TV - Movies
The Dark Meaning
Behind Each Of
The Grabber's
Masks In The
Black Phone
By MIKE BEDARD

THIS STORY CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR..."The Black Phone."

SPOILER WARNING!

Any worthwhile horror movie needs a terrifying monster at its center to instill fear in all who see it. "The Black Phone" is fully aware of this, which is why The Grabber was given a plethora of masks to wear during the film, but what do all these masks represent?
When The Grabber wears a mask, whether it has a deformed mouth or horns, he appears to be something that isn't quite human, which makes him all the more terrifying. Director Scott Derrickson said, "He really buries his moods behind the mask and, to me, there's almost some kind of multiple personality disorder going on there."
Each mask represents a different mood for The Grabber. Writer C. Robert Cargill explained, "Each mask is also the character that he's playing. [...] In the film, he's asked if he's the one that killed all the other boys, and he goes, 'No, that was someone else.' So each mask represents a different part of the ritual for him and a different aspect of his personality."
By making the masks reflect how The Grabber was feeling at all times, actor Ethan Hawke was able to convey the mood, which Cargill acknowledges is challenging to achieve behind a mask. Instead of looking like every other horror movie villain, The Grabber is entirely his own entity with horror canon.