LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 22: Director Scott Derrickson attends the Film Independent Special Screening of "The Black Phone" at Harmony Gold on June 22, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
TV - Movies
Director Scott
Describes His
Inspirations For
The Black Phone
Joe Hill's original 2004 short story "The Black Phone" is about an abducted boy named Finney who, via the phone in his basement cell, is able to speak with ghosts of previous young victims. Naturally, Scott Derrickson, who directed “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and “Sinister”, was drawn to the story and adapted it into a feature film.
In an exclusive Xoop interview, Derrickson explained that horrors in the movie were drawn from his own personal experiences. "Growing up in north Colorado, Ted Bundy [...] and the Manson murders had recently taken place. My [friend’s] mother was abducted and murdered, so the presence of the silent killer [...] was very real."
Derrickson tried to “capture the kind of fearful, unstable, violent world” he grew up in as inspiration for the film’s domestic abuse scenes. His personal lifelong exploration of spirituality was also significant in developing Finney's psychic sister, Gwen, who had a private, personally constructed faith and belief, similar to his own.