and nobody noticed.

He lived in the area of his victims and even parked the van outside and nobody reported it. He could have written PEADO in large letters on the side and still nobody would have figured it out.

Even more ridiculous was his brother lived in the same house and was investigating the case with the help of lots of coke (not the drink).

The pair of useless detectives even visited the house to talk to said coked up brother and left thinking him a nut.

The basement had a phone on the wall for our ghosts to give the victim hints and point to lots of useful stuff to escape with. Our victim scaled carpets and dug holes but when a perfect opportunity to escape came by virtue of killing his kidnapper, who was asleep, he instead tried to open a bike lock, a ghost told him the combination of, as noisily as he could. He then actually escaped but instead of running screaming to the nearest house he ran silently then fell over and was kidnapped again. Something that went unnoticed once again.

No thrills, no shocks, no horror of any kind. Ethan Hawke may as well have not been in it for all the menace 'The Grabber' had. The rest of the cast weren't up to much either.

Another massive disappointment.
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The Hawke and Derrickson duo take the horror genre back once again with a grimly entertaining film.
tresm8717 June 2022
Warning: Spoilers
After what seems like forever since we had anything close to being a mainstream horror release over the past year, The long awaited delayed Black Phone is finally here. Let me start out by saying just how excited I was to see Scott Derrickson and Ethan Hawke team up once again after the massively underrated and disturbing "Sinister" in 2013. Derrickson has directed some absolute gems while still remaining slightly under the radar. Hawke's versatility has always proved effective when he dabbles into the horror genre. So with a duo like this you're bound for success.

The Black Phone is no exception as it grabs a hold of the audience and never lets up. Ethan gives one of his most extreme performances to date and this particular villain will be remembered for quite some time for his gruesome yet comedic insanity. Almost channeling a little bit of The Joker and Freddy as well as his own signature style.

The story is actually very complex and gives a certain bit of emotional impact while remaining dire and suspenseful simultaneously. While it does borrow slightly in certain aspects from other films it's still remains its own entity with clever plotting. It unravels into something you will not see coming which is always a welcome factor.

The visuals and settings are absolutely excellent and put you back into a different time entirely where this sort of crime was being committed with ease throughout the country. That's another reason this film is so strikingly disturbing because 30 to 40 years ago this was a massive problem and a huge fear for so many parents. The retro Ambience is palpable.

Overall just a very well executed horror film albeit with certain familiar clichés, with a performance from Ethan Hawke alone that stands out phenomenally. Definitely a great time for a summer horror film.
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Slightly below average and weak
nscoby9323 June 2022
This film has brought to mind a question that becomes increasingly relevant whenever I go out and watch something new. What is happening in modern day cinema?

This film features some of the weakest child acting I have ever seen. Or perhaps it's not the child actors but the poor script because apparently what passes for comedy is children cursing and throwing out F words in every other sentence. Why on Earth more than half of the theater audience giggles at this atrocious writing is beyond me. Perhaps they laugh at how bad it was but that was not my impression.

I didn't care for any of these characters, they were either all poorly written or were never given enough time to be developed. Ethan Hawke is absolutely wasted here, he delivers a great creepy performance as The Grabber but he's not fleshed out. This film at least has a solid third act and a decent ending.

With almost every new release it becomes increasingly apparent the trademark of modern cinema is weak and lazy writing. I am getting tired of subpar films and incompetent writing. What happened to the passion, the art, and respect for film? I see a lot reviews praising this film so I don't know maybe it's just not for me. Oh well onto the next, hopefully Elvis is stronger.

IMDb: 4/10 Letterboxd: 2/5

Watched in Theaters.
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Ethan Excels In Terrifying Mask
stevendbeard16 June 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I saw The Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawke-The Magnificent Seven_2016, The Purge; Jeremy Davies-Justified_tv, Lost_tv; Mason Thames-Walker_2021_tv, For All Mankind_tv and Madeleine McGraw-Ant_Man and the Wasp, American Sniper.

