The Black Phone (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD)

Blu-Ray Reviews | Aug 20th, 2022

The Black Phone (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Image used with permission for review purposes.

Starring: Ethan Hawk, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone
Written By: Joe Hill, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Directed By: Scott Derrickson
Studio: Universal
Buy On

The Black Phone is a movie I didn’t have on my radar but then that now iconic poster (in my opinion) of Ethan Hawke with a creepy mask was everywhere. I had to see for myself what this was about and I’m glad I did.

The movie is based on the Joe Hill short story where a 13-year old kid named Finney (Mason Thames) is captured from a sadistic serial killer called the Grabber (Ethan Hawke). The killer locks him in a soundproof room with a mattress and a disconnected black phone. The killer says the phone doesn’t work, until it mysteriously rings and Finn answers it. The voices on the other end are the Grabber’s previous victims who try to help him out so he’s not the next victim. Meanwhile, Finney’s psychic sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) keeps having dreams and trying to help out the police to find The Grabber and her brother.

I didn’t know what to expect from the movie but I really enjoyed it. There were only a few jump scares, and I liked how it takes place in the late 70s. It seems like the time where a lot of murders and that sort of stuff was happening. Scott Derrickson utilizes the Super8 camera in a unique way to show flashbacks and other scenes not taking place in real time. What I liked about the movie is it has that true crime feel to it, except there’s the supernatural element added to it.

The Grabber was terrifying and creepy, and you didn’t know what he would do next. Ethan Hawke played him really well. Guess he’s been taking a few turns now at villains with this and his character on Moon Knight. Having a terrifying character is one, it’s another to have a balance of well-acted kid actors. Mason Thames plays Finney great but I think who steals the show is Madeleine McGraw. The foul-mouthed, badass psychic sister was fun to watch. I kind of wish there was a sequel just about her. There are talks of a sequel so we’ll see what Joe Hill has up his head, unless C. Robert Cargill develops something without him?

The Blu-ray features some extras that contain some deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, some interviews with the crew and cast, one about adapting the short story, details about hair, makeup and set design and other things like that. Nothing that stood out but was cool to watch after seeing the movie at least.

This movie isn’t for everybody of course. You have to suspend belief a little bit, and if you like some jump scares and somewhat frightening images, you’ll enjoy this one. If I was a character in this movie, I probably wouldn’t last long since I wouldn’t have even picked up the phone if I heard it ringing when I knew it was disconnected. This movie was entertaining and worth watching in my opinion.

Deleted Scenes
Is This America Now?
No Dreams
Ethan Hawke’s Evil Turn
Answering The Call: Behind The Scenes Of The Black Phone
Devil In The Design
Shadowprowler – A short film by Scott Derrickson
Feature Commentary By Producer/Co-Writer/Director Scott Derrickson

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (35.02 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French (Canada): DTS 5.1
Spanish: DTS-HD HR 7.1

English SDH, French, Spanish

Bottom Line: If a disconnected phone rings, it might save your life. Knowing me, I wouldn’t have picked up the damn thing.
Running Time: 104 mins
Rating: R
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating:


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