The Black Phone is a new movie from Blumhouse, which sees Ethan Hawke reuniting with Sinister writer and director Scott Derrickson in a chilling tale based on a short story by horror author Joe Hill. Universal unveiled the trailer for the movie as part of their CinemaCon panel on Wednesday, which was introduced by Hawke, who said the movie breaks his self-imposed “no bad guys” rule. In a CinemaCon that was dominated by big franchise movies, The Black Phone stands out as something for those looking for a movie a little more low-key.
The synopsis of the movie reads: “The Black Phone follows an abducted boy locked in a basement that’s stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead.”
A pre-recorded video made by Hawke for the event introduced the movie with the announcement that Blumhouse’s Jason Blum had called Sinister the “scariest movie that he’d ever worked on”, but that their new movie has now surpassed that. Anyone who saw Sinister will know that means we are in a for dark and twisted time, and that does appear to be have been confirmed by the details of the trailer.
Ethan Hawke is seen in the opening moments of the trailer wearing a face of white paint and wearing a top hat as he lures the film’s central child lead into a beaten up old black van. Soon we are in the basement, with the black phone of the title ringing. Hawke’s unnamed villain seems to have a penchant for wearing horrifying masks and terrifying his captive with stories about previous victims and his own childhood experiences. Then we have the phone and its link to the dead children who have died in the basement. The voices from the phone attempt to help the latest potential victim escape, providing clues in his surrounding area. Meanwhile, nearby a young girl is having visions of the abducted youngster and is in a race against time to help police find him before it’s too late.
Blumhouse has become well known for creating franchises from its various horror offerings from the last several years, including The Purge, which not only became a huge hit with numerous spin-off movies, but also was an early collaboration between the production company and Hawke. With Blumhouse currently expanding their output through various channels, The Black Phone is just one of the movies horror lovers can look forward to.
The movie will be one of a string for films to be adapted from the works of Joe Hill, who is proving every bit as popular in the genre as his father, Stephen King. In recent years, he has seen his novel Horns turned into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, NOS4A2 become a successful series on AMC and graphic novel Locke & Key become a popular series on Netflix. The Black Phone is slated to arrive in cinemas on January 28, 2022.