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The Black Phone stuns fans with surprise Rotten Tomatoes rating

The Black Phone Ethan Hawke
The Black Phone is a real hit among critics so far... (Image credit: Blumhouse)

The Black Phone has impressed fans so far with critics giving the new Blumhouse horror film a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating at the time of writing.

Based on an original short story by Stephen King's son Joe Hill, The Black Phone stars Ethan Hawke as a terrifying masked villain called The Grabber who kidnaps local children and keeps them in his basement.

During the events of the film, we see Finney Shaw (Mason Thames) become The Grabber's next victim but he's about to become his last thanks to the mysterious ringing titular telephone which allows the previous victims to communicate with him.

Mostly taking place in The Grabber's basement, we're locked in there with Finney as he tries numerous escape methods and tries to keep his sanity, wondering whether or not he's going to survive this ordeal.

So far, critics are very impressed with the latest horror film praising it for being "tense", "visceral" and "terrifying", with some effective jumpscares thrown in the mix.

In our four-star review, we said: "The Black Phone is a multifaceted horror story that frightens, devastates and still remains hopeful throughout. A total package tale that proves the kids aren’t alright — but they will be, despite all the atrocious behaviors we force them to face."

Meanwhile, HeyUGuys' Daniel Goodwin added: "Tense and unflinching, this is a visceral experience made heart-pounding by a terrifying central performance from Ethan Hawke. Derrickson & Cargill's script makes the most of Joe Hill's horror, and the film will delight and disturb in equal measure."

Mason Thames as Finney Shaw

Finney Shaw finds himself in a life or death situation. (Image credit: Blumhouse)

Ethan Hawke's been praised for his villainous role too, as this is the first time he's played a serial killer and one critic has even described it as "unforgettable". Horror fans will know Hawke from Sinister, but there he played a struggling true-crime writer and not a killer.

Bloody Disgusting's Meagan Navarro said: "Derrickson and Cargill revive the same traits and structure of Sinister to transform Joe Hill's short into a feature-length nightmare full of ghostly kids, violence, scares, and a trio of unforgettable performances."

The film is out in cinemas across the world on Friday, June 24, so there's plenty of time for you to make your own mind up about The Black Phone. Are you ready to answer the call?

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.


She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance