Black Phone review: Don’t answer that call

Ethan Hawke in The Black Phone

black phone It might have been the horror movie you’ve been excited about this year. based on a Joe Hill Short story and directing Scott Derricksonwho directed one of my favorite horror movies lately, evilEverything seems to be going for him. I was ready to love her.

However, I didn’t.

Set in the year 1978, in a small working-class suburb of western Denver, the city has been besieged by a series of child kidnappings. Interestingly, no one seems to be particularly afraid of these seizures. No curfew was imposed, and no one seemed to change their daily routine. It’s a strange forage. Probably because our main kids, our vinnie siblings (Mason Times(and Gwen)Madeline McGraw), you have an abusive, alcoholic, and bullying dad in the neighborhood to deal with. They can’t worry about The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) – as the news stations called him – getting his paws dirty on them.

So he does. While driving in a black Abracadabra-branded minibus, The Grabber uses a bouquet of black balloons to disguise a gas canister he uses to strike his victim. He’s using this on Vinnie on his way home from school. When Vinny wakes up, he’s in a soundproof basement, with only a bare mattress, a toilet, several rolled up rugs, and a black disconnected phone on the wall.

Even though this phone is disconnected, it still rings, and at the other end are the ghosts of boys who were kidnapped before Vinnie. They all give different advice on how to escape, but none of them work. Outside, Gwen has vague psychic dreams that she – and the police – are hoping to lead them to her brother. These dreams were a gift she received from her mother who killed herself for her “gifts”. Gwen’s psychic gifts felt like an afterthought, or a backward red herring. I felt so alive in the story.

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I might sound sadistic for saying this… but I didn’t feel like there was any real danger to Vinny here. He spent most of his time alone, in that basement. The grabber did not touch it. He did not threaten him. He barely went downstairs and did anything strange or alarming. He could perform a strange dance or make a perplexing joke… anything, really. He had no contact with Vinny at all. It was mostly just Vinnie and the ghosts of dead kids trying to find a way out.

Furthermore, we didn’t know anything about The Grabber. I’m not talking about knowing his motives; taught us nothing. We don’t know anything but that he loves to kidnap and kill teenage boys, and there is a hint at first that he was once held in a basement like the one in which Finney was being held. That’s it. If we get a hint that he was abused as a child, I want to know more, and I want to know how that translates to turbulent adulthood. How does the mask relate to that? Why would he panic if it was removed? Is he really charming? Why is black so important to him? How does he choose his victims? How long does it keep them alive? When and how did he decide to kill them? Is it a ritual murder?

There are very few distinguishing features of classic horror movies in black phone. They arrived in the third chapter, but before that, there’s a lot of…nothing. you speak. Do not chase cat and mouse. not kill. Not even any suspense. You know that Vinny has been kidnapped; You know who took it. You know the previous kids are dead.

I’ll say things picked up in the end, but I don’t want to say anything more for fear of spoiling it. But boy… getting there was a struggle.

evaluation: c

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