Scott Derrickson Explains The ‘Creepy’ Reason He Includes Super 8 Film In Both The Black Phone And Sinister

Mason Thames in The Black Phone

(Image credit: Blumhouse/Universal )


2012’s Sinister features Ethan Hawke as a true-crime writer who uncovers horrifying violence and a demon named Bughuul. Through his journey he discovers Super 8 film of various murders done by children who were possessed by the demon. Each one is more unsettling than the next, largely because of the creepy way the footage looks.

In The Black Phone, we also see Super 8 peppered throughout the movie’s 103-minute runtime. The young protagonists’s sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) has psychic visions throughout the movie, seeing Ethan Hawke’s villain The Grabber abduct his young victims. That’s when that creepy footage is used, to powerful results. Later in our same conversation, Scott Derrickson explained this choice, saying:

They just feel a little unnerving, they feel unsettling, they feel like they capture something that maybe they weren’t supposed to capture. There’s something about the aesthetic that’s really unique. So I became very fascinated with that on Sinister. And then I felt like Gwen’s dreams in The Black Phone on looking back on the lives and abductions of these different kids, I thought it was a great medium to separate it from the rest of the visual material.


For those who don’t remember, you can check out the thoroughly creepy Super 8 scenes from Sinister below. But buckle up, they’re scary and probably NSFW. Still, you can’t deny how much the film itself helps to set the tone.

Horror fans were thrilled that Scott Derrickson was returning to the horror genre with The Black Phone. And his latest collaboration with Ethan Hawke proved to be a critical darling, sitting on a 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie also performed fairly well at the box office on its first weekend.

The Black Phone is in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 



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