The Black Phone movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This scary, violent, clever and very enjoyable horror movie stars Ethan Hawke as a child kidnapper/killer. Audiences can expect very effective jump-scares, compelling characters and a fantastic story.


After 13-year-old Finney is abducted by a sadistic child killer and held in a soundproof basement, he discovers that there may be a chance to escape when he starts receiving calls on a disconnected telephone from the killer’s previous victims.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies, E. Roger Mitchell, James Ransone, Troy Rudeseal
Writer: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill
Release Date (Australia): 21 July 2022
Runtime: 102 minutes/1h 42m
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

The film contains horror themes, supernatural themes and the kidnapping of children. There are also scenes of bullying and child abuse.

Violence (MA15+)

The film contains bloody depictions of a man being attacked with an axe, people being hit with blunt objects and fist-fights between children.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film includes a use of the word “c**t”, aggressive use of “f**k” language, and uses of the words “s**t”, “ass”, “damn” and “hell”.

Drug Use (M)

The are two depictions of a man snorting cocaine throughout the film.

mpaa rating

R (for violence, bloody images, language and some drug use)

Aussie boy's thoughts

To sum it all up, as an outcome of Ethan Hawke being an insanely tense sense of threat towards the intelligently written child characters whose situation you are actually compelled in, The Black Phone’s horror material relies on real scary circumstances than on gore or dumb jump-scares. To be clear though, that’s not to say it doesn’t include any jump-scares and there isn’t a lack of blood, but it’s extremely effective when the scenes come around.

All you need to know before you see this movie is that it stars Ethan Hawke as a child killer whose face is concealed behind many weird masks, who abducts Finney, his latest victim who discovers hope in trying to escape through messages he is receiving on a disconnected telephone. Hawke is just as good as expected in this film and he delivers a scary sense of threat to the children, who are also acted surprisingly well. All of the child actors and the adults in this movie have potential if they’re fitted in good roles.

Back to the discussion of whether this horror movie’s actually scary or not, horror fans will likely have a very good time with this one. You can tell there’s going to be a jump-scare anytime soon, but they’re all still unpredictable and actually make you jump. But don’t worry, The Black Phone relies on tension to scare you instead of jump-scares or violence, which works perfectly. Although it starts off a bit stiff, the kidnapping sequence is quick enough to jolt your attention and you’ll feel connected to the characters.

Although there’s probably some horror movie clichés in there, they’re all completely unrecognisable, forgivable and they just don’t negatively impact how entertaining, gripping and effective this movie is. The only thing viewers might find a little flawed was how quickly-cut the ending was. The climatic point is stretched to the perfect runtime, but it the film’s ending flies by too quickly. Other than that, The Black Phone is definitely worth checking out for horror fans, especially focusing around the themes of escaping a child kidnapper/killer.

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