‘The Black Phone’: Release Date, Cast & More About Ethan Hawke Thriller

'The Black Phone' is Blumhouse Productions' latest horror-thriller that'll leave viewers wondering if 13-year-old Finney Shaw will escape from his captor The Grabber, played by Ethan Hawke.

The Black Phone is not for the faint of heart. The upcoming feature is a blend of genres with some clear horror moments with jump scares, ghosts and terrifying masks but also has a strong thriller tone as the main character, 13-year-old Finney Shaw, has a limited time limit to escape from a kidnapper before he ends up dead like the killer’s previous victims. Both horror and thriller elements are guaranteed to have hearts racing in the theaters.

The Black Phone
Ethan Hawke plays the main villain ‘The Grabber.’ (Universal Pictures)

‘The Black Phone’ Cast & Crew

The Black Phone is stacked with a talented cast and crew. Ethan Hawke stars as the film’s antagonist, a sadistic masked killer aptly titled The Grabber. Mason Thames plays shy but clever 13-year-old Finney Shaw who ends up getting kidnapped by The Grabber and finds himself trapped in the killer’s basement. Madeline McGraw plays Finney’s religious yet spunky sister who is set on finding her missing brother.

The horror feature has an incredibly talented creative team. Director Scott Derrickson is the mastermind behind horror hits Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Deliver Us From Evil as well as the hit Marvel film Doctor Strange. Scott Derrickson has teamed up with horror legend Jason Blum and his production company Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouse is one of the biggest titans in the horror industry with hit franchises like Paranormal Activity and Insidious. Blumhouse has teamed up with Universal Pictures to produce the film.

What is ‘The Black Phone’ About?

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‘The Black Phone’ movie poster (Universal Pictures/Moviestore/Shutterstock)

The Black Phone follows Finney as doing one good deed for a mysterious-looking man leads to him being locked up in a basement with nothing but a mattress and a disconnected phone. The phone on the wall begins to ring and that ring Finney discovers is coming from calls made by the killer’s previous victims, who are now ghosts. Finney has to discern between the many masks and voices of the killer and the voices of his victims who are coaching him on how to escape to make it out alive. Meanwhile, his sister Gwen begins having dreams that give her clues as to what happened to her missing brother.

The Black Hill is based on a short story of the same name written by Joe Hill. The story is part of a larger collection titled 20th Century Ghosts which was published in 2005 and sold throughout the United States in 2007. Joe Hill is credited as a writer on the film so it’ll likely have a striking resemblance to the short story.

‘The Black Phone’ Release Date & Where to Watch

The Black Phone is set to premiere in movie theaters on June 24, 2022. The film was initially set to release on February 4, 2022, but has since been pushed back to its new date. Surprisingly, the delay was not caused by the coronavirus pandemic but rather a separate unlisted reason.

As of right now, The Black Phone is releasing strictly in theaters nationwide with no plans to release on any streaming platforms. However, the film’s distributor is Universal Pictures so if it’s going to end up anywhere, it’ll likely be on Peacock. For now, viewers can ensure they will get the immersive eerieness that comes with watching a horror film in theaters.

Critics’ Reviews

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Ethan Hawke in ‘The Black Phone.’ (Universal Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

Even though The Black Phone hasn’t hit theaters yet, it has received a massive amount of critical acclaim from reviewers and on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has an impressive 100% on the tomatometer, meaning all of its reviews so far are positive. “Derrickson and Cargill revive the same traits and structure of Sinister to transform Joe Hill’s short into a feature-length nightmare full of ghostly kids, violence, scares, and a trio of unforgettable performances,” Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting said of The Black Phone, ranking it with an overall score of 3.5/5.

Marisa Mirabal of IndieWire said The Black Phone is “a film with a bleak yet entertaining reminder that horror is omnipresent, but sometimes you can find a lifeline in the darkest of hours if you just listen,” while giving it an A- rating. The most positive review came from Amelia Emberwig at IGN Movies who ranked it with a 9/10 and wrote, “The Black Phone, C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson’s clear sister to Sinister, has managed to exceed extremely high expectations in nearly every aspect.” Based on critics’ reviews, The Black Phone certainly isn’t one to be missed if you’re a horror fan!

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