“After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer’s previous victims.” -IMDB
I am very selective when it comes to anything even resembling a horror movie. It’s hard to say exactly what I won’t see, but I can tell you that they involve: gratuitous assault scenes, demons, too much blood. It’s tough to say, but I can usually tell fairly quickly into a trailer if I’ll be able to watch it or not.
When I saw the trailer for Black Phone, I was so intrigued because 1) I didn’t immediately turn it off and 2) it had a strong aesthetic that was right up my alley. Instead of being a horror movie, it looked to be more of a thriller with a psychological/supernatural twist to it. However, I was still nervous going into the movie that it might not live up to the expectations I had from the trailer (please see my review on Elvis about my feelings on walking into movies with any expectations), but, thankfully, I was wrong! Let me clarify…
Here are a few reasons why I enjoyed Black Phone:
- It has a hard-knock 70s serial killer vibe to it (I can’t do horror but damn can I do true crime, I’m ashamed to say)
- It has Ethan Hawke who is truly one of the best actors of his generation and who is picking incredible roles recently between this, Moon Knight, and The Northman.
- It incorporates the supernatural without hitting you over the head with it, as many films do.
- The child acting: out of this world.
- The original short story was written by Joe Hill, son of Stephen King. Need I say more?
Reasons why I’m giving this seven Claire Bears, instead of eight (trust me, I’ve been struggling over this decision):
- Violence against children. This film doesn’t stray away from it and it can be hard to watch.
- Since it is based off of a short story, it feels like an extremely quick movie. It’s still an amazing plot, with lots of character development, twists, and jump scares, but it definitely feels very fast once the movie is over.
And that’s all that I can really say against it. It’s definitely worth the watch and a riveting watch, as long as you’re not one of those hardcore horror fans who will settle for nothing less than blood and gore. In that case, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. But if you prefer your thrills on the mild side, then Black Phone is the movie for you!
Rating: 7 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: When a Stranger Calls, The Shining
Streaming: In Theaters
With: Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies
Directed By: Scott Derrickson