THE BLACK PHONE (2021) Reviews and now with first trailer



The Black Phone is a 2021 American horror film about “A kidnapped kid. A creepy, soundproofed basement. An ancient, disconnected phone. Then, when night falls, the phone rings.”

Directed by Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us from Evil; Sinister; The Exorcism of Emily Rose) from a screenplay by Robert Cargill, Derrickson has adapted novelist Joe Hill’s short story ‘The Black Phone’. Derrickson, Cargill and Jason Blum (of course) co-produced. Joe Hill gets an executive producer credit. 

The Crooked Highway Productions movie stars Ethan Hawke ( Sinister), Jeremy Davies
James Ransone (IT: Chapter Two), Madeleine McGraw (The Harbinger; The Curse of la Llorona; Pacific Rim: Uprising), Mason Thames (For All Mankind TV series) and E. Roger Mitchell.


“Ultimately, everything comes together to make a great film. The thriller portions are powerful while the horror is expertly done. The entire cast gives magnificent performances and the end will give those watching an emotional discharge. It is rare to see a scary movie that takes on this much succeed, but The Black Phone does it.” AIPT

“Its biggest strength lies with its lead performances. Thames brings the heart, but McGraw is a rare exceptional talent. But Hawke is in a league of his own, playing against type in a remarkable and remarkably unsettling way. It won’t rank as high on the scare meter as Derrickson and Cargill’s previous horror film [Sinister], but it is more relatable and heartfelt.” Bloody Disgusting

” …The Black Phone ends up being so damn good is just how oppressively suspenseful Derrickson’s latest genre effort is. Honestly, between Sinister and The Black Phone, I’m pretty much on board for any and all collaborations that he does with Cargill because they prove that in this day and age where it can be hard to push horror fans’ buttons, they know precisely the right formula to really amp up the terror in ways that crawl under your skin.” Daily Dead

“The Grabber doesn’t actually seem all that unstoppable […] When his past victims do come calling, they echo haunting warnings of the tortured end they endured, and that should make Hawke’s character more menacing… but it doesn’t. Relying too heavily on quick jolts and jump scares, some moments of The Black Phone feel like the more PG-13 moments of The Sixth Sense.” Dread Central

“A couple of effective jump-scares aside, the film runs on ticking-clock suspense, knowing that whatever the Grabber says, it’s unlikely Finn will stay in his good graces for very long. The story’s final third works even better than the buildup would suggest, shrugging off some of the atmospherics and, with a clever nod to a classic in the serial-killer genre, focusing all the movie’s energies on a sequence that delivers.” The Hollywood Reporter

” …managed to exceed extremely high expectations in nearly every aspect. The writing/directing team puts personal traumas on full display while expertly showcasing the complications of childhood in the ’70s and the very real monsters of our world, while the performances of the child actors Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw take the already tight story to new heights.” IGN

The Black Phone is a succinct and stressful terror blanketed with themes of friendship, family, and inventive portrayals of resiliency. Every aspect of the film is emotionally arresting and tackles timeless fears with razor-sharp precision. Derrickson and Cargill’s collaborative vision navigate horror down multiple avenues and preys upon traditional forms of strengths and weaknesses through aspects of religion and familiarity.” IndieWire

The Black Phone tackles horrors from various different avenues and while it may come off bleak to some, the film provides a truly entertaining experience that also shows the audience that there is hope in the darkness. The voices from over the phone give Finney the lifeline he needs to keep fighting and that perseverance actually shines through in a story that is blanketed in relentless claustrophobic terror.” JoBlo

“Derrickson can build a mood and craft creepy imagery, and he moves his camera with precision. But this feels like a notebook of compelling visual and narrative ideas that never quite fit together, that can’t quite manage to coalesce into coherence […] There’s much in The Black Phone to admire, but even the most patient audience may find themselves frustrated; waiting for these pieces to snap into place.” The Playlist

“This is an incredibly well-crafted film, from the score, cinematography, and three remarkable performances. Jeremy Davies could have pulled back somewhat, but it’s a minor discordant note in a beautiful, nuanced symphony. The Black Phone is meaningful, scary, thrilling, full of powerful performances, and when you jump — and you will — it will be because you are in the hands of a confident guide…” Vital Thrills


The film had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2021. The Black Phone was due to be released theatrically by Universal and Blumhouse on January 28, 2022, but this has been put back to on Friday, February 4, 2022.

Cast and characters (confirmed so far):

Ethan Hawke … The Grabber
Jeremy Davies
James Ransone … Max
Madeleine McGraw
Mason Thames … Finney
E. Roger Mitchell
Kellan Rhude
J. Gaven Wilde … Moose
Gina Jun … Bruce’s Mother
Michael Banks Repeta … Griffin
Chris TC Edge … Fireman
Kristina Arjona … Mrs Fulgrim
Derrick Lemmon … Detective
Brady Hepner … Vance
Mark Riccardi … Umpire
Jacob Moran … Billy
Rocco Poveromo … Chief of Police Clarke
Troy Rudeseal … Detective Miller
Spencer Fitzgerald … Buzz
Brady Ryan … Matt
Matthew Simmons … Adult Volunteer
Tristan Pravong … Bruce
Ron Blake … EMT
Megan Petersen … Math Teacher
Miguel Cazarez Mora … Robin
Rebecca Clarke … Donna
Jordan Isaiah White … Matty
Ryan Cronan … Young Bruce
Deena A. Delfosse … Reporter
Mike Bailey … Bruce’s Father


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