The Black Phone

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Black Phone
A poster with a man wearing white face paint and an unsettling mask.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byScott Derrickson
Screenplay by
Based on"The Black Phone"
by Joe Hill
Produced by
StarringEthan Hawke
CinematographyBrett Jutkiewicz
Edited byFrédéric Thoraval
Production
companies
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • September 25, 2021 (2021-09-25) (Fantastic Fest)
  • June 24, 2022 (2022-06-24) (United States)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$18.8 million[1]

The Black Phone is a 2021 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Jason Blum. Written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, it is an adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same name by Joe Hill. The film stars Mason Thames as an abducted child who can communicate with the past victims of his kidnapper, portrayed by Ethan Hawke.

In January 2020, Derrickson announced his departure from directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences with Marvel Studios. As a result, he decided to partner with Cargill on The Black Phone. The feature film was announced in October 2020, and filming began in February 2021. Principal photography took place for two months in North Carolina.

The Black Phone had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2021. It is scheduled to be theatrically released by Universal Pictures on June 24, 2022. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for its faithfulness to the source material, Derrickson's direction, and Hawke's performance as the antagonist.

Premise

In 1978, five children go missing in a suburban Colorado town. Young baseball pitcher Finney Shaw becomes the sixth when a serial killer dubbed the Grabber knocks him unconscious and throws him in a van. Finney wakes up in a soundproof basement with a disconnected phone. He quickly learns of the phone's ability to transmit the voices of the Grabber's previous victims, who want to help him escape. Meanwhile, Finney's sister Gwen experiences psychic dreams that send her on a quest to find him.

Cast

Production

Development

Scott Derrickson was working with Marvel Studios on the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when he decided to make The Black Phone with his frequent collaborator C. Robert Cargill. Given Derrickson's commitments with Marvel, Cargill began looking at other filmmakers to direct the project. As a result, Derrickson asked Cargill to postpone The Black Phone until he was available to direct; Cargill agreed and promised to wait. Soon after, Derrickson clashed with Marvel over creative differences and left in January 2020 to work on The Black Phone instead.[2][3] In October 2020, it was reported that Derrickson would direct an adaptation of the short story "The Black Phone" by Joe Hill for Blumhouse Productions, from a screenplay co-written by Derrickson and Cargill.[4]

Casting

In October 2020, Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw joined the cast.[5] In early 2021, Jeremy Davies,[6] Ethan Hawke,[7] and James Ransone were added to the cast.[8] Hawke said he was initially hesitant on playing the villain because he did not want to be remembered for a "scary" performance for the rest of his career, but changed his mind after realizing he was in his 50s. "Villains might be my future", he added.[9]

Filming

Principal photography began on February 9, 2021,[10] at EUE/Screen Gems in Wilmington, North Carolina,[11] and around the counties of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Columbus,[12] under the working title Static.[13] Filming concluded on March 27, 2021.[14]

Marketing

Lon Chaney in character for "London After Midnight"
The film's teaser poster features an unsettling mask that was compared to Lon Chaney's character from London After Midnight
(1927).

The marketing campaign from Universal Pictures for The Black Phone began on August 25, 2021, when a trailer for the film was released at CinemaCon.[15] In their review of the footage, Variety described the trailer as being "scarier than the COVID-19 delta variant", with Derrickson "fully flexing in his comfort zone after leaving low-budget horror", and said the film's mix of "unthinkable crimes" and "paranormal elements" could set up "the next possible franchise for Universal and Blumhouse."[16] Screen Rant noted that the audience's reaction to the trailer was "intense".[17]

On September 25, 2021, a teaser poster was released featuring the film's antagonist wearing white face paint and a mask with the tagline "never talk to strangers". While Screen Rant found it to be "terrifying" and said it would be "interesting to see if the film lives up to the hype",[17] Collider said the mask in the poster evoked Lon Chaney's character from London After Midnight.[18] Furthermore, MovieWeb wrote that the poster would "be behind your eyelids as you fall asleep tonight. When you set your peepers on the new The Black Phone poster, you just know things are not going to work out for some people. You will sleep with the night light for a few nights. And we won't be able to see Ethan Hawke again without thinking of him as the terrifying and twisted Grabber. I've heard tell of his 'no villains rule', but clearly he's thrown that out the window."[19]

An official trailer was released online on October 13, 2021. It was described by Vulture as a "stranger danger PSA".[20] The A.V. Club said it looked like Hawke was "having a ball as the Pennywise-meets-Wonka child killer."[21]

Release

The Black Phone is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States by Universal Pictures on June 24, 2022.[22] It was originally set for release on January 28 and later February 4 before being delayed again to June 24.[22][23][24] The film had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2021.[25] It is also set to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival and close the Overlook Film Festival in June 2022.[26][27] The Black Phone will be available to stream on Universal's Peacock website 45 days after its theatrical debut.[28]

