Ethan Hawke, a maniac killer

Attention horror fans: The black phone is currently in our cinemas. And you don’t want to miss this call.

We’ve waited a long time for this black phone (Where black phone, in its original version). First presented as a world premiere last September at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, this new offering from Scott Derrickson has finally had us waiting longer than we expected with its theatrical release being constantly postponed due to the pandemic.

Each month that passed helped raise expectations, and horror fans licked their lips in anticipation.

Why ? Because the American filmmaker ties in there again with Ethan Hawke, Star of his Excellency claimreleased in 2012. And even if 10 years have passed — and the two plots are as different as they are different — the relationship between the two works is undeniable.

This time we’re transported back to the heart of the 1970’s when a killer terrorizes a quiet suburb of Denver, Colorado. He roams the streets in his sinister black van, kidnapping boys to lock them up in the soundproof basement of his home, where he enjoys tormenting them.

And the black phone with you? Thanks to this outdated device, the boy will be able to communicate with his kidnapper’s previous victims, who will guide him in his escape attempts.

An iconic mask

If The black phone doesn’t reinvent the genre in any way, but can still boast of being among its finest offerings. That’s largely thanks to Ethan Hawke, who is absolutely brilliant in his absolutely insane rendition. It is certain that his mask – designed by none other than master Tom Savini – will become a horror icon in its own right, like those used in chills or Halloween.

The actor is also particularly well surrounded. Young Mason Thames (who was stunning in his first film role) manages to bring credibility and determination to the character of a young hero, while Madeleine McGraw steals the show as her younger sister with far-sighted dreams.

Indeed, after, say, a meager offering in horror this year, The black phone feels like an oasis of thrills and adrenaline that fans sorely needed.

The black phone

★★★ 1⁄2

A film by Scott Derrickson

  • With Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw. On the screen.

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