EXCLUSIVE: Scott Derrickson returns with his sinister new film, ‘The Black Phone’


On June 24th Universal Pictures unleashes the new terror into theaters. The new horror thriller ‘The Black Phone’ by director Scott Derrickson.

Derrickson, who is known for the film ‘Sinister’ and ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ returns with a chilling tale adapted from Joe Hill’s ‘The Black Phone’. A story about a young boy who gets kidnapped by a notorious masked serial killer by the name of The Grabber. But unaware to The Grabber, the 13-year-old boy is held in a room in which an old black disconnected phone will help him the child fight for survival.

Latin Horror got to see this film twice! And our initial thought for the ‘The Black Phone’ is that the movie has this perfect pace that sets up the brother and sister relationship of Finny Shaw and Gwen Shaw, as well as the town and victims. Finny is played by Mason Thames and Gwen by Madeleine McGraw. These two young actors have so much chemistry together and so much talent, that they give their respected charters heart. We guarantee that throughout the film you will be routing for them, crying for them and loving them. 

(from left) Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) and Gwen Shaw (Madeleine McGraw) in The Black Phone, directed by Scott Derrickson.

There is a scene where Gwen is being beaten by Mr. Shaw (her father), who is played by Jeremy Davies. This scene is raw and heart breaking but also shows the range of skills that Madeleine has, she just blows you away with her truly natural performance. On the other hand, Mason Thames carries this film. The character of Finny is such a well crafted character. Just watching him go from a shy bullied boy to a clever kick-ass, phone wielding, confident warrior that goes head to head with The Grabber, is amazing.

Ethan Hawke as The Grabber in The Black Phone, directed by Scott Derrickson.

The Grabber is played by the amazing Ethan Hawke. This role actually reunites Ethan and director Scott Derrickson. They both worked on ’Sinister’ a film being proclaimed as “The scariest film ever made.” Hidden behind a mask throughout the movie, Ethan shows us his rage of creepiness and unexpected danger that The Grabber is capable of. In a disturbing scene, where Finny wakes up and finds the The Grabber watching him, Ethan portrayal of an emotionally vulnerable killer will leave you having nightmares for weeks.

Over all the ‘The Black Phone’ is great horror thriller but what makes it special is the strong performances by the entire cast of this film. The film is worth watching in theaters on June 24th.

Recently, Latin Horror got a chance to have a chat with director Scott Derrickson. Were he discusses why he chose to do ‘The Black Phone’, how he made it his own, and how the segmented mask came to be. It is fun interesting interview as Scott dives into his friendship with Stephen King’s son, his own childhood and the great Tom Savini. So make sure to watch this fantastic video interview below.

Christian A. Morán
Christian A. Morán has been working on feature films, shorts, music videos and in documentaries, for which he won an award in 2002 at the Aurora Film Festival. As a Production Manager and Senior Editor at Media Blasters Inc., he has worked on and revived numerous Cult and Horror titles such as Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2, Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer and One Missed Call. He also worked on post-production for Fever Dreams' feature, "Shadow: Dead Riot", starring Tony Todd of Candyman and worked on "Death Trance" directed by Yuji Shimomura and starring Versus' Tak Sakaguchi. Christian has also worked on animated titles including Invader Zim, Berserk, Giant Robo, Samurai Deeper Kyo, 12 Kingdoms and Voltron: Defender of the Universe. He also produced and edited a promotion video for a branch of The United Nations called Alliance of Civilizations which featured President Barack Obama. Currently, he is working with legendary producer Roger Corman and Code Red DVD, who handle titles from MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). At this time he is producing and directing his own films such as Silentious (2013), Flawed God (2014), Halloween Treat (2014) and the award winning film, Let's Play Dead Girl (2015).

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