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Inspired by The Traumatic Past of The Black Phone Director, the Horror Movie!

Ethan Hawke plays The Grabber, a kidnapper in Scott Derrickson and Blumhouse Productions’ upcoming thriller The Black Phone. Derrickson directed the film. Finney (Mason Thames) is a 13-year-old kidnapped by The Grabber and held captive in his basement. The plot was based on Joe Hill’s short story “The Black Phone.

” Despite the apparent hopelessness of the situation, Finney is able to make contact with some of The Grabber’s former victims via a disconnected black phone. They are all eager to assist Finney in avoiding what happened to them.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a movie that’s both scary and relatable, then The Black Phone is the film for you. Derrickson, Blum, and Hawke were interviewed by IGN to explain how they made this nightmare a reality. Check out our review of The Black Phone when you’re done here.

Storytelling Meets Personal Horror in “the Black Phone”

Inspired by The Traumatic Past of The Black Phone Director, the Horror Movie!

There Are Some Things that Were Updated and Changed in The Film, but It’s Not Merely to Make a Short Last an Hour and 43 Minutes. the Core of The 2004 Short Story Is Still Intact in The Film. “the Grabber,” as He Was Portrayed in The Original Narrative, Had Been Transformed Into an “overweight Clown Modeled After John Wayne Gacy.”

Regarding Tale Revisions, Derrickson Stated, “there Wasn’t Anything that I Was Torn About.” “it Was Plain to Me What I Needed to Do.” He’s a Chubby Clown Who Looks a Lot Like John Wayne Gacy in The Book. After Seeing [the Movie] It, I Knew I Didn’t Want Him to Be a Clown. as A Result, I Didn’t Want This Overweight Guy to Be Ethan Since I Wanted Him to Be Slim. Because of Joe’s Story, I Wanted to Create a Character with A Distinct Look and Style, so I Started from Scratch with The Mask and Ethan.

Gwen, Played by Madeleine Mc Graw, Is Described by Derrickson as “an Elderly Character Who Doesn’t Really Accomplish Much” in The Short Narrative. a Strong Female Protagonist Was Essential to Achieving the Film’s Stated Goal of “genuine Emotion and Soul,” According to Me. as A Result, Gwen Was a Wholly Original Creation. Hence the Creation of A Spitfire Nine-Year-Old Girl, Who Is Stronger than Any Other Character in The Movie, Including Finney, the Grabber, and The Others. This Movie Has a Lot to Do with Her, and Their Relationship Is What Drives the Story’s Emotional Core.”
Since the Black Phone Represents Both Joe Hill’s Story and Derrickson’s Childhood Traumas, the Director’s Quest to Get It to The Big Screen Was Also Incredibly Personal for Him.

When It Came to Expanding the Story, Derrickson Confessed, “I Had No Idea How To Do It.” a Few Years of Therapy Dealing with My Own Childhood and The Violence and Horrific Events that Occurred There Led to The Answer. in The Late 1970s, I Grew up In a Violent, Blue-Collar Area in North Denver, Colorado, and The Idea Struck Me to Mix Those Memories with The Black Phone. That’s What the Film Is, in A Nutshell. a Blend of My Own Memories and That Stories from My Own Past.”

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For What Reasons Should We Use Children to Explore Our Most Primal Fears?

Inspired by The Traumatic Past of The Black Phone Director, the Horror Movie!

Children Have a Large Role in The Cast of The Black Phone. According to Blum, the Fact that Children Are Frequently the Focus of Horror Stories Isn’t Just a Fluke. They Serve as An “embodiment of Innocence.” There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Born Good, According to Blum. People Like This Don’t Have Any Preconceived Ideas Because They Are Born that Way. After That, the World Throws Itself at Them, and We Become Cynical and Jaded.

There’s Nothing More Heartbreaking than Threatening Someone’s Innocence. “and That’s Why You See so Many Horror Movies Including Kids in Peril Because, when An Audience Watches That, Whether You Have Children or Not, It’s Incredibly Heart-Wrenching and It’s Very Powerful.” According to Derrickson, “the Black Phone” Is a Coming-Of-Age Picture “interrupted by This Horror Story” and How the Inclusion of Children in These Stories Brings Them More Closer to Home than They Would Have Otherwise.

