The Black Phone is a 2021 horror film based on the short story by Joe Hill. It tells the story of Finney Blake, a teenager who is kidnapped by a serial killer known as the Grabber. Finney finds himself trapped in a soundproof basement, where he discovers a black phone that allows him to communicate with the ghosts of the Grabber’s previous victims. With their help, Finney tries to escape and stop the Grabber from killing more children.
The film has received critical acclaim for its performances, screenplay, and faithfulness to the source material. However, it also raises some intriguing questions about the relationship between the Grabber and Finney. Is there more to their connection than meets the eye? Is the Grabber related to Finney in some way? Here are some clues and theories that might shed some light on this mystery.
The Grabber’s Motive
One of the most puzzling aspects of the film is why the Grabber targets Finney in the first place. Unlike his other victims, Finney does not fit the Grabber’s usual profile of young boys with dark hair and eyes. Finney has blond hair and blue eyes, and he is older than most of the Grabber’s prey. According to Wikipedia, the Grabber kidnaps Finney with the intention of keeping him as a permanent prisoner in his basement, before changing his mind later and wanting to torture and kill him instead.
This suggests that the Grabber has a different motive for abducting Finney than his other victims. Perhaps he sees something in Finney that reminds him of himself or someone from his past. Maybe he feels a twisted attraction or obsession towards Finney that goes beyond his usual sadism. Or maybe he simply wants to challenge himself by taking a more difficult target.
The Grabber’s Identity
Another clue that might hint at a possible relation between the Grabber and Finney is the Grabber’s true identity. The film never reveals his real name or background, leaving him as a mysterious and menacing figure. However, some fans have speculated that the Grabber might be Albert Blake, Finney’s uncle who disappeared when he was a child.
According to Villains Wiki, Albert Blake was Finney’s mother’s brother who was abused by their father as a kid. He ran away from home when he was 16 and was never heard from again. He became a serial killer who adopted various aliases, such as Albert Fish, Albert DeSalvo, and Albert Bundy, all based on notorious real-life murderers. He eventually settled on Albert The Grabber as his final moniker.
If this theory is true, it would explain why the Grabber chose Finney as his victim. He might have recognized Finney as his nephew and wanted to exact revenge on his sister’s family for abandoning him. He might have also seen Finney as a reflection of his younger self and wanted to corrupt or destroy him.
The Black Phone
The most obvious link between the Grabber and Finney is the black phone that allows them to communicate. The phone is a supernatural device that connects Finney with the spirits of the dead boys who were killed by the Grabber. The phone also rings whenever the Grabber is nearby, alerting Finney of his presence.
The origin and nature of the phone are never explained in the film, but it seems to have some connection to both the Grabber and Finney. Perhaps it was created by the Grabber’s psychic powers, which he inherited from his mother, who was also a psychic like Gwen Blake, Finney’s sister. According to CBR, Gwen has psychic dreams that allow her to see visions of the Grabber’s crimes. She also refuses to help the police with their investigation, fearing that her father will punish her for talking to them.
Maybe the phone is a manifestation of the Grabber’s subconscious desire to communicate with Finney or his other victims. Maybe it is a way for him to taunt or torment them further. Or maybe it is a sign of his guilt or remorse for what he has done.
Alternatively, maybe the phone was created by Finney’s psychic powers, which he also inherited from his mother. Maybe Finney unconsciously activated the phone when he was trapped in the basement, hoping to find a way out or someone to help him. Maybe he unknowingly summoned the ghosts of the dead boys who shared his fate. Or maybe he unknowingly tapped into the Grabber’s mind and heard his thoughts.
Is the Grabber related to Finney? The film does not give a definitive answer to this question, but it does provide some clues and possibilities that invite further speculation. Whether they are blood relatives, psychic twins, or simply predator and prey, there is no doubt that there is a strong and sinister bond between them. The Black Phone is a film that explores this bond in a terrifying and thrilling way, leaving viewers with more questions than answers.