Blumhouse’s “Black Phone” is an exciting film adaptation of Joe Hill’s short story of the same name. While a lot of attention is paid to Ethan Hawke’s villain Grabber, who kidnaps children, keeps them in the basement, and then kills them, the child actors in the film make it a strong movie, which it is.
Before the Grabber takes Finney (Mason Thames), he and his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) lead a sad existence as their 1978 Denver corner involves bullying at school and an abusive father. There are many reasons why the child actors in “Black Phone” are so impressive.
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The children’s characters in “Black Phone” make the film an impressive story. They resemble the members of the Losers Club from the famous Stephen King book, the mini-series and the movie “It”. The remakes of “It” are divided into two chapters of 2017 and 2019, and children are bullied, they experience trauma, but they help each other. Children in the “Black Phone” have seen a lot of horrors and insults that no one should ever face. Gwen and Finnie are hurt by their father Terrence (Jeremy Davis), who misses his wife and their mother, who had visions and then committed suicide.
Three children’s characters stand out the most: Finnie, Gwen and Robin (Miguel Casares Mora). All three have dealt with broken families and abuse, which binds them together and helps them understand each other as they just try to relive their childhood, grow up and hopefully leave to break the vicious circle and have a happier and better life. . There are scary moments in the “Black Phone”, and this is even before the Grabber takes Finnie, as it is terrible to watch Terrence yell at his children. But it’s even worse to see him ignoring them to drink more and more, trying to forget what he’s been through.
Finney’s classmate and sometimes friend Robin stands up for him against some of the other kids who bully him because Robin is tough and doesn’t listen to anyone. The audience sympathizes with Robin, because despite the fact that he has beaten a lot, he tries to be a good person and helps Finney a lot.
In an interview with Game Rant, Mason Thames shared what it was like to play Finney, who experienced so much pain in his young life. The actor said, “You know, it was definitely hard to dig deep into where Finney is, I mean, how scared he probably is. what he’s going through. It was very hard for me, but I got to know Finney very well, and the story he’s going through is terrible.”
Child actors are incredible, allowing viewers to constantly see the pain on their faces as they don’t have a soft, safe place to land. Ethan Hawke’s villain from “Black Phone” is terrible, but just as terrible is the fact that these kids are bullied and beaten at school and then yelled at (or worse) at home. It’s incredibly sad to watch Gwen and Finnie’s father yell at Gwen because she had a vision about one of the victims of the Grabber, and the police showed up at their father’s work to talk to him about it. After that, Gwen leans her head on Finney’s shoulder while they watch TV, showing their strong bond and how they love and care for each other, since they don’t have a father who behaves like a real compassionate parent.
When Gwen dreams about where the Grabber lives, she informs the police about it, and Finnie can kill the villain, return home safely and reunite with her sister. This is an important plot point, which is very touching, because it proves how close Gwen and Finnie are. Even when Finney is kidnapped and he hides in the basement, his sister can tell that something is wrong and she can be there for him. Some horror movie villains can’t be killed, but fortunately a Grabber can.
Ultimately, the child actors in “Black Phone” are the emotionally beating heart of the film. They have seen a lot, experienced a lot of pain, but they are still full of hope, believing that they can use their reason, compassion and the ability to think quickly to get out of terrible situations. Despite the fact that they have learned harsh lessons that no one should ever have learned, they have grown up quickly and are determined to save themselves, survive and help each other along the way. They are one of the best child characters in any horror movie.