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Anytime Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill team up, audiences are left on the edge of their seats. The screenwriters paired up in 2012 to make one of the most chilling movies of the 2010s, and though their most recent creation isn’t as horrifying, it promises to leave you questioning humanity. The Black Phone is a thriller featuring legendary actor Ethan Hawke and up-and-comers Mason Thames and Madeline McGraw. Thames’ scene-stealing performance has earned the young actor plenty of praise and attention.

Here’s everything to know about the rising star.

 [Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Black Phone.]

What is ‘The Black Phone’ about?

The Black Phone takes place in 1978 when a serial child abductor is on the loose. Thirteen-year-old Finney Blake and his younger sister Gwen live with their abusive alcoholic father in the same area as the kidnapper, fittingly nicknamed “the Grabber.” After losing their mother at a young age, the siblings have become very protective of each other at home and school.

Finney strikes up a friendship with Robin, a classmate who helps him fend off bullies. Soon, one of their friends, Bruce, gets kidnapped by the Grabber, and a few days later, Robin also disappears. Gwen, who shares a psychic gift with her late mother, begins having premonitions of the kidnappings.

Detectives don’t believe that Gwen, a child, has all the details of the kidnapping. Days later, Finney gets abducted by the Grabber and awakens in a soundproof basement. The basement contains a black phone the kidnapper swears doesn’t work.

However, Finney begins receiving phone calls from the spirits of the Grabber’s child victims. The kidnapper delivers food to Finney but leaves the door unlocked. When Finney tries to leave, the phone rings, and the spirit on the other end warns the teen about leaving because it’s a trap.

The spirits inform Finney that if he tries to escape, the Grabber will attack him upstairs. Gwen continues having visions and tracks the Grabber’s house. Robin’s spirit convinces Finney to stand up for himself and fight the kidnapper. Ultimately, Finney kills the Grabber and escapes, reuniting with his family.

‘The Black Phone’ marks Mason Thames’ breakout

The Black Phone cast Mason Thames
Mason Thames at the LA premiere of ‘The Black Phone’ on June 21, 2022 | Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Mason Thames plays the shy teenager Finney Blake in The Black Phone. His character is abducted but manages to escape the Grabber after several attempts and a nervous breakdown. Through his determination, Finney reunites with his family and puts an end to the Grabber’s reign of terror.

Although The Black Phone isn’t the first time Mason Thames has appeared on-screen, it’s his first major role in a feature film. According to IMDb, the now-15-year-old began acting at age 11. In 2019, Thames landed a role in the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind, where he played Danny Stevens’ younger version. 

The role helped open doors for Thames. The following year, he was cast in the limited series Evel, playing the legendary stuntman’s daredevil son Robbie Knievel. However, the pandemic put the show on hold.

Mason Thames is on his way to stardom


‘The Black Phone’: Ethan Hawke’s Age Led Him to Play a Serial Killer

Thames’ talent has caught casting directors’ attention, as he’s set to appear in another thriller, this time alongside Mel Gibson. The movie, Boys of Summer, follows a boy, Noah Reed (played by Thames), who hires a detective (Gibson) to solve a mystery in Martha’s Vineyard. Boys of Summer is in post-production and is slated for a late-2022 release.

Variety reports that the young star will also appear in a high school comedy titled Incoming.

Mason Thames has a burgeoning social media following. He uses Instagram to update his followers on his work and other activities.