Ethan Hawke stars in the chronicle of a kidnapping that is destined to be one of the most commercial horror films of the year
Ehan Hawke, the boy from ‘Explorers’, a curious fantastic film from the 80s, not as well known as other more conventional contemporary proposals, has grown his own. The teenager from ‘The Dead Poets Club’, too. An actor with an eclectic career, he never stops nurturing his career with genre films. Also a novelist, producer and director, he was nominated for an Oscar in 2001 for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the excellent ‘Training Day’. In his extensive filmography he cultivates an aspect that clearly opts for horror cinema, driven by the success of the disturbing ‘Sinister’, where he defended the role of a successful writer who found, by chance, some film fragments in his house , filming in Super 8 with a macabre secret.
Investigating the material found thoroughly, he began a journey through the sinister side of our existence. Endorsed by the producers of the blockbuster ‘Insidious’ saga, it had some chilling passages that gave fantaterror fans something to talk about and soon became a cult title. Behind the dark celebration was Scott Derrickson, whose first steps as a director were in third-rate productions like ‘Hellraiser: Inferno’, the failed remake of ‘Ultimatum on Earth’ or the vulgar ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’.
Thanks to ‘Sinister’ and ‘Deliver us from evil’, where Eric Bana put himself in the shoes of a New York police officer immersed in the investigation of a string of strange crimes that led him to ally himself with a priest expert in exorcisms, Derrickson convinced fatal fans of the genre, before signing on to direct ‘Dr. Strange’. With ‘Black Phone’, based on a story by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King, he collaborates with Hawke again, offering a mosaic of unsettling ideas, of irregular depth, that work as a story to keep you awake.
Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw in ‘Black Phone’.
The ‘Before Sunrise’ co-star plays an eccentric serial killer, the best of the bunch. He embroiders the role of his psychopathic sadist who kidnaps children and locks them in the basement. His latest victim finds an offline phone that allows him to listen to the voices of the slaughterer’s previous prey, the perfect excuse to unleash the battery of references with the aim of shocking the staff who pass by the box office. As routine as it is effective, the creation of an insane atmosphere, with its frights, is also revealed as the most remarkable aspect of a film that has the general public in mind, but will especially please viewers with a twisted taste. It has some delightfully disturbing symbolic images, although it irremediably sins with some tics.
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