The Black Phone 

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By June Ramli

Last week, I managed to score a free movie ticket to watch The Black Phone. Movie tickets are extremely expensive here in Australia and so whenever I score these free movie tickets, no matter what the movie is I normally go in.
Watching a movie in a theatre just has a different feel than binge-watching Netflix at home. 
With Netflix, I find that my attention span is rather limited and often find myself scrolling mindlessly on TikTok, and Instagram if the show that I am binge-watching has gotten boring but in the movie theatres, you can’t do that because everyone that goes into the movie theatre is there to do one thing and one thing only, that is to watch the movie at hand.
The movie theatre at Bondi Junction was packed to the brim which made me pleasantly surprised. The guy mending the ticket counter did not even ask for proof to see my ticket, he just said to me: “Go to cinema eight,” and so I went in and sat at one of the aisle seats because all the middle seats were taken.
After 10 minutes of waiting, the movie finally started. I sat down and wasn’t sure what I was going to be watching. All I knew before the movie started was that it was some kind of suspense, thriller thing and that Ethan Hawke was starring in it. Yes, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman’s ex.  

Black phone.
The Black phone rings in Australian cinemas today. Image supplied.


So, now let’s get to the reviewing part, it was a great movie and later on, I found out that the movie was based on Stephen King’s son’s Joel Hill short story. I only knew of this after watching the movie and coming across a tweet by King himself promoting the movie on his son’s behalf.  

King doing his part.

Set in 1978, the movie tells a tale of how several high school American kids get kidnapped by a clown who drives around in a black van.
Things take an ugly turn when the kidnapper gets involved with a rather gifted 13-year-old teen named Finney Shaw.
The theme of the story has been repeated time and again in every other American movie that I can think of but what differentiates this movie from the rest is what happens in the basement once the kids have been kidnapped.
This is where the supernatural part of the story kicks in as well.
I guess you’ll need to go to the movie theatres to find out for yourself what I am talking about here.
I would give this movie four stars out of five because there were times that I could predict the next move.
But this is a one-hit-wonder sort of a movie, as after watching it the first time, you won’t be able to watch it again because the thrill and suspense isn’t there anymore. 

Ethan Hawke in character. Image supplied.


Once again The Black Phone is a 2021 American supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, who both produced it with Jason Blum.
It is an adaptation of the 2004 short story of the same name by Joe Hill.
The film stars Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy DaviesJames Ransone, and Ethan Hawke.  
The Black Phone rings in Australian cinemas today.

Official Trailer of the Black Phone.

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