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Blumhouse Feature, The Black Phone (2021) | Review

Finney, a shy but clever 13-year-old, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where we finds a supernatural way out. The Black Phone (2021) was heavily marketed at the time of release and I believed it was going to be one of the best Blumhouse features I’d ever seen, sadly I was left a little disappointed after finally watching this horror flick. Set in the 1970s, The Black Phone (2021) has strong style choices and an extremely engaging and compelling central storyline. Combining a strong sense of realism with a glimpse of the fictional supernatural, this film allows the audiences to become immersed in the story. Similarly to another Blumhouse franchise, The Purge, I felt as though this film was led by a strong concept but wasn’t quite executed in the way it deserved.


This movie should easily be considered a thriller with little to no horror and has the elements of a classic survival story with a few plot holes. The backstory was sadly not fleshed out enough and I wanted to know more about every character and their intentions. The Black Phone (2021) was a visceral thriller, one that can often be disturbing or hard to watch when considering the premise is involving harming and torturing young teenage children. Some scenes are brutal, bloody and creative, I was pleased to see the film came full circle and showed us a resolution at the end. Often, horror is felt with an open ending but this film closed up all the questions.


The slow and mundane execution of narrative is elevated by incredibly well cast performances, Ethan Hawke brings a deeply disturbing character to life and dominated the screen every time we saw ‘The Grabber’, I also want to acknowledge that Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw who played the primary brother and sister duo were dynamic and compelling to watch throughout.


Overall, I was expecting more from this feature. I was primary intrigued to watch this movie for Ethan Hawke’s involvement, being a strong male lead and a captivating actor I truly thought he would carry this movie but sadly his character, although disgusting disturbing, was secondary and he was not a prominent part of the story. The story was a lot more mystical and supernatural than I originally expected this for this reason, I found the film to be a miss, interesting and unique but nothing special compared to Blumhouse’s other features.

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Welcome to Film Probe, a platform where I have dedicated my time and energies to reviewing films, tv and more. I pride myself on offering more than just an opinion, but rather a carefully crafted insight into the film's themes, characters, and overall production.

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