- Director: Scott Derrickson
- With: Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Davies, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, E. Roger Mitchell, Troy Rudeseal, James Ransone
- Music by: Mark Korven
- Based upon the short story by Joe Hill
- Duration: 1h43
- Platform: Netflix
- Production: Blumhouse Pictures
- Rating: 8,5/10
Finney Blake is a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of no use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead-set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.
This story couldn’t have had a better director to helm it. Scott Derrickson, who made Sinister and the first Doctor Strange movie, was perfect for this! And along came one of the best actors of Hollywood, Ethan Hawke!
Based upon the short story, from the 20th Century Ghost collection, by Joe Hill (yes, son of Mister Stephen King) this movie expands the story a little bit.
A child abductor is on the prowl leaving only black balloons where the kids are abducted. In his black van and with some clown make up on, he lures them and grabs them.
Finney and his sister Gwen are scared because kids from their school, friends even, have been taken. Their dad is an alcoholic so they don’t have much support at home. Gwen has a gift. She sees things in her dreams and lately she dreams about the kidnappings. She knows things that weren’t even in the paper. He mother had that same gift but couldn’t handle it and committed suicide so Gwen’s father is scared to hear about the dreams, scared she will go down the same path. But Gwen might be the only one who can solve this case, especially when her brother gets taken as well!
Finney is grabbed by the man, who takes him to a house and throws him in a cellar. The cellar is bare, apart from a bed and a toilet… and a black phone. When Finney is alone in the basement, the phone suddenly rings. When he answers it, he hears the voices of the kids that came before him! The man who grabbed him often comes to watch Finney in the basement, with different masks on… creepy masks! He says the phone hasn’t worked, not since he was a kid!
Finney has to get out of his predicament and the only way is with a little help from the voices on the other side of the black phone…
This is one hell of a good movie! Hawke is splendid as the villain and the two kids, Mason and Madeleine, have a real great future in acting based on their performance in this movie! Apart from Hawke this movie isn’t really about the adults at all… the kids are what makes this movie (similar to It, The Goonies, Super 8 or E.T.)
There are some similarities to IT, by the way… but the movie is quite different… in tone, in genre even (this is more a thriller than a horror)… and in my opinion the best adaptation so far of a Joe Hill story! I think Hill and Derrickson should work together more! A winning team!
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