Celebrity Director Scott Derrickson’s ‘The Black Phone’ Features Sadistic Child Killer

Celebrity director Scott Derrickson’s supernatural horror film ‘The Black Phone’ harkens back to the period when horror was more about suspense and fear than blood and gore.

The film has a little of it, but not enough for people with appetites for the genre to be entombed in viscera. Most horror films about serial killers spend some time developing a tragic past that explains how a human might become a monster.

In The Black Phone, celebrity director Scott Derrickson does the opposite, robbing Ethan Hawke’s Grabber of a past and, as a result, eliminating his humanity. The Grabber is terrifying because nobody knows what drove him to commit such heinous deeds. All people see is a terrifying mask and an angry man who refuses to listen to reason.

Considering the serial killer heritage in films and television series, it is simple to see how the most traveled path is studying what remains of humanity inside a monster’s psyche. Horror films attempt to portray inhuman killers, and they frequently go so far as to be more entertaining than frightening.

However, in The Black Phone, the Grabber is a typical man who uses everyday items to kidnap children and locks them in his basement. In summary, the Grabber is someone people might run into on the street without understanding it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Since no one could believe the Grabber was concealing children in his basement, his killing practices are all the more terrifying. There is nothing known about the Grabber’s background or motivations, so his conduct is also unknown.

The Grabber through his rituals, reveals his obsession with “bad” youngsters, his goals of punishing wicked crimes, and his regretful chats with Finney (Mason Thames) all contribute to the picture of someone who grew up in a violent family.

Hence, The Black Phone introduces a serial killer with no history, which makes him even scary.

It permits the serial murderer to remain a nasty and threatening figure throughout the film by shifting the focus away from the Grabber’s background. The film ensures Finney’s fate cannot be avoided by appealing to any kind of humanity by transforming the Grabber into a killer with no apparent trauma.

After all, if assassins like The Black Phone’s Grabber exist, they might be near and around us!


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