“Are there any black balls out there?” [GOD, RUN, BABY]
History: It’s 1978, all of you! Pinball machines, striped ski vests and a serial finisher? Yes, the latter is not the best thing that can happen to the suburbs of Denver. (Also not the worst, but we go further… But the “bite” has been making the children disappear for some time, so when the elementary school student Finney meets a magician who seems to need help with a bag of food? Oh, Finney. Don’t help me. Oops, it’s too after.
Scary or not?: I heard that this movie was the scariest thing that came out this year. Umm. Well, fear is a relative term. Are we really talking about something scary like “It’s disturbing and I’m surprised”? Or maybe frightening, like “I have to jump into my bed because I’m afraid of what could be underneath”? Maybe the total and absolute brutal atmosphere of “I need a silk tree shower after seeing this”? In my humble opinion, the “phone” will make the soul cold, with a touch of horror and a little abomination. With me? No? Okay, okay, I’ll make that clear. *pulls out the pressure fingers*
The phone is based on the story of the same name by Joe Hill (from his collection Ghosts of the 20th century, just in matter you are interested in reading it, but it’s really worth it) and combines different types of ideas into a single whole. They have their not found children, a really confused serial finisher, ghosts longing for revenge, clairvoyant children and even a police procedure in the style of law and order. I always thought that great films are created from short stories, because their stories are easier to cram into a two-hour film adaptation than into a big novel. (See: Oh, practically every Reddit branch that talks about how the film adaptation did not take these things into account and therefore sucks.)
The phone is a perfect example of how to turn a compelling story on one page into a compelling story on the screen. From the first track with a more creepy, MCU-like Blumhouse logo to the brilliant use of songs from the 70s and the impressive final score by composer Mark Corven, the phone is enough to scare the audience without resorting to senseless jumps or excessive rudeness. When it comes to horrors, the phone is just right to paraphrase gold colors.
A big part of the success of this film is thanks to Ethan Hawk’s cool, believable game. As a “happen”, Hawk inspires hope, is frightening and even heartbreaking. There is a scene where the finisher is actually crying, hinting at an extremely damaged psyche. Damn, you almost made me take care of this monster man, movie! That’s not fair! I wouldn’t be surprised if Hawk’s name comes up during awards season, although movies released before the golden ticket in after fall/early winter tend to be forgotten by then. That would be a shame.
Director Scott Derrickson has a skillful approach, putting together parts of the story and assembling the plot crumbs scattered everywhere. His use of filmy films that give the film a retro look brings us back to this year’s X movie, which would be a great addition to this equally tasty 70s movie, now that I think about it. Need another reason to spend your hard-earned money here? Well, then my fellow human beings are horror dogs, here’s the thing: the scary mask (and its frightening, changing chin lines) was created by none other than Mr. Tom Savini himself along with Jason Baker, a man I can’t wait to see even more since this mask of good, which will surely be the main attribute of Halloween, has caught my attention.
Special thanks to Mason Thames as the last victim of Grabber, Finney. The Thames has to carry a huge piece of this film on its shoulders, and he does it seemingly effortlessly. Plus screen-related chemistry between the Thames and Gwen Madeleine McGraw. Don’t you like pretentious child actors? There is nothing to worry about here; every child on the screen brings his own game and plays performances that older actors would only like to find in themselves. Was there something I didn’t like, now that I’ve released so much smoke from this movie? Now that I’ve heard so much about “Scary” from people who watched the “phone” at Fantastic Fest, TIFF and Overlook Film Fest? I was expecting something that would rip my roof off. Instead, it’s a slow-burning cooler, punctuated by surprising chunks of bloody and/or ghostly goodness. So set your brain in a scary way, grab some popcorn and start the fun. What if you play “The Fox on the Run” of the entourage on the way home? Well, I’m not going to say it. I did the same.