The Black Phone never reveals why only Finney and The Grabber hear the phone ringing, leading to many theories about supernatural Black Phone themes.
Why do only The Grabber and Finney hear the Black Phone ringing in the basement? Joe Hill’s short story adaptation The Black Phone brings a supernatural Black Phone twist to some well-worn hostage survival movie tropes. Its timely leaps, dark late ’70s atmosphere, and climactic reveals never leave a dull moment and provide enough chills and thrills to be remembered long after the credits begin. The fast-paced story of The Black Phone goes back and forth between past and present. While the current timeline focuses on Finney, a 13-year-old boy, who must race against time and find a way out of a sadistic serial killer’s basement, the past reflects the life and death of the victims. precedents of the killer.
The film uses a black phone in the basement as a narrative device to drive Finney’s escape plan. Despite being disconnected from the wall it rests on, the Black Phone rings often and allows Finney to speak to the killer’s previous victims, who are part of The Black Phone’s supernatural cast of characters as they are determined to punish The Grabber (played by Ethan Hawke). The black phone plays a vital role in helping Finney escape. However, it’s curious that several moments in The Black Phone’s opening arc suggest that, with the exception of Finney, none of The Grabber’s previous victims heard it ring when they were trapped in his sub. -floor. What makes the inner workings of the phone all the more puzzling is that The Grabber initially claims the phone hasn’t worked since he was a child, but later says he, too, heard it ring. As Gwen connects to the spirit realm through her dreams, Finney does the same via the black phone and speaks to the ghosts of The Grabber’s victims.
Does the black phone really ring?
The ending of The Black Phone connects many dots but never explains why The Grabber can hear the ringtone. That could mean it’s just a figment of his and Finney’s imagination. Finney hears the phone ringing and uses it as a coping mechanism to deal with his overriding feelings of isolation and hopelessness. To make sense of his harrowing situation and craft an effective escape plan, he may imagine being guided by the spirits of the killer’s deceased victims. This makes even more sense considering the murders were the talk of the town and Finney was already well aware of the identities of all of the victims. Meanwhile, for The Grabber, the phone ringing could be a psychological rendering of his underlying guilt for committing these murders. Playing something along the lines of Mike Flannagan’s Netflix horror show The Haunting, The Black Phone is likely trying to show The Grabber seeing the figurative ghosts of his evil deeds.
Although several theories can be drawn to dismiss The Black Phone’s paranormal plots, Gwen’s version of the story confirms that the film is not devoid of Black Phone’s supernatural underpinnings. Not only the black telephone, but several other secondary narrative elements of the film are deliberately left ambiguous and open to viewer interpretation. Considering how Stephen King does something similar in linking otherworldly terror to the real world, it’s no surprise that Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son, was inspired by Stephen King’s brand of horror. when he wrote The Black Phone (via SlashFilm).
Supernatural black phone themes can help sequel
Although The Black Phone was never supposed to get a second episode, the movie did so well that audiences have their mouths full of foam for a sequel. This poses a problem, however, as the franchise-worthy antagonist played by Ethan Hawke (who is partly responsible for the film’s success) dies at the end. However, the supernatural themes of The Black Phone peppered throughout the film could make for a Black Phone 2 starring Ethan Hawke. Like Michael Myers and Art the Clown, horror films have proven that previously dead villains can be resurrected. Drawing on the supernatural elements of the Black Phone, The Black Phone 2 could bring The Grabber back from the dead.
However, the risk of essentially retconning that the Grabber is dead is that it would remove some of the ambiguity created by the movie. Another route The Black Phone 2 could take would be a prequel that focuses on the origins of the Grabber and the other Black Phone ghosts, as it would bring back Ethan Hawke and at the same time not risk cheapening the original. Even if not used to resurrect the Grabber in a sequel, The Black Phone’s supernatural elements enhance the film, adding a certain unease and healthy ambiguity to the already chilling story.