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5 great horror movies like The Black Phone

Abduction is a pretty common trope in the horror genre. Movies like The Black Phone revolves around a serial killer who kidnaps kids, but with a supernatural twist. The movie, which stars Ethan Hawkemay wind up being a great new entry in the horror canon, but for now, we’re looking back at some recent movies that have something in common with The Black Phone. If you’re looking for something similar to put on next, look no further.

Sinister (2012)

Sinister
53%
6.8/10
110m
Genre
Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Stars
Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, Vincent D'Onofrio
Directed by
Scott Derrickson
Watch on Peacock
Before checking out The Black Phone, it might make sense to check out Black Phone director Scott Derrickson’s other collaboration with star Ethan Hawke, 2012’s Sinister. The film tells the story of a man who moves his family into a supposedly haunted house in order to write a book about his experiences in the house. Thanks to the effective use of young actors, Sinister is a deeply chilling story of one man who is confident in his worldview and finds that worldview totally upended. It’s one of the scariest horror movies of the 21st century, and Hawke’s performance is a perfect anchor for all of the paranormal activity on display.
Sinister Official Trailer #1 (2012) - Ethan Hawke Horror Movie HD

It (2017)

It
69%
7.3/10
135m
Genre
Horror, Fantasy
Stars
Jaeden Martell, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis
Directed by
Andy Muschietti
Watch on Netflix
It is evocative of shows like Stranger Things and even vintage Steven Spielberg, but the 2017 movie works because it is totally focused on the kids who are trying to rid their town of the menace that has infected it. The Black Phone is dealing with a more everyday evil than It, but the movies are united in their decision to make children central to the story they’re telling. Plenty of horror movies choose not to foreground kids for the simple reason that they can be hard to work with, but truly great horror movies know that a child’s terror can be scarier than almost anything else you see on screen.
IT - Official Trailer 1

Fresh (2022)

Fresh
67%
6.7/10
114m
Genre
Horror, Thriller
Stars
Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sebastian Stan, Jonica T. Gibbs
Directed by
Mimi Cave
Watch on Hulu
A fun, frothy horror-comedy, Fresh tells the story of a young woman who is kidnapped by a man who wants to sell off her body’s meat to weird freaks who want to eat young women. It’s a pretty blunt metaphor, and the movie doesn’t deploy it all that subtly, but the performances at the film’s center from Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan more than make up for any faults in the script — and the movie’s climax is suitably thrilling and triumphant. Many of the movies on this list are relatively downbeat, even if they end well, but Fresh is remarkably light in spite of the material it’s dealing with.
Fresh | Official Trailer | Hulu

Split (2016)

Split
62%
7.3/10
117m
Genre
Horror, Thriller
Stars
James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley
Directed by
M. Night Shyamalan
Watch on Amazon
M. Night Shyamalan’s pulpy ode to B-movie thrillers, Split features thematic content that may not be the most subtle, but its story of three girls who are abducted by a man with 23 distinct personalities is nonetheless thoroughly compelling. Split isn’t a horror movie, exactly, but it certainly has its chilling moments, and it proves to be thrilling at all the right moments. Shyamalan is a stylish director, and even when his scripts don’t totally measure up to his craft, he knows how to create an effective moment — and he creates plenty of them over the course of Split. 

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

10 Cloverfield Lane
76%
7.2/10
104m
Genre
Thriller, Science Fiction, Drama, Horror
Stars
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr.
Directed by
Dan Trachtenberg
Watch on Amazon
The Black Phone‘s central narrative is all about escaping from abduction, and that’s what it has in common with 10 Cloverfield Lane. This movie, which is set in the same universe as 2008’s Cloverfield, follows a young woman who finds herself holed up in an underground bunker with two men, one roughly her age and another who is significantly older. 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s creeping sense of dread is palpable, and the movie eventually shifts into a full-on horror movie. It may technically be set in the world of Cloverfield, but this movie has plenty in common with much more traditional horror fare.
10 CLOVERFIELD LANE | Official Trailer

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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