Finney Shaw is a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who’s being held in a soundproof basement by a sadistic, masked killer. When a disconnected phone on the wall starts to ring, he soon discovers that he can hear the voices of the murderer’s previous victims — and they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.
The best thing:
The movie felt like it built upon itself. It was growing to a climax that you were on the ride with Finney. The characters were believable. The plot development was good. Plot and Story are different. From MasterClass, “ A plot is the sequence of events within a story: a description of what happens and why it happens. A story is a comprehensive narrative. Plot is a part of the story, but a story also includes settings, characters, themes, and other factors that influence how the events (or plot) are told.” This is why plot is one of the best things while the story is on the worst things. The setting provided some great realism being placed back in the 70’s before the modern era of technology. It makes it easier to believe that an amber alert would have been put out on the black van.
The worst thing:
The movie felt as if it was missing somethings: Ethan Hawk. He was like Beetleguese starring Michael Keaton. He was only in the movie for small moments, but stole each scene. Ethan was the scene thief. The movie needed more of him. The story seemed it had some things missing. For example, the naughty boy game should have been explained or developed. This seemed to be a big part of the movie that may have been cut out for time. Also there is a brother whose storyline seemed to have been cut (no puns intended).
This movie is recommended. Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawk, is slow burn nail bitter that keeps you guessing about Finney’s outcome. Ethan Hawk was magnificent in this role. There are many roles that he has had where I was impressed by him. The relationship between the brother and sister, Mason Thames (Finney) and Madeline McGraw (Gwen), was real heart-warmer. McGraw was the ride or die sister that Thames needed. He was bullied and would have had to stand up for himself. The way the plot comes together is nice, but would have been ranked higher if the story felt more complete.
Overall: (3.5 / 5)