The Grabber will grab…your attention, for one.
Each of Ethan Hawke’s antagonist roles seems to be topping the other. The Black Phone is next in the line. The supernatural Blumhouse horror movie hits the theaters this summer, and it comes from the director, Scott Derrickson (Dr. Strange, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) and is adapted from the eponymous short story by Joe Hill, from 2004. Besides Hawke, The Black Phone also stars Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, Jeremy Davies, James Ransone, and E. Roger Mitchell in other significant roles.
Set in 1978, it follows a teenage boy who is abducted by a mysterious magician, only to find out that he’s not the only one. Soon he is able to communicate with the captor’s other victims (also young kids like him) through a broken phone in the basement where he is held. Needless to say, Hawke plays the villain of the story, as the sadistic magician and abductor who is terrorizing the town.
As sinister as it sounds, The Black Phone might be the scary movie of the year, for all we know. So, let’s find out where and how you can watch the supernatural horror thriller and if you can stream it.
The Black Phone premiered at the Fantastic Fest in September 2021, Tribeca Film Festival, and Overlook Film Festival. The movie was originally scheduled to be released in January and then February 2022, but got delayed. And now, finally, you can catch The Black Phone in theaters on Friday, June 24, 2022.
You can head to this link to get your tickets for the film. When visiting the theaters to watch the movie, you might still want to observe necessary health safety regulations, since there’s still some concern regarding the still-worrying cases of COVID-19. Be safe and have a scary time!
Besides the theatrical release, it looks like The Black Phone will also get a digital release, just not right now. The movie will definitely be exclusive to theaters for at least the first 45 days from its release. After that, the horror thriller is expected to be released on Universal’s streaming service, Peacock. We don't have official confirmation on this yet and it could take three to four months from the theatrical premiere before the film is released on stream, i.e., around fall 2022.
Yes and no. For now, the only way you can watch The Black Phone is at the theaters. However, if you don’t feel safe visiting the theaters yet, and would rather watch the movie from the comfort of your home, then you’ll have to wait for a few months before the movie (hopefully) arrives for streaming on Peacock. So, yes you can watch The Black Phone right away in a theater near you, and no, you cannot stream the movie anywhere else.
Peacock is Universal’s streaming network where you can watch a host of television shows and movies for free when you simply register on the app. But original productions are available only for a premium subscription. You can easily sign up for Peacock Premium or Peacock Premium Plus for a monthly fee. The premium plan is ad-supported and costs $4.99, while the premium plus is ad-free and costs $9.99. Peacock streaming service is also available through Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple and Android TVs, or gaming consoles.
As of now, there’s no information or update from Universal Pictures about the VOD release of The Black Phone. As far as DVDs and Blu-Rays are concerned, the physical media usually come out a few months after the theater releases. You can expect The Black Phone DVDs to also release around the same timeline, which might be the same time as the digital release.
There are two official trailers of The Black Phone released by Universal, one from October 2021 and the second one from April 2022. Both the trailers more or less highlight the plot of the movie, and both seem scarier than anything you have seen this year.
With the classic Blumhouse creative touch to horror, the first trailer is what details the story of The Black Phone, introducing you to Hawke’s Grabber, a very creepy-looking magician who turns out to be a masked abductor/serial killer. You also get to see the protagonist and victim, Finney Shaw, played by Mason Thames, and his sister, Gwen, played by Madeline McGraw, who seems to be a very important character in the entire scheme of things. Watch the trailers for more. Grabber’s character may remind you a little of Pennywise, but the overall narrative of The Black Phone seems to lean more towards thriller than just supernatural. So, you can expect a lot of spine-chilling moments, as much as you would want to jump off your seat.
The Black Phone is based on American author Joe Hill’s short story of the same name, which is a part of the short collection 20th Century Ghosts. In the book, a 13-year-old boy is kidnapped by a man named Al, and taken into a basement room, where he finds a broken black phone on the wall. When the phone starts ringing, he hears the kidnapper’s former victims who are now dead. The movie adaptation follows more or less the same premise, albeit with more dramatic takes on the characters, as well as the plot. In the movie, there’s a lot of focus on the Grabber, from what we learn from the promos.
In 1978, in a small town in Colorado, Finney Shaw and his sister, Gwen notice a lot of missing posters featuring teenage kids like them. One day, on his way home from school Finney, meets this very creepy-looking magician who abducts him and takes him to a dark, dungeon-like basement of an old house. Finney finds a broken black wall phone, but somehow, it seems to ring at night. Soon Finney finds out that he can talk to Grabber’s earlier victims through that phone, all of whom died (most likely killed by Grabber). These dead kids try to help Finney escape, but his abductor keeps winning. In short, The Black Phone is an escape story with a mix of paranormal and slasher elements to it and we can't wait to see how it goes!
Maddie is a freelance Resource Writer at Collider. She is also a content marketing consultant and works with lifestyle brands. When not working, Maddie is often found baking, improvising on recipes, and managing her newfound Instagram store.
How to Watch The Black Phone: Is the Horror Film Streaming or in Theaters? – Collider
The Grabber will grab…your attention, for one.