The Black Phone – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Black Phone – The Rings of Terror: Answer and Survive

Going into any new film, I go in with a certain level of excitement.  I anticipate the escape, one where I can experience different emotions, awe and wonder.  Even with these feelings, I am always delighted when a film goes beyond and takes me to another level.  In this review, I look at the latest Blumhouse production.  A studio known for its creative spins on horror, this is another home run for them.  A journey of heart and terror, The Black Phone exceeds and showcases the true meaning of survival.

In the lates 1970s, a small Colorado suburb is being terrorize by an unknown entity.  As things hit close to home, will one family be able to solve the mystery of these horrific events?  The outline takes general details and melds it within character driven content.  The story begins by introducing the audience to Finney (Mason Thames) and Gwen (Madeleine McGraw).  These two siblings are trying to live normal adolescent lives, staying positive as their community is being gripped by a series of child abductions.  Through the beginning, the narrative builds through the slow burn method.  This allows for the audience to build a connection with the situation that parallels the genuine bond between brother/sister.  This connective thread provides a genuine look on how it is affecting their own lives (school, friends, family, etc.).  This level of detail adds girth to the ongoing suspense, creating a raw grip that feels relative (to the audience).  Things turn for the worst when Finney gets abducted by the person known as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke).  From this point, the story begins to lift the veil on the horror elements, leading into a journey that becomes something redefining of the genre.

Once you head into the latter half of the film, the journey takes the generalization of horror and moves beyond because of the slow building of characterization.  As the atmosphere changes, it becomes a race-against-time to save Finney.  As the journey continues, it pushes predictability aside to show a rawness that blends heart, terror and tension to create moments that are gripping, unexpected and downright masterful in storytelling.  The simplistic aspect of survival drives the narrative, creating a series of high emotional events with amazing acting, strong situational moments and ominous threads where you really do not know what is going happen.  Things are driven with convenience (at times), but as you head into the final act, it is the heart of certain relationships that make everything satisfying in the end.  The Black Phone pushes beyond expected detail to create a tense, gripping journey of survival and heart.  If you are a fan of horror, suspense or anything from Blumhouse, this is for you.  A truly gamechanger of the genre, this is award worthy kind of film.     

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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