Stephen King said The Black Phone was like "Stand By Me in hell"

The Black Phone
(Image credit: Universal)

Stephen King has high praise for new horror movie The Black Phone, and has also compared it to one of his own stories.

"I know that [author Joe Hill] showed it to his dad," director Scott Derrickson told /Film. "And Stephen King's comment... He saw it and apparently loved it. And his comment to Joe was, 'It's Stand By Me in hell,' which I thought was great."

Based on Hill's short story of the same name, The Black Phone follows Finney (Mason Thames), a teenager kidnapped by "The Grabber" (Ethan Hawke). Finney finds himself trapped in a soundproof basement with a disconnected phone, through which he can hear the voices of the Grabber's previous victims who want to help him escape. 

Meanwhile, Finney's younger sister Gwen (Madeline McGraw) starts having visions in her dreams, which send her on a mission to find her missing brother. Derrickson, Hawke, and co-screenwriter C. Robert Cargill previously teamed up for 2012's Sinister, so it seems likely that we've got another fright fest on our hands.

As for Stand By Me, that's the 1986 movie adaptation of King's novella The Body. Directed by Rob Reiner, it follows a group of 12-year-old boys (played by River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Cory Feldman, and Jerry O'Connell) who all have difficult home lives. After a boy in their small town goes missing, the four friends set out to try and find the body. 

The Black Phone arrives on the big screen on June 24. In the meantime, check out our picks of all the other upcoming horror movies to get excited about in 2022 and beyond. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.