Warning: This article contains spoilers for the “Black Phone”.
Ethan Hawke’s stellar performance as a Grabber, backed up by a perfect storm of creative talents behind the camera, brought “Black Phone” both a phenomenal reception and the hype around the sequel that followed the release of the film on June 24, which perfectly sets up “Black Phone”. 2. Despite several delays during 2022, “Black Phone” still exceeded all expectations after its final appearance in theaters. With screenwriter Joe Hill, director Scott Derrickson and Ethan Hawke himself ready to return for the sequel, it seems that “Black Phone 2” may happen with more probability than the end of the first film suggested.
“Black Phone” ended on an optimistic note when Finney escaped from the kidnapper and returned to his younger sister Gwen. Grabber also came to a fair fate. After abducting and torturing the victims of the “Black Phone” during the 103-minute screening of the film, the Grabber eventually died at the hands of a supernatural-inspired Finney. However, it is precisely due to the uncertainty associated with the supernatural finale of the “Black Phone” that the Grabber may return at all.
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Of course, Ethan Hawke’s chilling performance and the narrative themes of “Black Phone” made Hawke’s return as a Grabber an ideal option for creating “Black Phone 2”. The first film left behind many opportunities to tell about the villainous origin of the character Hawk and about the supernatural elements present in the life of both Finney and Grabber. There is no better way to expand these areas than to go back to The Grabber story. Whether this will happen before the first movie or at some point in Finney’s future with a ghostly villain remains to be seen. However, in this way, even the unanswered secrets of the Black Phone can become valuable.
While the easiest way to bring Ethan Hawke back to “Black Phone 2” is to move the action of the film into the past, the aforementioned otherworldly properties scattered throughout “Black Phone” also make it possible for a timeline to appear in the future. Although the Grabber may have been killed, that never stopped the monsters from horror movies from coming back before. There is also a possibility that the Grabber will become a ghostly force, not unlike the ghosts that Finney and Gwen interact with during the first film, since the limits of Gwen and Finney’s powers have never been explained. The black phone also teased that the Grabber was attuned to the same spiritual power that connected Gwen and Finnie to the dead. Since the “Black Phone” showed Finney’s abilities and their exact nature in a way that made them a mystery to the audience, it is possible that the Grabber was more than just a masked man all this time.
Allowing Ethan Hawke to return as an antagonistic force into Finney and Gwen’s adult lives will also strengthen the thematic content of the first film. The narrative of the “Black Phone” talks a lot about bullying, abuse and childhood trauma against the backdrop of the suburbs of the 1970s. Although these elements were approached with a sober sense of respect and skill, in fact, such experiences accompany survivors for most, if not all of their lives. While the numerous victims of the villain from the “Black Phone” expressed the complacency they would find after the death of the Grabber, the same does not inherently apply to the surviving siblings.
Part of the journey that any survivor of trauma goes through is to find out what will happen next. This question can be answered for Gwen and Finney by bringing back the antagonist of the “Black Phone”. Ethan Hawke has already proven his commitment and ability in this role. If the themes of “Black Phone 2” are as mature as in the first film, the sequel deserves the tenure and talent that Ethan Hawke brought to “Grabber.”