After finding success in small style projects such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose And frighteningFilmmaker Scott Derrickson jumps into blockbuster filmmaking Doctor StrangeThat, with their ambitious vision and unconventional approach to content, helped ensure the success of Sorcerer Supreme’s debut. Years later, Derrickson is back in the waters of intimate, emotional and disturbing stories black phone, which is earning some of the best critical reviews of any horror film this year. While it first premiered at Fantastic Fest in September of 2021, it had a wait of almost a year before it was revealed to the audience. black phone Available now on Digital HD and hits Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th.
Phinney (Mason Thames), a shy but cunning 13-year-old boy, is kidnapped by a hermit killer (Ethan Hawke) and trapped in a soundproofed dungeon where screaming is rare. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney learns that he can hear the voices of the murderer’s previous victims. And they are ready to make sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney. The film is produced by Derrickson & Cargill’s Crooked Highway and presented by Universal and Blumhouse and is based on a story by Joe Hill.
ComicBook.com caught up with Derrickson to talk about reactions to the film, changes along the way, and the future of the franchise since its release.
ComicBook.com: The movie premiered more than a year ago while it was playing Fantastic Fest, and then it finally earned a wide release this entire time. How has this past month been for you, seeing the reaction of fans and seeing how much people love the film?
Scott Derrickson: The thing I’m saying about this business is that it’s never going to be like you think it’s going to be. It always surprises you. It’s always a lot better or a lot worse than you think. I knew that black phone It was a good film and I knew the early audience loved it, but you never know. I was also expecting them to like it and was expecting some good critical response. I am very surprised at how good it is. It was wonderful.
You’re just expected to tell the story you want to tell and you don’t necessarily have to take into account, “This is what I want the audience to get out of this,” because it’s going to be open to interpretation. Going to do. But since abuse and bullying and trauma are such effective themes wrapped up in this tale of ghosts and a serial killer, was there one message you most hoped for with the audience? Or is it justified to take away whatever one gets from it?
It’s always about what one gets out of it. I never think too much about subjects. I mean, I’m with Flannery O’Connor. Flannery O’Connor said … he was asked about the theme of one of his stories and he said, “If you can easily tell the theme of a story, you can be sure it’s not very good. “Which I think is fantastic. And I think it turns out to be true. I don’t start with any subject.
I find that meaning to me in my creative process should be something that comes out of the writing process and from the discovery process of writing. The topic should be a discovery. when i wrote Doctor StrangeWhen I sat down to work on that script, I had no idea that timing was going to be such a big topic in that film. The clock and Caesilius’s incredulous speech about time emerged as “Oh, it’s really about time”, even all the way up, ending in a time loop, all of that .
with black phoneIt’s all very personal to me. The things you’re referring to are things that were autobiographical and taken directly from my childhood in North Denver in the late 70’s. But I think putting it together with Joe’s story, I think what emerged is really about childhood trauma and the traumatic nature of childhood. You don’t have to be abused in your past, like I do, or do like those kids, for childhood to be traumatic. I think childhood is painful for everyone. But I also think the other thing about it is that there’s something in it that’s very powerful and thematic about children’s resilience. These are things that for me just came out of the creative process and I think a lot of people are getting a lot out of it. But what it is in particular that anyone takes away from the film is entirely up to them.
I know you said that this is not only the most personal movie you’ve ever made, but it’s also your favorite and you weren’t falling sick of watching it over and over again. whether it be black phone or just other movies that you’ve made, when you watch them and they’re all done, are you that kind of filmmaker who’s a perfectionist and you’ll see black phoneyou will see Doctor Strangewatch frightening And think, “Ah, I really wish I had another week to really fix this,” or is it more, “This is the best version of this story,”?
Well, I keep it that way. I finished the film and we showed it at the Fantastic Fest, like you said. Was that a year ago? About a year ago from now. And then did the screening of Beyond Fest. We had our January-February release date, which we shifted due to COVID. I argued for summer. I thought it would do well as a summer horror. And about four, five weeks before the film was released and the international masters had already been sent out, I became so convinced that there was a line of ADRs that was going to make a difference to the film, that I called the head of Universal and Said, “You have to let me fix this line.”
Cooper Samuelson was a real support at Blumhouse, because when I explained it to him, he said, “I think it really matters.” It cost them a lot of money to do it, but they let me take the actors and ADRs and fix this one particular line. He paid to put it in all the new masters. So I didn’t let it go until a few weeks before the release date.
Now I’m curious, what was that line?
Oh, I’m going to say no.
No, I will say no, but I will tell you what, why I did it because some critics made a comment and I heard a lot of them. I was like, “Oh, they can’t find it.” There was something they were not getting. And I was like, “I know how to fix this,” and so I did, I went back. And yes, no one had any problem with it after the film came out. I think my reasoning turned out to be correct that I solved it by ADR-ing that line.
Before the release of the film, This World, This Mythology, This Franchise, there was a lot of talk that it has a lot of potential going forward. You have already confirmed that you are interested in follow-up stories. Especially now that we’ve been a month and it has resonated with people, have those talk of a future film taken hold, or are you still enjoying the joy of the fact that people are watching it? I like it?
There is already a lot of talk going on, a lot of pressure is being put on that. I mean, the movie cost $18 million, and it’s going to make maybe $160-170 million worldwide eventually. That’s why they want another. Of course, they do.
black phone Available now on Digital HD and hits Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. you can contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter,
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Reference from comicbook.com