Due to Their Vulnerability, Derrickson Explains. the People We Care About Are Important to Us,” He Says. and We’re Often Reminded that The Most Terrifying Thing About Change Is that It’s Always Changing. to Be Frightened of The Unknown, We Go Through the Most Rapid and Uncontrollable Growth Spurts as Children. as A Teenager, It’s Very Frightening. We Have No Control Over the Situation. Everyone Has to Experience It at Some Point in Their Lives. and We Can All Recall Vividly the Sensations and Emotions that Accompanied It. as A Result, when You Combine that Experience with Something Truly Traumatic, Like the Kidnapping of A Child by A Sadistic Killer, You Create a Powerful Metaphor as Well as A Stark Reality for A Protagonist Who Must Rise Above Himself, Who Must Rise Above His Past Self, and Enter Into Adulthood in Some Way, as Our Character Does in This Film.”

How to Tell a Good Supernatural Story While Walking a Tightrope.

It’s Like Walking a Tightrope to Tell a Good Supernatural Narrative. Whenever It’s Done Perfectly, It Enthralls Us All. in Order to Maintain Its So-Called “magic,” It Must Not Teeter on The Verge of Insanity or Remain Too Close to The Earth. It Was Derrickson’s Choice to Walk that Tightrope with The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, and Even the First Doctor Strange, and He’s Done It Throughout His Entire Career.

If You Can Make an Audience Feel as If the Characters and Their Surroundings Are Based on The Real World, They’re More Likely to Accept the Realism of The Supernatural or Paranormal when It’s Introduced, Derrickson Said. “also, the Introduction Is Critical. as Long as You Can Get People to Accept the Story as Based in Reality, They’ll Go Along with The Magical Elements. It Also Makes the Supernatural and Paranormal Elements Scarier Because You Accept Them More Readily in A Grounded Film than You Would in One with Characters that Are a Little More Over the Top, Cartoonish, or Two-Dimensional.

The Black Phone Is Really a Story About Something That, Regrettably, Might Happen to Any of Us. Even if The Talking Ghosts Are a Stretch, the Story of A Father and His Children Is Relatable to Many People, Regardless of Whether They Are Fans of Horror Films or Not. There Is an Abusive Father and A Great Brother and Sister Bond, and The Movie Is a Metaphor for The Terrible Circumstance These Children Are in With Their Father, Blum Added. I Think Derrickson, Hawke, Cargill, and I Would All Agree that If You Focus on The Storytelling of The Family Drama First and Foremost, if You Get that Right, Then the Scariness of The Grabber of Ethan’s Character and The Scary Things that Happen in That Basement Are All Much More Effective Because the Audience Is so Immersed in The Drama that These Guys Have All Created.”

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The Unknown Is Another Strength of The Black Phone.

Inspired by The Traumatic Past of The Black Phone Director, the Horror Movie!

The Power of The Unknown Is Another Strength of The Black Phone and Many Other Horror Films. if You’ve Ever Had the Dread of Strolling Through the Woods at Night and Hearing a Strange Noise, You Know What I’m Talking About. in One Way or Another, Each of Us Has Experienced These Feelings. We’ve All Experienced the Terror of Not Knowing, and It’s One of The Most Terrifying Feelings There Is.

‘one of The Reasons that I Think Horror Films and Scary Stories Are Always so Dynamic for Us Is that There’s Always a Part of Our Lives that Is Always Unknown,’ Hawke Added. as A Result, when You Come Face to Face with The Unknowable, You Begin to Realize Just how Little You Actually Know About Life, About the Reasons for Our Births, About Our Origins Before Our Birth, About Our Last Destinations, and About the Ultimate Meaning of It All.” Often These Wonderful Stories of Light or Gloom Let Us Get a Glimpse Into the Unknown.

