Black Phone Director Scott Derrickson Reveals Changes To Film’s Ending
The black phone, a recently released horror film from Blumhouse, received very positive reviews. The project is an adaptation of a short story by Joe Hill. The writer is the son of the legendary Stephen King. The film stars Ethan Hawke as a child kidnapper known as The Grabber, and Mason Thames as Finney Shaw, a child who is taken by The Grabber and discovers a black phone that allows him to communicate with former victims. By talking to The Hollywood Reporterthe film’s director, Scott Derrickson, explained a change made to the ending.
As mentioned earlier, the titular black phone allows Finney to talk to The Grabber’s victims. One of the deceased he talks to is his best friend Robin. At school, Finney is frequently bullied by other students. Robin encourages Finney to defend himself. The two share a bond that is tragically cut short after Robin’s kidnapping and murder. After Robin is taken, audiences never see the character again. Derrickson knew he had to fix something because of Robin’s lack of presence.
In the original script of The Black Phone, Robin was not in the room
The director said: “In the script, Robin was not in the room. It was just a phone call. A day or two before shooting this… it suddenly hit me out of nowhere. I was like, ‘Oh, the audience wants to see this kid again. We were able to see him again. It’s not going to feel good if we don’t see him again. I was like, ‘Where’s that kid?’ and they were like, ‘We just brought it home.’ I was like, ‘Take it back. You have to fly him back.'”
Many spectators became attached to the character and wanted to see him again. Derrickson thought about what viewers would want in making his decision. Instead of only appearing off-screen towards the end of the film, Robin got to spend some on-screen time with his friend. The other victims appear to Finney by their voice alone. They haven’t had the positive impact on Finney that Robin has. Robin’s on-screen appearance shows the significant effect he had on his friend’s life. Since the main protagonist deals with both bullies and an abusive father, Robin is one of the few people to be kind to Finney.
Scott Derrickson didn’t have an elaborate plan to bring about the change in the end. The director explained, “I end up doing it all in one fell swoop. I think a good director always has an antenna in place to try to hear what this movie really wants to be. If you do this, you can sometimes make decisions that are bigger than you.
Derrickson’s latest film is the latest in a storied career in the horror genre. He previously led The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Claim. The latter also starred Ethan Hawke as one of the main characters. Contrary to The black phone, Claim does not present the actor in an antagonistic role. For the former, Hawke has been critically acclaimed as one of the scariest horror villains in years.
The black phone now playing in theaters.