The Black Phone (2021) | Transcript

After being abducted by a child killer and locked in a soundproof basement, a 13-year-old boy starts receiving calls on a disconnected phone from the killer's previous victims.
The Black Phone (2021)

Finney Shaw is a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of no use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead-set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

* * *

(grand orchestral fanfare playing)

(birds chirping)

(indistinct shouting)

(bat strikes ball)

(cheering)

MAN: Come on!

You can do it! Get in to second!

(indistinct chatter)

MAN: Come on, guys! You’re giving this game away!

Come on! Pick it up!

Come on, Finney. Come on.

BOY: Let’s go. You got this.

(shoe digging in dirt)

Play ball!

You got this, Finney.

(indistinct chatter, whooping)

(Finney grunts)

UMPIRE: Strike!

Yes, Finney! Nice, Finney!

BOY: Let’s go, Finney. Two more strikes.

BOY: Swing, batter, batter. Swing, batter, batter.

UMPIRE: Strike two!

(laughter)

BOY: Yeah!

(indistinct chatter, shouting)

MAN: Eyes open out there. Eyes open.

(cheering)

Oh, no. Oh, no.

UMPIRE: Home run!

(all sigh)

(others cheering)

PLAYERS (chanting): Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!

Bruce! Bruce!

Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!

Bruce! Bruce!

Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!

Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!

(cheering)

(players and coaches repeatedly saying “good game”)

BRUCE: Hey, dude.

Man, your arm is mint.

You almost had me.

Good game.

Good game.

(cheering)

(“Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group playing)

♪ The mountain is high, the valley is low ♪

BOTH: Hi, Bruce.

♪ And you’re confused on which way to go ♪

♪ So I’ve come here to give you a hand ♪

(both laughing)

♪ And lead you into ♪

♪ The promised land, so ♪

♪ Ooh… ♪

♪ Come on and take a free ride ♪

♪ Free ride ♪

♪ Come on and sit here by my side ♪

♪ Come on and take a free ride ♪

(explosive pop)

(laughs)

(song fades)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(Finney slurps)

(slurps)

(slurps)

You think you can slurp that a little louder?

I don’t think they can hear you up in Boulder.

(clatters)

(groans softly)

Sorry, Daddy.

GWEN: I don’t know.

Everyone says Fonzie or Richie.

Millie says Potsie, but I don’t think anyone should ever trust anyone who wants to grow up and marry Potsie.

I think I’ll just stick with my current plan and marry Danny Bonaduce.

You’re not gonna marry a member of the Partridge Family.

He’s so crucial.

I love his voice.

It’s new.

What?

The flyer.

Mr. Yamada is putting them up again.

You don’t think they’re gonna find them, do you?

Not how they want to.

Come on. Let’s go.

We’re gonna be late.

BOY: Come on!

GIRL: Hey, come here!

KIDS (chanting): Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

Fight! Fight!

MOOSE: You think you’re so tough, huh?

ROBIN: Let’s find out.

I will pound you like a nail, you scrawny little beaner.

Then do it.

(others chuckling, murmuring)

Unless you’re scared.

(others exclaiming)

(excited chatter)

(grunting)

Get him, Robin!

(grunting, excited chatter continue)

(grunting)

(onlookers groan)

(gasping, groaning)

(excited chatter)

Get up!

Hit him harder!

(excited chatter continues)

Come on.

Holy shit.

Let’s go. Let’s go.

(onlookers groaning)

What the hell?

That was Moose.

I don’t care.

Moose is a giant asshole.

I know.

But last year, when he made your nose bleed…

Gwen.

He had it coming.

No one has that coming.

Finney, he beat you up.

I know, Gwen.

I was there, remember?

I… I just don’t want to talk about it.

Well, he was stupid to pick a fight with Robin Arellano.

He’s the toughest kid in school since The Grabber got Pinball Vance Hopper.

I wish you wouldn’t call him that.

Everyone called him Pinball Vance.

No, I mean…

I know who you mean, jerk face.

Even the papers call him The Grabber.

Just… I wish you wouldn’t say his name.

You don’t actually believe that story, do you?

No.

Because he can’t hear you.

He doesn’t really take kids that say it.

I know that.

Finney.

I said I know.

Then say it.

(laughing): No.

Are you chicken?

I didn’t mean it.

I know.

The inner core is solid. The outer core is molten.

