Los Angeles (USA), June 24. To look Ethan Hawke (Texas, 1970) in the face is to put a face on most Hollywood horror movies in the last decade. A burden that the actor bears as he can while he continues to extend his legacy in this genre with the premiere of the film “The Black Phone” (Universal).
A film that premieres internationally today and that predicts a “great reception” because it travels between ghost stories and a universal legend that has frightened generations spread over five continents: the boogeyman.
“There is nothing more terrifying than that iconic figure who is busy stealing children. It’s the worst,” Hawke said in an interview with Efe.
The bogeyman in Spain, the coconut in Latin America or ‘boogeyman’ in the United States are just some of the names given to this being that, depending on the culture, can take on a human appearance or be configured as a kind of creature with an elongated head and fingers. that disturbs children and parents.
The character played by Hawke in “The Black Phone” is inspired by this legend and ends up personified as a sadistic masked magician who uses his tricks to kidnap and torture children in the late seventies in Denver (Colorado, central United States). Joined).
“My character is absolutely evil and out of his mind. The best thing anyone can do is get away from him. That’s all I can say about him,” stressed the actor looking at the camera with his characteristic expression of bewilderment and half smile that would make anyone tremble.
The film co-stars Mason Thames, who plays the role of Finney, a shy boy who will try to escape from the clutches of the murderer, conditioned by a childhood of physical abuse by his classmates and mental abuse by a drunk father who stock up on beer bottles and Kellogg’s packs.
Actress Madeleine McGraw plays Finney’s sister Gwen, who has the divine powers and guts to turn to God in a deeply Catholic society and blurt out, “What the hell is wrong with you? Why don’t you listen to me? and bring my brother back?
A MIX OF HANNIBAL LECTER AND “POLTERGEIST”
But, without a doubt, the most innovative aspect of this production is its way of combining the story of a serial killer with the terror derived from houses with ghosts or spirits.
“There are parts where it seems like you’re looking at Hannibal Lecter and parts where you’re looking at ‘Poltergeist’. That’s what I think makes it original,” Hawke revealed.
And it is that Finney will receive instructions to leave the basement where he is confined through a black telephone that connects him with the souls of other children whose lives were taken by this particular man from the sack.
A vision of horror cinema that, according to Hawke, follows “a classic pattern” and leans towards “the interpretation of the genre that Steven Spielberg or Stephen King have”.
Its director, Scott Derrickson, was based on the successful short story of the same name, “The Black Phone,” which author Joe Hill wrote in 2004.
“It’s very good. It’s not a cliché, really; you don’t know how difficult it is to make a movie that is scary and at the same time reaches you. And he (Scott Derrickson) succeeds,” argued the American interpreter about the filmmaker who took it to the height of horror with “Sinister” in 2012.
After this film, Hawke is unable to remove the label of “scary movie actor.” A stereotype that also accompanies other very prolific performers in this genre in the last decade, such as Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring”).
“It’s a backpack that we all carry. It’s the same with Anthony Hopkins; after seeing him play Hannibal Lecter, you won’t believe it anymore if you see him playing a kind grandfather,” explained Hawke, who hesitated before accepting the role in “The Black Phone” for not continuing to feed this commonplace.
At almost 52 years old, Hawke believes that “there is still time to change” the label, although it will not be easy after the impact that is predicted for this film in which he stars today and that will have its own haunted house attraction in the theme parks of Universal located in Orlando (Florida) and Hollywood (California) starting in September.