I Suppose that Mystery and Intrigue Us as Viewers,” He Continues. There Is an Abusive Father and A Great Brother and Sister Bond, and The Movie Is a Metaphor for The Terrible Circumstance These Children Are in With Their Father, Blum Added. We All Agree, Including [co-Writer C. Robert] Cargill, that The Scariness of The Grabber of Ethan and The Terrifying Events that Take Place in That Basement Is Much More Effective Because the Audience Has Become so Engrossed in The Drama that These Guys Have All Created if You Focus on The Storytelling of The Family Drama First and Foremost.

The Most Terrifying Feelings There Is.

Inspired by The Traumatic Past of The Black Phone Director, the Horror Movie!

The Power of The Unknown Is Another Strength of The Black Phone and Many Other Horror Films. if You’ve Ever Had the Dread of Strolling Through the Woods at Night and Hearing a Strange Noise, You Know What I’m Talking About. in One Way or Another, Each of Us Has Experienced These Feelings. We’ve All Experienced the Terror of Not Knowing, and It’s One of The Most Terrifying Feelings There Is.

‘one of The Reasons that I Think Horror Films and Scary Stories Are Always so Dynamic for Us Is that There’s Always a Part of Our Lives that Is Always Unknown,’ Hawke Added. as A Result, when You Come Face to Face with The Unknowable, You Begin to Realize Just how Little You Actually Know About Life, About the Reasons for Our Births, About Our Origins Before Our Birth, About Our Last Destinations, and About the Ultimate Meaning of It All.” Often These Wonderful Stories of Light or Gloom Let Us Get a Glimpse Into the Unknown. I Suppose that Mystery and Intrigue Us as Viewers,” He Continues. the Actor Admits that Attempting to Figure out Why a Bad Character Is Behaving the Way They Are May Be a Little Pleasure.

It’s a Nice Game to Play with Yourself, Though, as Hawke Continued. “what’s the Source of His Mirth? He’s Curious to Know What Piques His Curiosity. Why Does He Have to Do This? Because It’s so Horrific, It’s Difficult to Contemplate Why Someone Would Harm Children. Moreover, We Are Baffled by The Enigma of The Cosmos, Which Is Why Good Things Happen to Bad People. It’s Just There. It’s Simply Unfair and Unjust. and We Spend a Lot of Time and Effort Trying to Prevent that From Happening. You Have to Embody These Things that Do Exist as An Actor.”

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One Thing We Know for Sure About the Grabber.

When Asked About Derrickson’s Use of A Bob Dylan Quote to Help Establish the Character of The Grabber, Hawke Revealed that Derrickson Didn’t Give the Character Any Exposition About His Origins and How He Became This Horrible Kidnapper.

One Thing We Know for Sure About the Grabber Is that He Doesn’t Want to Be Spotted. the Bob Dylan Adage that Anyone Who Wears a Mask Is Giving You the Truth, Scott Used to Say All the Time, and I Liked It. the Only Person Who Isn’t Wearing a Mask Is Lying, and The only Truth Is that He Doesn’t Want to Be Seen. ”

There Are No Easy Answers as To the Identity of “the Grabber,” but Hawke Loves It that Way. Many Stories Before and After the Black Phone Demonstrate that The Unknown Can Be More Terrifying than The Known. Hawke said, “so, I Don’t Have Any Good Answers.” “his Enigmatic Nature Piqued My Curiosity. I Wondered About the Phone’s History with Him and What It Might Have Meant to Him. I Admire His Ability to Perceive the World Through the Eyes of These Young People. in My Opinion, Any Response Diminishes the Significance of The Question Because I Have No Way of Knowing Him.”

Marissa Figgs
I write picture books, for middle grade, and young adults, some of which have won prizes, been filmed, or become bestsellers. I've ghostwritten for Pixar and developed teen work for Alloy Entertainment. I think heartfelt writing is the finest. It doesn't have to be personal, but it must be visceral. You want them riveted from the first word, page, or sentence, no matter how painful or unpleasant, and that's my expertise.
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