The premiere of Black Phone has been a success at the box office, so much so that it has positioned itself at the top of the most watched films of the month. Scott Derrickson‘s film adapts a story by Joe Hill, who being the son of Stephen King makes us think that this talent for writing horror runs in the family.
Although the truth is that Scott Derrickson has also done horror work with co-writer C. Robert Cargill, with whom he worked on Sinister and Doctor Strange, although the latter did not have the horror factor, perhaps fortunately or unfortunately, because the creations of these two men manage to be really scary.
Black Phone is about a Colorado neighborhood in the 1970s that is paralyzed by a wave of kidnappings. The protagonist, Finney (Mason Thames) is the target of the school bullies because of his good heart, while his sister (Madeleine McGraw) despite being younger is the fighter of the family. Both live with an alcoholic father who beats them and makes their lives impossible, but now everything gets more complicated when children begin to disappear in their town and the name of The Captor, as the possible author of the kidnappings, begins to spread.
Something that Finney will live in first person because he is next. During his captivity he has an unexpected help, a black phone that is in his room and that, strangely enough, he hears it ring even though it is disconnected. The macabre air, along with the 70’s setting, makes the kidnapper’s background give viewers food for thought – is there something about Finney’s kidnapping that makes him different from the others?
One of the biggest bets of the film is to deal with real life issues such as kidnappings or child abuse and although the supernatural elements could take away from their verisimilitude, it is rather the opposite. Child violence has an impact and becomes a general theme that has little to do with fantasy or science fiction and it even seems that the director himself incorporates his own experiences and memories that make the story even more tragic.
In short, Black Phone is a horror story that is capable of making anyone’s hair stand on end, and best of all, its audiovisual version has been a challenge that has been more than met.