Horror film ‘The Black Phone’ set for release in PH on July 20

Published June 29, 2022, 7:05 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw star in the horror movie “The Black Phone,” which will be released in Philippine cinemas on July 20.

“The Black Phone” is based on the award-winning short story by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, from his New York Times bestseller “20th Century Ghosts.”

“The Black Phone” (Universal Pictures International)

“The Black Phone” (Universal Pictures International)

The film tells the story of 13-year-old Finney (Thames), who is abducted by an infamous child abductor and serial killer known as The Grabber (Hawke) in a small town in Denver, Colorado. Locked in the killer’s basement, Finney discovers that he can hear the killer’s previous victims through a disconnected black rotary phone on the wall.

“I happened to stumble into a bookstore around the time the book came out. At the time, I didn’t know who Joe was, let alone that he was Stephen King’s son. I stood in the bookstore and read this short story and thought, ‘Wow, this guy is great.’ It was only about 20 pages long, but I thought the concept was fantastic and such a good idea for a movie. I never forgot about it,” said Director Scott Derrickson.

According to Hill, a specific memory from his childhood became the inspiration for the story.

“I grew up in Bangor, Maine, in a very old house. There was a phone in the basement that wasn’t connected to anything, and I found that phone creepy and unsettling. It didn’t make sense for a phone to be in a basement with a dirt floor and crumbling concrete walls. As a kid, the worst thing I could imagine was that phone ringing,” he said.

“The Black Phone” also delves into the traumas and dangers of being a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s.

“My earliest memory up until high school was the violence of the neighborhood that I lived in. The primary feeling that I remember having as a child was fear. I was the youngest kid on the street full of bullies,” said Derrickson.

Released by Universal Pictures International, “The Black Phone” is rated R13 by the MTRCB (only 13 years old above can watch in cinemas).

Sneak previews in select cinemas nationwide are scheduled on July 11 and 12.