Movies set within the 1970s have a signature gritty base, and “The Black Phone” certainly fits in.
Based on a short story by Joe Hill, the movie tells the story of Finney Shaw, a shy-but-clever 13-year-old boy, who is harassed from the start. To protect himself, he uses a classmate’s muscles in exchange for help with homework.
Meanwhile, his feisty younger sister Gwen is having vivid dreams that reveal clues to the disappearance of area kids by the “Grabber” (Ethan Hawke). She shares this information with police, much to her father’s dismay.
Soon, Finney is abducted by the “Grabber” and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use.
The complementary supernatural element unravels, as Finney and Gwen have strange connections to the mystery.
Squeamish moviegoers may find moments difficult or angry. However, they do add to the story and encourage the audience to rally for the protagonists.
For “The Black Phone,” director Scott Derrickson returns to his terror roots with Blumhouse Productions, the company behind “Get Out” and “Insidious,” among others.
Elements of the film made viewers get quite vocal, but “The Black Phone” is well worth the horror.
“The Black Phone” is now in theaters.