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The Black Phone Ending Explained

The Black Phone ends with Finney defeating The Grabber and reuniting with his sister Gwen. The film leaves some questions about their future.

In 2024, horror fans got a treat with The Black Phone. Directed by Scott Derrickson, this supernatural thriller kept audiences on the edge of their seats. The movie’s ending, filled with twists and turns, left many viewers pondering its deeper meanings.

Plot Overview

The Black Phone, based on a short story by Joe Hill, follows 13-year-old Finney. He gets kidnapped by a serial killer called The Grabber. Locked in a soundproof basement, Finney finds a disconnected black rotary phone. Through this phone, he talks to the ghosts of The Grabber’s past victims. These ghosts give him vital information to help him escape (Collider).

The Ending Explained

The Climactic Confrontation

In the climax, Finney uses the advice and tools from the ghosts to set traps for The Grabber. Each of the five previous victims helps Finney in some way. He uses his baseball-throwing arm to beat The Grabber and strangle him to death. This ends The Grabber’s reign of terror (This Is Barry).

Gwen’s Psychic Abilities

Gwen, Finney’s sister, has psychic abilities that show up in her dreams. She uses these abilities to help the police find her brother. Her visions lead the authorities to The Grabber’s property. They find the bodies of the previous victims buried in a second house across the street. Gwen’s role is significant, but Finney’s actions are key to his escape (Screenrant).

The Final Moments

After defeating The Grabber, Finney leaves the house and reunites with Gwen and their abusive father. The film ends with their father asking for forgiveness. It’s unclear if Finney and Gwen will forgive him. Finney returns to school with newfound confidence and control over his life (Inverse).

Themes and Symbolism

Hope and Resilience

The Black Phone highlights the resilience of the human spirit. Finney’s journey shows the power of hope and community strength. The ghosts of The Grabber’s victims symbolize collective strength. They come together to empower Finney and help him escape (Screenrant).

Familial Love and Trauma

The film explores familial love and trauma. Gwen’s psychic abilities come from their mother, who struggled with similar powers. The siblings’ bond is a source of strength. Their father’s abusive behavior adds tension and emotional depth to the story (This Is Barry).

The Supernatural and Reality

The Black Phone blurs the line between the supernatural and reality. The black phone and ghostly communications are open to interpretation. The film suggests Finney is talking to the dead. But it also allows for the possibility that these interactions are his psychological struggle to survive. This amlargeuity adds depth to the narrative (Looper).

Character Development


Finney’s character arc is central to the film. He starts as a timid and vulnerable boy. His experiences in the basement force him to confront his fears and find his inner strength. His transformation from a victim to a survivor shows the resilience of the human spirit (Roger Ebert).


Gwen’s psychic abilities and determination to find her brother add depth to the story. She represents familial love and the lengths one will go to protect loved ones. Despite her young age, Gwen’s bravery and resourcefulness are crucial to the film’s resolution (Screenrant).

The Grabber

The Grabber, played by Ethan Hawke, is a chilling antagonist. His uncheerfulistic games and psychological manipulation create dread and tension. The character’s motivations and backstory are largely unexplored, adding to his enigmatic and terrifying presence (Collider).

Critical Reception

The Black Phone received mostly favorable reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an 81% approval rating based on 264 reviews. The consensus reads, “The Black Phone might have been even more frightening, but it remains an entertaining, well-acted adaptation of scarily outstanding source material” (Wikipedia). Metacritic gave it a score of 65 out of 100, indicating “generally favorable” reviews (Wikipedia).

Critics praised the performances of Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw, who played Finney and Gwen. The film’s atmosphere and suspenseful storytelling were also highlighted. However, some critics felt the supernatural elements undermined the tension and that the pacing could have been better (Variety).


The Black Phone is a compelling supernatural horror film. It explores themes of hope, resilience, and familial love. Its ending, while open to interpretation, provides a satisfying resolution to Finney’s ordeal. The film’s blend of psychological horror and supernatural elements creates a unique and thought-provoking narrative. With solid performances and a gripping storyline, The Black Phone stands out in the horror genre.


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