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How Black Phone Director Scott Derrickson Made A Short Film In Lockdown With His Kids - Exclusive

The DVD and Blu-ray release of "The Black Phone" includes many special features relating to the hit horror film, including deleted scenes, making-of features, and an audio commentary. The most surprising bonus content, however, is a whole new short film from director Scott Derrickson. Titled "Shadowprowler" and starring the director's sons, Atticus and Dashiell Derrickson, this home invasion horror short was filmed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and screened in 2021 at FrightFest in the U.K. and Fantastic Fest in the U.S.

Looper got the chance to speak with Scott Derrickson about directing both "The Black Phone" and "Shadowprowler." He explained how the idea for the latter came about due to a combination of circumstances — including being stuck in Kevin Sorbo's house throughout the pandemic — how the artistic talents of the director's two sons made for a fun family collaboration, and why the film is included on the home video release of "The Black Phone."

Filming Shadowprowler at Kevin Sorbo's house

Conceived as a way to make the most of being stuck in lockdown, "Shadowprowler" was filmed in a single house. Scott Derrickson explained that his own house burned down in 2018, so at this point in time, his family was renting from former "Hercules" star and outspoken right-winger Kevin Sorbo. "I didn't like it," Scott said. "It was too big — too many rooms. [I'm] not a big Kevin Sorbo fan, either. But it was the only place that we could live. None of us liked it there, and then during the pandemic, suddenly we're locked in there. We can't go anywhere. We're locked in this house."

Dashiell, who was 14 at the time, came up with the premise of the film, while Scott's older son Atticus composed the music (he's currently attending the Berklee College of Music). The family made the film for fun without any clear idea of what they planned to do with it, but according to Scott, producer Jason Blum saw the short and said, "I love this. Let's put this on 'The Black Phone' DVD."

"Shadowprowler" is unlikely to appear on streaming. "The DVD is a perfect little life for it," Derrickson said, emphasizing that "it's not a masterpiece or anything. It's just a fun little quarantine movie." He noted that Dashiell is interested in continuing acting: He played a minor character named "Jackass Number One" in "The Black Phone," and is the star of another short film his father recently filmed but can't yet speak about.

"The Black Phone" is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.