Reception

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 100% of 12 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10.[29] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 79 out of 100, based on 5 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[30] Screen Rant described the critical response as generally positive, with some criticism for the pacing and "number of scares" but praise for its faithfulness to the source material, Derrickson's direction, and Hawke's performance.[31]

References

  1. ^ Callison, Jenny (March 11, 2021). "WilmingtonBiz Talk: Bustling Film Industry Activity Continues". WilmingtonBiz. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021. Static will likely spend about $18.8 million in North Carolina
  2. ^ Reyes, Mike (May 25, 2021). "Doctor Strange 2: Why Scott Derrickson And C. Robert Cargill Left The Marvel Sequel". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on May 26, 2021. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
  3. ^ Lang, Brent; Donnelly, Matt (January 9, 2020). "Doctor Strange 2 Director Scott Derrickson Drops Out (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  4. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 30, 2020). "Scott Derrickson To Direct Black Phone For Blumhouse & Universal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (October 30, 2020). "Doctor Strange Director Scott Derrickson Boards Blumhouse Horror Movie Black Phone". Variety. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 13, 2021). "Jeremy Davies Joins Scott Derrickson Blumhouse Film The Black Phone". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (January 28, 2021). "Ethan Hawke to Star in Scott Derrickson's Horror Thriller The Black Phone". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 2, 2021. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (March 19, 2021). "It Chapter 2 Actor James Ransone Joins Scott Derrickson's Horror Thriller The Black Phone (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  9. ^ Lawrence, Derek (January 24, 2022). "Ethan Hawke is finally ready to embrace his inner villain". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "Casting Call: Extras needed for horror movie, The Black Phone, set to film next week". WECT. February 2, 2021. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Wilmington-filmed The Black Phone slated for winter 2022 release". Port City Daily. April 29, 2021. Archived from the original on May 2, 2021. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  12. ^ "Wilmington-area productions fuel solid start to 2021 for film in NC". WECT. April 1, 2021. Archived from the original on April 5, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "Ethan Hawke's horror thriller The Black Phone will film in Wilmington next month". WECT. January 28, 2021. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  14. ^ "The Black Phone wraps filming in Wilmington". WECT. March 29, 2021. Archived from the original on March 31, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; Tartaglione, Nancy (August 25, 2021). "Universal Poignant CinemaCon Reel With Sing 2, Marry Me, Black Phone & More Shines Spotlight On Exhibition Workers". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  16. ^ Donnelly, Matt (August 25, 2021). "Ethan Hawke Horror Film The Black Phone, Poised as Next Blumhouse Smash, Traumatizes CinemaCon". Variety. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  17. ^ a b Shirey, Paul (September 25, 2021). "Black Phone Poster Reveals Ethan Hawke's Terrifying Villain". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  18. ^ Brady, Erin (September 25, 2021). "The Black Phone Poster Introduces a Terrifying Ethan Hawke". Collider. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  19. ^ Sebren, Brandy Lynn (September 27, 2021). "The Black Phone Poster Reveals Ethan Hawke as Masked Killer 'The Grabber'". MovieWeb. Retrieved September 28, 2021.
  20. ^ Curto, Justin (October 13, 2021). "The Black Phone Trailer Is a Stranger-Danger PSA". Vulture. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Schimkowitz, Matt (October 13, 2021). "Ethan Hawke is one of those creepy magicians in the Black Phone trailer". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
  22. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 16, 2021). "Blumhouse's The Black Phone Will Now Ring In The Summer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 27, 2021). "Universal Sets Winter 2022 Release For Blumhouse Scott Derrickson Horror Movie The Black Phone". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 27, 2021. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  24. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 1, 2021). "The Black Phone: Universal Shifts Blumhouse Scott Derrickson Horror Pic A Week Later This Winter". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 1, 2021. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  25. ^ Melendez, Marcos (September 9, 2021). "Fantastic Fest 2021 Final Final Wave Features Scott Derrickson's The Black Phone and Netflix's There's Someone Inside Your House". Collider. Archived from the original on September 9, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  26. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (April 19, 2022). "Tribeca Festival Lineup Includes Corner Office With Jon Hamm, Ray Romano's Somewhere In Queens, More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  27. ^ Vlessing, Etan (April 26, 2022). "Ethan Hawke's Horror Thriller The Black Phone to Close Overlook Fest". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  28. ^ Hayes, Dade (December 9, 2021). "NBCUniversal's New Theatrical Window Scheme To Bring Films To Peacock After As Few As 45 Days Of Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  29. ^ "The Black Phone". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  30. ^ "The Black Phone". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved December 17, 2021.
  31. ^ Harrison, Alexander (September 27, 2021). "Black Phone Reviews Hype Doctor Strange Director's New Horror Movie". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 27, 2021.

External links

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article: The Black Phone. Articles is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.