In The Black Phone’s third act, a little girl named Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) leaps out of bed and rushes toward her dollhouse. Opening it, she pulls out several pieces of Christian iconography, including a rosary, an ichthus with the word “Jesus” written inside, and a cross. Falling to her knees, she clutches the cross and looks up to the sky.
“Jesus, what the f***?” she begins.
Some Christians will be taken aback by Gwen’s profanity-laced prayer. But all of us have come to God with our anger, especially when we find ourselves in a dire situation, as Gwen does. Her prayer comes in response to the disappearance of her brother Finney (Mason Thames), one of many boys who have been kidnapped by a man known only as The Grabber (Ethan Hawke). During the summer of 1978, The Grabber has been tormenting the citizens of a North Denver neighborhood, as demonstrated by the trail of “Missing” posters littering the city’s walls. In her dreams, Gwen has visions of black balloons, providing the police with their only clues. But her foresight can’t seem to help her brother.