Ethan Hawke’s horror film ‘the Black Phone’ traumatizes CinemaCon

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Finally, something scarier than the COVID-19 delta variant has come out of CinemaCon 2021.

Universal Pictures unveiled a packed trailer for its upcoming Blumhouse horror thriller “The Black Phone” on Wednesday, during a presentation at the annual theater owners convention in Las Vegas.

Reuniting Ethan Hawke with his writer-director “Sinister” Scott Derrickson, the project is adapted from a short story by Joe Hill. Hawke delivers a chilling performance as the unnamed villain, a character he says breaks his “no villains” rule when presenting the clip.

“The Black Phone” follows a kidnapped boy “locked in a basement stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children.” In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long unplugged, but which rings at night with calls from the dead, ”according to a synopsis of the short film. So we’re already having fun.

Hawke appears at first glance dressed in white face paint and a top hat, battling falling grocery bags alongside a battered and totally unsuspected black van. It attracts the young frontman of the film Mason Thames, watching from afar, with part-time magician stories (OK!). Before we know it, we’re in the basement of the aforementioned murder and that phone is ringing.

In a pre-recorded speech for exhibitors, Hawke said Blumhouse founder Jason Blum previously called “Sinister” “the scariest movie he had ever worked on,” but “The Black Phone” has now taken it. illustrious title.

Derrickson flexes fully in his comfort zone after leaving low-budget horror to direct Marvel’s first “Doctor Strange” movie. He left the sequel “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” last year due to creative differences.

The teaser “The Black Phone”, which Variety may or may not have looked from behind both hands, sees the story shoot multiple cylinders. The film promises sheer terror as Thames is tortured by Hawke, who enjoys donning terrifying masks and taunts him with stories of former basement tenants and his own childhood. The supernatural is introduced via phone calls, where the spirits of fallen children attempt to help the Thames escape, leaving clues and life hacks in its physical space. A local girl is also overwhelmed with visions of the captured Thames and tries to help the police reach him before it’s too late.

The plausibility of these unthinkable crimes mixed with paranormal elements makes this the next possible franchise for Universal and Blumhouse, which have seen great success thanks to Blum’s modest budgets and high box office returns. Also, let’s not forget that Hawke’s first collaboration with production company, “The Purge,” brought him millions from the full deferral of his paycheck in exchange for a more favorable backend payment.

Jeremy Davies, E. Roger Mitchell, Madeleine McGraw and James Ransone co-starring. Derrickson adapted the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill.

“The Black Phone” is set to hit theaters on January 28, 2022.


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