THE BLACK PHONE – Review by T. J. Callahan

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The Black Phone: I hear dead people.

Set in 1978 Denver, an abducted teenager uses an unplugged wall phone in a sound proof basement crypt to communicate with a sadistic killer’s previous victims in hopes of saving his own life. The Black Phone is a perplexing puzzle that won’t leave you hanging…up. It won’t necessarily have you on the edge of your seat either, but that’s only because The Black Phone is more creepy than it is frightening. It’s more like watching a crime drama with jump scares. A less Sci Fi-ish Stranger Things.

The Black Phone is based on a short story by Joe Hall, son of the Brains of Terror, Stephen King. And he’s definitely a knick off the old dagger in his spreading of evil mixed with love and life lessons.

Normally Mr. Nice Guy, a masked Ethan Hawke is The Grabber, the sinister serial killer with a villainous voice emanating from from behind a toothy face covering. He snatches young boys and tortures them in the cellar of one home before killing them in another. Newcomer, Mason Thames plays Finn, The Grabber’s latest victim, and the bullied 13 year old is determined to be his last with the help of those on the other end of the receiver.

On the surface, The Black Phone is psychological terror, but it’s real message is finding your inner strength. Look for some gore, violence, foul language, dysfunctional families, a dad that looks like Charles Manson, eerie music and smart aleck kids. My husband, Ricky, gives The Black Phone 👁👁 open. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.