A Disturbing Ethan Hawke Horror Movie Is Trending On Streaming

The Black Phone, starring Ethan Hawke, is currently one of the most-streamed movies on Amazon.

By Chad Langen | Updated

The Black Phone opened in theaters on June 24, 2022, and it sees Ethan Hawke playing a genuinely evil villain for the first time. The movie had a short yet surprisingly successful run on the big screen before landing on Peacock, where it streamed exclusively for several months. The horror hit recently leaped over to Amazon Prime, and according to FlixPatrol, it is currently one of the top 10 most-streamed movies on the platform.

In the film, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy named Finney (Mason Thames) is the latest child to be abducted by a serial killer known as “The Grabber” (Ethan Hawke). After he’s locked in a soundproof basement with nothing but an old mattress on the floor and a disconnected black rotary phone hanging on the wall, Finney feels completely hopeless. Approximately halfway through the movie, however, he begins receiving strange calls on the phone from the killer’s previous victims, who are determined to see that Finney makes it out of the basement alive.

The Black Phone was adapted from the short story of the same name by Joe Hill, which appears in the author’s book 20th Century Ghosts. The project was announced to be in production in October 2020, with Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw being the first actors to join the cast. Although Ethan Hawke (Moon Knight) has a prominent role in the movie, he was one of the last stars to sign on for the project.

The film marks the second collaboration between director Scott Derrickson and Ethan Hawke following 2012’s Sinister. Interestingly enough, even though Derrickson co-wrote the screenplay for the horror movie, he wasn’t originally attached to helm the project. It wasn’t until he departed Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness over creative differences that he came aboard The Black Phone as director.

The Black Phone opened to generally positive reviews from both critics and everyday audiences. Derrickson received heaps of praise for delivering a truly terrifying genre flick that doesn’t rely heavily on jump-scares to frighten viewers. Additionally, actors Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, and Ethan Hawke were commended for their compelling performances in the movie.

It’s worth noting that Ethan Hawke was initially hesitant to play the villain in the movie, as he didn’t want to be remembered for a “scary” performance for the rest of his acting career. After the realization that he was in his 50s, however, he eventually came aboard the project. And it’s a good thing he did, as he absolutely stole the show as the film’s menacing antagonist.

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, The Black Phone has a solid score of 83 percent from 253 reviews by professional critics and a fresh rating of 88 percent from over 5,000 ratings by regular viewers.

Additionally, the terrifying film was a huge financial success, earning over $161 million globally from a budget of $16 million. It goes without saying that Scott Derrickson and Ethan Hawke certainly know what it takes to deliver a highly effective horror movie, and we’re hoping to see the two reunite for another genre feature sometime in the near future.