The Black Phone

The Black Phone ★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Literally goes in the space of about three minutes from shades of The Silence of the Lambs (the 'wrong house' fake-out) to shades of Home Alone (kid laying booby traps for bad guy). The texture of everyday violence is exceptionally vivid - finding a dark-mirror image in the psycho's "naughty boy" m.o. - but it's caught between kids' adventure and something way queasier, and meanwhile the structure has about six different sub-plots (only one of them being the titular phone) that don't coalesce so much as all end at the same time (and all come second to the character imperative for our hero to 'stand up for himself' anyway). More charming than sinister, let alone Sinister.