This is a horror/thriller that Ethan Hawke really excels in. It's based on a book written by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King. Ethan plays a character called the Grabber, a serial child abductor/killer, that wears a terrifying mask-the mask was designed by famed make up artist Tom Savini. Ethan grabs kids and puts them in a soundproof basement, tortures them with games he likes to play and then kills them. Mason, a shy but smart 13 year old is his latest victim. In the basement is a black phone that Ethan tells Mason does not work-it's been disconnected. When the phone rings, Mason answers it and discovers that he is talking to Ethan's previous dead victims, who try to help Mason escape. Jeremy plays Mason's father and Madeleine is Mason's sister.

It's rated R for violence, bloody images, language and drug use and has a running time of 1 hour & 42 minutes.

I enjoyed it and would buy it on DVD.
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Twisted Good
Tweetienator17 July 2022
Indeed, well entertained I was - a fine cast and solid production (takes us back to the late 70s), and that blend of thriller with a good shot of supernatural horror made The Black Phone a nice entertaining trip. The cast is really good, especially the younger ones too. Recommended if you like such movies as The Lovely Bones, Split, Chained (Vincent D'Onofrio), House at the End of the Street and so on.
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Over hyped.
dajsha6 July 2022
Warning: Spoilers
I wouldn't say this is a horror movie, it's actually far from that. If someone says this was scary, we didn't watch the same movie for sure. It's definitely a thriller, I would save my money and time on this movie. Definitely overhyped and over rated but that's my opinion. Great actors/actresses though especially Ethan Hawke!

After looking more into the movie, I didn't even realize the brother and sister had "powers". I thought when he was talking to the other people, they were helping him in another dimension since they said they forgot their name. How is the little girl going to get mad at God because she don't know how to work her powers. This whole time the dad was describing the mom, I thought she just had schizophrenia.

I have many questions so fourth as why is the grabber's brother not questioning him bringing eggs and a sprite bottle to the basement. How is he bringing the kids in, if the brother is in there? Is he too high off of coke?? You only survive if you don't play his "naughty boy" game? What is the back story of the grabber? Why is a phone just there? I'll stop there but, I know he pissed he got his neck snapped by a kid. To go out like that is unfortunate. Same goes for the brother, all that hard detective work for nothing!

Nevertheless, I'll chose sinister or IT over this any day. Might as well watch the trailer, that's the whole movie.
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Expected it to be scarier
Calicodreamin20 July 2022
I was definitely expecting this to be scarier, a few jumps but nothing major. The storyline was well developed and not at all what I expected. Acting was pretty good. Could have just been a bit more.
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Superb Casting
slightlymad2223 June 2022
I just got out of The Black Phone

Most people know I do not like horror movies, but who I went to the cinema with, does and I'm all about compromise (They things I'll do to have sex🤣)

I loved it. It's currently in my Top 10 of the year. Mason Thames and Madeline McGraw own this movie. If you are doing a horror movie where the two leads are children, you better get your casting right, and man, they knock it out of the park. Ethan Hawke is also great in this, that's less of a shock though.

The 70's setting, the jump scares (which I usually hate), the tension (I was that engrossed I forgot to open my bag of sweets), the score (amazing) are all used to great effect.
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rkeilitz-19-53791516 July 2022
More touching than terrifying, Scott Derrickson's Black Phone is less a horror movie than a coming-of-age ghost story. In place of gouting gore and surging fright, this enjoyable adaptation of Joe Hill's 2005 short story has an almost contemplative tone, one that drains its familiar horror tropes a masked psychopath, communications from beyond the grave of much of their chill. The chemistry amongst the young actors was perfection and Ethan Hawke truly creeped me out without going over the top into camp horror. If you have kids I DO NOT recommend they see it.
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A solid, tense thriller with some nice twists.
Top_Dawg_Critic14 August 2022
The 103 min runtime and decent pacing was cleverly used to maintain atmospheric and unnerving constant suspense. The directing and cinematography was spot-on with an excellent score. Casting and performances were great, especially Ethan Hawke and the feisty and talented Madeleine McGraw, who stole the spotlight. Sure it could've used some more gore and guts, but that would've made the story less authentic and too cheesy. It's a great film well put together for the horror-thriller genre.
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