Ethan Hawke Is A Terrifying Killer In The Black Phone Trailer

By Doug Norrie | Updated

ethan hawke

Ethan Hawke has remained one of the most talented actors out there with a career that spans decades and all manners of film. And recently, the guy has been trending a little darker with his roles, set to play a villain in an upcoming Marvel production and also a serial killer in his next movie. It’s this latter role that might be his scariest yet with the first trailer for The Black Phone releasing this week. It’s a terrifying-looking flick, with even the two-plus minute trailer exuding an ultra-suspenseful and creepy look at a madman. 

The first sign that Ethan Hawke is playing a scary dude is that his name for the production is The Grabber. And because we know this isn’t a film about groping, or about that silly carnival game that rips kids off at the prospect of getting a cheap toy, we can surmise he’s bound to kidnap some folks. And that’s exactly what happens in this dark and disturbing trailer. Check out the first look at The Black Phone and see what I mean. 

Set in the 1970s, The Black Phone details the events of a child who goes missing under mysterious circumstances. The sixth victim in a string of child abductions, we see that Ethan Hawke as The Grabber is a maniacal and demented freak who has been at this for a while now. Between the setup in his black van, the tinted sepia tones of the cinematography, and ultimately the mask he dons as part of his “process” even the trailer has you on the edge of every seat in the vicinity. 

The Black Phone is based on the short story by horror writer Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, who has some experience scaring the living bejeezus out of readers for some time now. Ethan Hawke as The Grabber is clearly in his element here, a stark divergence from what we’ve seen from him in the past, but a role that sure looks like it works. Though his character appears hidden behind the mask for what might be much of the film, there is a level of sinister evil that exudes out even behind the monstrous veil. 

Like other Blumhouse productions, there is are aspects of the supernatural woven into the story of The Black Phone. Though it’s a kidnapping case to start, with Mason Thames’s Finney Shaw deposited in what seems to be the place Ethan Hawke as The Grabber was once kept, he soon starts communicating with the victims of the past. This combined with his sister’s (Madeleine McGraw) premonitions about his whereabouts makes for a movie that will transcend the relative simplicity and grotesque nature of a child kidnapping case.

The Black Phone is set to release on February 4th of next year. Before that, we will catch Ethan Hawke in another villain role, this one in Marvel’s Moon Knight series. Though his exact part hasn’t been released, it looks like he will be playing the primary antagonist with Hawke saying before that he was fashioning the character off of cult leader David Koresh.