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The Black Phone

I’ve taken very little away from this outside of boredom and a sense of misery. The first act is just a relentless downer where I think you’re supposed to find sympathy for the central character. I just wondered why he even bothers to wake up in the morning. 

The inciting incident, I assume, was supposed to be quite shocking, and from how it’s presented I believe I was supposed to feel some kind of panic for what’s just happened to a teenager. The problem is his home life and his school life are both so depressing that it almost comes across as a light relief that he’s about to get a break from it all. Then of course there’s absolutely nothing to have any kind of investment in because a return to normal would be roughly as bad as what’s going on anyway. 

It also suffers from trying to do the nostalgia trip stuff that Stranger Things has got super popular off the back of. But all it amounts to in this is a few dialogue references to Bruce Lee and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. None of it really matters beyond that, and even if it did it’d be at odds with how dejected everything else is.

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