MancMuse Minis: The Black Phone (2022) Review

 MancMuse Minis: The Black Phone (2022) Review

I think the last decent horror I went to see in the cinema this year was probably back in March when X had just been released by A24, and it was a pretty solid slasher. After that not much has been able to make me excited enough to see any horrors; Firestarter was plain rubbish, and Men was very questionable and bleak. However, I’ve been eagerly waiting for The Black Phone, a film directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange, etc.).

This film is somewhat grounded when you forget about the eerie ghost children trying to help the main character escape. It touches upon the very real subject of trauma, child abduction and abuse, and it’s pretty scary in how it’s done. By no means gory, but very on the nose with what it’s trying to get across.

The main story is pretty simple, and becomes your general survival story, kind of like Saw and The Room (no, not Tommy Wiseau’s The Room). It has a simple enough narrative that makes it watchable but some twists and turns and interesting directions that could’ve been flesh out more, but that altogether make for an interesting tale of escaping pure evil.

Ethan Hawke is absolutely terrifying in this as “The Grabber”. He has so much emotional range, and mixed with his interchangeable devil mask and psychopath mannerisms, his performance is genuinely creepy and unsettling. The child actors in this are absolutely brilliant and I cannot fault them at all. And then out of nowhere we see James Ransone appear (also from Sinister and Sinister 2) and I had the biggest grin on my face.

Sure this horror film isn’t a spectacle and doesn’t do much that hasn’t already been done in film before. However, it does have those good scares, unsettling scenes and a more than enjoyable and slightly detective-style mystery-driven story that’ll keep you happy and your horror needs satisfied.

Looking for more decent horror films to watch? Check out my article on X: an A24 slasher that toys with themes of adultery, x-rated movies and gory violence. Or check out my verdict on Netflix’s release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre – a ‘requal’ that brings back everyone’s favourite skin-wearing, chainsaw-wielding maniac in the modern era.

Andrew Campbell

A book worm and film enthusiast, looking for more ways to make an impact within the creative industry. Andrew has gained experience through copywriting, blog writing, social media marketing and developing video trailers.

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