Director Scott Derrickson has been discussing last-minute decisions that were made to certain key scenes in newly-released horror movie The Black Phone. In one of the final scenes of the film, Robin (a former victim of Ethan Hawke’s Grabber, who has been speaking with main character Finney via the titular black phone) shows up as a ghost. But it was originally planned to be just another phone call.
Derrickson told The Hollywood Reporter; “In the script, Robin wasn’t in the room. A day or two before we shot that … it suddenly hit me out of nowhere. I was like, ‘Oh, the audience wants to see that kid again. We got to see him again. It’s not going feel right if we don’t see him again.’ I was like, ‘Where’s that kid?’ and they were like, ‘We just flew him home.’ I was like, ‘Get him back. You got to fly him back.’”
On the morning that the scene was to be filmed, Derrickson still hadn’t blocked it out. He found himself standing on set, coming up with ideas on the spot as to how Robin (Miguel Cazarez Mora) and Finney (Mason Thames) would come face to face.
“I end up doing it all in one shot,” Derrickson said, and he ended up believing it’s one of the best moments of the film. “I think a good director always has an antenna up trying to hear what this movie really wants to be. If you do that, you can sometimes make decisions that are bigger than you.”
If The Black Phone feels influenced by Stephen King, this makes sense because it’s based on a short story by his son, Joe Hill. The Black Phone had a successful opening weekend, and it was the best box office weekend over all since 2018, with Jurassic World: Dominion, Top Gun: Maverick, and Elvis all earning over $20 million each.
If you’re a fan of all things spectral and spooky, check out our guide to the best ghost movies.