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How Ethan Hawke's Terrifying Mask In The Black Phone Was Created

The newest horror movie from Blumhouse Productions, "The Black Phone," directed by Scott Derrickson ("Sinister," "Doctor Strange") is set to premiere in theaters on February 2, 2022, following its September 2021 premiere at the Austin film festival, Fantastic Fest. Based on a short story of the same name by Joe Hill, Derrickson co-wrote the screenplay alongside C. Robert Cargill, who Derrickson had previously collaborated with on 2012's "Sinister." The movie also reunites Derrickson and Cargill with the star of "Sinister," Ethan Hawke, who takes on the leading villainous role in the upcoming film.

Set in a small Colorado town in the 1970s, "The Black Phone" centers on Finney Shaw (Mason Thames), a young boy who is abducted by a child serial killer known as "The Grabber" (Hawke). The Grabber locks Finney in a soundproof basement, which is basically empty except for a black landline phone on the wall. Despite the phone being disconnected, Finney finds he is able to communicate with the previous victims of The Grabber — all who try to help him escape the basement. Meanwhile, while Finney is trapped, his sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw) begins having dreams that reveal information about Finney's whereabouts.

If you've seen the trailer, then you know that Hawke is unrecognizable underneath The Grabber's creepy mask — a gray mask complete with horned and a terrifying grin. For those of you who are curious how the mask was created, Derrickson spoke to Empire Magazine about the process of creating a memorable mask for the film's villain — and it includes the involvement of a legendary makeup artist.

Tom Savini designed the mask

While speaking with Empire, director Scott Derrickson revealed that the mask worn by Ethan Hawke in the film was designed by none other than legendary Hollywood makeup artist Tom Savini. Along with having an extensive filmography as both an actor and a director, Savini has done makeup prosthetics and special effects work for films such as 1978's "Dawn of the Dead," 1980's "Friday the 13th" and 1986's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2," amongst many others (via IMDb). And now, Savini can add "The Black Phone" to his list of contributions, as he is responsible for providing the sketch design that was used to build the mask.

Derrickson told Empire, "Tom gave me a sketch he had done himself. As soon as I saw it, I was like, 'Oh, well, this is what we're doing.' It was really amazing." However, it turns out that bringing the sketch of the mask to life proved a bit more difficult than expected. Derrickson continued, "We spent two solid months just rejecting the things that they were sending me. I kept going, 'It needs to look exactly like Tom's artwork.' It was much more of a challenge than I was expecting."

The final product is definitely a terrifying image, and we can't wait to see more of Savini's design when "The Black Phone" premieres in theaters next February.