The next layer, called the mantle, is mostly solid.

However, the thin outer zone of the mantle is partially molten.

Next slide.

The surface layer is called the crust.

It is solid and very thin.

As the Earth separated into layers, it began to cool slowly, but the interior was still very hot.

(school bell ringing)

(students murmuring)

Hey, Finney.

GIRL: See you at lunch. I’ll save you a seat.

(indistinct chatter)

(door opens)

MATTY: Hey, Finney.

(door closes)

Come on out, dick weed.

Not fooling anyone, noid.

What you doing in our bathroom? Huh?

See the sign? It says “boys.”

Yeah, boys, not fags.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Dipshits, move.

Hey, Finn.

What’s happening?

You know, just keeping on keeping on, I guess.

Uhhuh.

Moose got some damn sharp teeth.

Knuckles bled all first period.

Wait.

Fuck with Finn again…

I fuck with you.

You can leave now.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Thank you.

You’re gonna have to stand up for yourself one of these days.

Yeah, I know.

Hey, why’d you fight Moose?

He was just shittalking.

Pretty sure he’d back down.

Nope.

(both laugh)

I was so surprised when he swung, to be honest.

I mean, did you have to?

Looked like you really hurt him.

I was just gonna knock his ass down.

Whale on him a bit.

But that wouldn’t draw no blood.

In a situation like that, the more blood, the better.

For the crowd, you know?

It makes a stronger point.

I’ve seen Texas Chain Saw Massacre Friday night.

You seen it?

That movie’s rated R.

My dad would never take me to see that.

My uncle takes me to the drivein.

We see everything.

But, man, that movie…

it’s the best ever.

Better than Enter the Dragon?

Well, okay. Maybe second best.

(laughs)

You know, I want to see a Bruce Lee movie one day.

Like, um, maybe if it comes on TV, you know?

Yeah. Yeah, you will.

Hey, um, you got time to stop by my house after school?

Is it math again?

Mr. Johnson talks too fast.

He doesn’t explain it right. Not like you.

Can you walk me through it?

If I get another “F,” I’m suspended.

Yeah, sure.

TEACHER: So, when we subtract six from 11, we find that the value of “X” is five.

(knocking)

(door opens)

You wanted to see me?

Gwendolyn Blake, this is Detective Wright and Detective Miller.

Miss Blake.

They would like to talk to you about something.

(Detective Wright sighs)

Is it… is it true you’re friends with Amy Yamada?

We have homeroom together.

Is she okay?

She’s fine.

You know what this is about.

What did you say to Amy about her brother Bruce?

Just that I had a dream about him.

What kind of a dream?

Just a weird one.

What happened in your dream?

He was taken. That’s all.

By a man with black balloons in a van.

Yes.

WRIGHT: What else can you tell us about your dream?

Why? It was just a dream.

MILLER: Who else knows about the dream?

Nobody.

We found two black balloons at the scene, Gwen.

Oh.

We also found one black balloon at the scene of Griffin Stagg’s abduction.

And we never released those details, so…

So the question is, where did you hear about the balloons?

I didn’t.

I’m gonna ask you again.

How did you know about the balloons?

What aren’t you telling us, Gwen?

Either there’s a leak in the department, or…

Or what? I’m The Grabber?

WRIGHT: No.

You think I kidnapped Vance Hopper last spring?

Is that it?

Vance got held back twice.

I’ve seen him fight, and trust me, he could kick the shit out of either of you blindfolded.

Gwen, watch your language.

Yeah, I took him down ’cause obviously I’m The Grabber, you dumb fucking fart knockers.

Gwendolyn Blake!

Gwen.

What aren’t you telling us?

That sometimes my dreams are right.

There he is.

What was that?

(sighs) Nothing.

I’m staying over at Susie’s tonight.

It’s Friday, so you know what that means.

I’ll look after Dad.

I’ll be home in the morning.

And you better not eat all the ice cream.

(“Early Morning Blues” by Blind Blake playing)

♪ Play that thing low and lonesome, boy… ♪

(music stops)

(dramatic orchestral music plays over TV)

(doorknob jiggling over TV)

(burbling)

(highpitched tone playing over TV)

(dogs barking in distance)

(Terrence yelling in other room)

(belt striking)

(Gwen screaming)

(Terrence yells)

(belt strikes)

(yelling and screaming continue)

I’m sorry!

