Blumhouse | 31 Nights of Horror Challenge

For this year’s 31 Nights of Horror Challenge, the Day 14 prompt was supposed to be Found Footage and my pick was to be Sinister, which interestingly and unknowingly has a lot of parallels to the movie I picked, The Black Phone (2022) which happened to be one of my top  movies this year’s challenge. 


Finney Blake is a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of no use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead-set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

What We Thought of The Black Phone (2022)

I really liked this movie but I am a big fan of the Blumhouse movies and love how they are taking the reins as the new masters of horror. 

The prompt today was supposed to be Found Footage and I hate those types of movies. Blair Witch Project, anyone? I can’t believe I even saw that in the theater. 

I watched The Black Phone on the plane on my iPhone as we headed to Seattle to catch the Guns n Roses show and it was a great way to kill the flight down. 

This movie is just smart. Not only is Ethan Hawke great but Madeleine McGraw as, little sis, Gwen was awesome. 

This movie reminds of of my childhood in the mid- to late 1970s and the beginning of stranger danger and kids on milk cartons. 

8 out of 10


The paperboy is a reference to Johnny Gosch, a paperboy from Iowa who was on a route with his dog Gretchen and disappeared. His dog was found later, but Johnny’s disappearance remains unsolved to this day.

The Grabber dons several creepy masks throughout the film, each exposing different portions of his face. They were designed by legendary prosthetic makeup artist Tom Savini. Mason Thames said that the first time he saw the mask, coupled with Ethan Hawke‘s bone-chilling performance, he was terrified.

The Grabber is a clown in the short story, but Hill himself suggested that in a post-It world they couldn’t keep that and should instead switch him to a magician. Early drafts of the script also described the masks as leather ones with a smile or a frown, but Scott Derrickson knew they’d be the centerpiece of the film’s marketing so he spent a lot of time in designing it.

The line running through the wall on the basement from the phone is a reference to the poster of Sinister (from the same director).

Samson (the dog) is a Cane Corso.

When the father of Finney is shown reading The Rocky Mountain News, the paper is printed in broadsheet style. This is incorrect, in 1978, that newspaper was printed in tabloid format.