Is Vance Hopper The Grabber’s Son? The Black Phone Theory Explained

The Black Phone is a 2021 horror thriller based on a short story by Joe Hill, directed by Scott Derrickson. The movie follows Finney Shaw, a young boy who is kidnapped by a serial killer known as The Grabber and locked in a soundproof basement. There, Finney discovers an old rotary phone that allows him to communicate with the previous victims of The Grabber, who try to help him escape. One of these victims is Vance Hopper, a troubled teenager who was abducted and killed by The Grabber in the spring. But is Vance Hopper related to The Grabber? This is a theory that some fans have speculated about, based on some clues from the movie and the original story.

Who is Vance Hopper?

Vance Hopper is one of the characters in The Black Phone, played by Brady Hepner. He is introduced as a bully who picks on Finney and his friends at school. He is also shown to be violent and aggressive, as he beats up two boys in a convenience store and gets arrested by the police. According to sitename, Vance was a bit of a ruffian and has been taken into custody multiple times for brutally hurting people and getting into all sorts of trouble.

Vance is also one of The Grabber’s victims, who was kidnapped and killed by him in the previous spring. Unlike Robin and Bruce, the other two boys who contact Finney through the phone, Vance does not talk to Finney directly. He only communicates through gestures and facial expressions, showing his anger and resentment towards The Grabber. He also helps Finney by pointing out a weak spot in the basement wall, where Finney tries to break out.

Is Vance Hopper The Grabber’s Son?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the movie does not explicitly confirm or deny this theory. However, there are some hints that suggest that Vance Hopper might be related to The Grabber in some way.

One of these hints is the scene where Gwen Shaw, Finney’s sister, has a psychic vision of Vance’s abduction. In her vision, she sees Vance being dropped off by the police at his home, which happens to be next to The Grabber’s house. She also sees The Grabber watching Vance from his window, wearing one of his masks. This could imply that Vance and The Grabber are neighbors, or that they live in the same house.

Another hint is the game of Naughty Boy that The Grabber plays with his victims. This game involves The Grabber leaving the basement door unlocked and waiting for his victims to try to escape. When they do, he punishes them with a belt or a knife, until he eventually kills them. According to sitename, Naughty Boy feels more like it’s a sexual game that Al liked to play that the movie directors made to have him be more of a pedo serial killer.

Some fans have speculated that Naughty Boy might have originated from The Grabber’s abusive relationship with his son, who could be Vance Hopper. Perhaps The Grabber punished Vance for being naughty when he was younger, and ended up killing him accidentally or intentionally. This could have triggered his psychotic break and his obsession with kidnapping and killing other boys who resemble Vance.

Another possible hint is The Grabber’s reaction when Finney sees his face during their final confrontation. The Grabber seems to be ashamed or afraid of showing his face to Finney, and covers it with his hands. This could suggest that he has some kind of trauma or insecurity about his appearance, possibly stemming from being bullied or mocked by his son or others.

Of course, these are all just theories and speculations, and there is no concrete evidence to support them. It is possible that Vance Hopper is not related to The Grabber at all, and that their connection is purely coincidental or symbolic.


The Black Phone is a movie that leaves many questions unanswered, especially about the backstory and motives of The Grabber and his victims. One of these questions is whether Vance Hopper is related to The Grabber or not. While there are some clues that hint at this possibility, there is no definitive answer given by the movie or the original story. Therefore, it is up to the viewers to interpret the clues and form their own opinions about this theory.

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