Ethan Hawke has become a regular collaborator of Blumhouse, with The Black Phone marking his ninth time working with the horror hit factory in film and television, while the literary adaptation also sees him reunited with his Sinister director Scott Derrickson.
Based on the short story by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill, The Black Phone is also Derrickson’s first feature-length effort from behind the camera since the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange five years ago, and he’s back on familiarly scary turf. The plot follows a kid locked in a basement with an antique telephone that rings at the dead of night with calls from the dead, all of whom are victims of Hawke’s child-murdering kidnapper.
That sounds like heavy stuff, and the first reactions to The Black Phone have been rolling in since it premiered at the weekend’s Fantastic Fest. Bloody Disgusting teases “shocking bursts of violence and scares”, IndieWire labeled it as a “violent zeitgeist of a horror film”, and you can check out a couple of social media reactions below.
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Not everyone was totally on board with The Black Phone though, after The Playlist lamented the movie feels like “a notebook of compelling visual and narrative ideas that never quite fit together”, but the early buzz is generally strong across the board. The only bad news for horror aficionados is that you won’t be able to see it for a while, with the theatrical premiere not until Jan. 28, 2022.