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In The Black Phone Trailer, Ethan Hawke Is a Part-Time Magician and a Full-Time Fiend

The Oscar nominee plays "The Grabber," a serial killer who targets children, in Scott Derrickson's ghostly new thriller.

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Ethan Hawke wears a white mask with horns in a scene from The Black Phone.
Blumhouse and Universal co-produced this one, so there’s some more horror bona fides for you.
Screenshot: YouTube

We just got a trailer for the new Scream movie, and here’s another horror trailer involving a ringing telephone that’s perfectly timed for spooky season (even if the movie itself isn’t out until next year): The Black Phone. It’s the latest from Scott Derrickson, whose biggest credit is 2016's Doctor Strange but whose shriek-inducing capabilities have also been amply demonstrated elsewhere in his filmography, including The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Deliver Us From Evil, and Sinister. That last title’s especially noteworthy because The Black Phone also stars Sinister’s Ethan Hawke—though he looks to be playing a much different sort of character here. Check it out!

Here’s the official description of The Black Phone, in case that trailer didn’t freak you out enough already: “Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.”

We’ve seen plenty of films about kidnappers preying on kids, but usually the story gets told from the point of view of the terrified parents or determined cops—not the young victim and his apparently psychic classmate, and certainly not with that element of “previous victims coming back from the dead to help kick some serial-killer ass.”


Along with Hawke, that’s Mason Thames making his film debut as Finney Shaw; the rest of the cast includes James Ransone, Jeremy Davies, E. Roger Mitchell, and Madeline McGraw. Directed by Derrickson, The Black Phone is co-written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill (Doctor Strange, Sinister) and is based on a short story by Joe Hill (Locke & Key, Creepshow, Horns).

The Black Phone hits theaters on February 4.

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