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August 9, 2022

The Horror Legend Behind The Black Phone’s Unsettling Mask

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Tom Savini, responsible for the effects on classics like “Friday the 13th” and “Dawn of the Dead”, is the man behind the mask in “The Black Phone”. In a June 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, it was revealed that Scott Derrickson and producer Ryan Turek approached multiple companies for designs because, according to the director, “I just knew whatever this mask was, it is the thing they’re going to use to market film.” They eventually reached out to Savini and business partner Jason Baker, as Derrickson and Turek liked some of the horror-themed COVID-19 masks they’d been making during the pandemic.

“I thought we were going to get something more unique from someone younger. I was wrong. It’s the old legend that still delivers,” Derrickson said. The Black Phone boss revealed to EW that the only reference he gave Savini was the 1928 film The Man Who Laughs, but otherwise left the design to the horror master. Of course he got the design done in one go. According to Savini, he came up with the design, and then Baker took over the process, including meeting Ethan Hawke to try out the mask.

Also impressed by the design was Joe Hill, who called it iconic and revealed that Savini was drawn to the image because it didn’t violate his one rule about kids in movies. “Tom told me it was a personal rule for him never to work on a film that exploited child victims. When he read the script for ‘The Black Phone,’ he said, ‘I’m in it,’ because it’s not exploitative, because it portrays these kids as a tribe, a gang, like ‘The Goonies,’ and it exists on the wealth and worth of their lives and gives them their strength back,” Hill told Bloody Disgusting.



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