Dad, stop!

Hey!

You stay out of this!

Gwenny.

(Gwen whimpering)

They came to my work.

Why did the police come to my work?

I don’t know! I’m sorry!

TERRENCE: You need to tell me what you know about this investigation.

Nothing!

Tell me what… What?

Nothing.

Huh?

Nothing!

What?!

Nothing!

Hit me again, and I’m dropping it!

You drop that, and I will beat your ass twice as hard.

(Terrence grunts)

(bottle shatters)

(Terrence yells)

(Gwen screams)

No, Dad!

That was an eightdollar bottle of goddamn vodka!

(sobbing)

Oh, now you listen to me.

Listen to me. You are not your mother!

I know.

That means you do not hear things that are not there.

You do not see things that are not there!

Okay.

They’re not there, Gwenny!

(crying): Okay.

And your dreams… they’re just fucking dreams.

Do you understand me?

GWEN: Yes!

Do you understand me?!

Yes!

Say it. I want to hear you say it.

My dreams are just dreams.

Say it again!

My dreams are just dreams!

Say it again.

My dreams are just dreams!

(panting)

(whimpering)

Go watch some television or something.

And no ice on that bottom, young lady.

I want you to think about what you did.

(Terrence panting)

Did you know anything about this?

Same goes for you.

You got that?

You got that?

Now, get out.

Mm.

GOLIATH (over TV): I told you, Davey.

DAVEY: You hurt, Sal?

SALLY: I’m okay.

You okay?

Yeah, but this is what Officer Bob said would happen.

MOTHER: Sally, you’re late.

(birds chirping over TV)

GOLIATH: Your bike’s a mess.

DAVEY: So am I.

Officer Bob would fix that wheel, but I can’t ask him now.

Why not?

♪ ♪

(phone ringing)

(phone ringing)

(phones ringing)

(siren wails)

(dramatic theme music playing)

I understand.

Thank you for calling.

Finney.

Yeah?

Do you know a kid named Robin Are…

AAr… Ar… (sighs)

Arellano?

Yeah, that’s it.

He’s a friend from school. Why?

♪ ♪

(door opens)

(sighs)

I’m really sorry, Finney.

I know he was your friend.

Don’t say “was.”

He is my friend.

Sorry.

Gwen.

Can you do that dream thing?

It doesn’t work that way.

Have you tried?

Of course I have.

Well, try again.

Please.

(sighs)

Jesus, I know you know what I’m going to ask you, but I’m going to ask you anyway.

My brother, he needs his friend.

And I know you can’t just let him go, because you don’t interfere or whatever.

I don’t know the rules.

But if you could help me have a dream or two and just see something that could help the police or me or anyone find him, I will follow you forever.

(light switch clicks)

(gasps softly)

Amen.

TERRENCE: Don’t think I don’t know what’s going on in here.

No playing after lightsout.

Sorry, Daddy.

Go to sleep.

I love you.

Love you, too, Daddy.

(sighs)

(doorbell rings)

(Terrence sighs)

Goddamn it, Gwenny.

What the hell did she do now?

We’re sorry, Mr. Blake.

Your daughter hasn’t done anything.

But is there any way we can speak with her?

♪ ♪

(voices muted)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(grunting)

Fucking cocksucking cowards!

(Gwen yells)

(grunts)

Fuck you, too, ugly ass face.

(Gwen grunts)

(rock clatters against fence)

(yells)

(grunts, groans)

FINNEY: Gwen!

(grunting and groaning)

(grunting and groaning continue)

MR. HOPKINS: All right, class.

It is the day you’ve been dreading all semester.

Frog dissection day.

Uh, pick a partner.

Remember, you will be paired with this partner for the rest of the year.

(students murmuring)

Do you need a partner?

Uh, no, no.

I mean, yeah, I don’t have a partner yet.

Those guys are assholes.

What?

This morning.

Everybody’s talking about it.

Oh.

Your sister’s really cool, though.

I wish my brother and I were friends like that.

MR. HOPKINS: Eyes up here.

All right, let’s cut open a frog.

(singsongy): Donna, Donna, Donna.

(making smooching sounds)

“Oh, Finney, will you be my lab partner?”

Stop.

(makes smooching sounds)

Shut up, you jerk.

(laughs) All right, see you tomorrow.

Where you going?

I’m staying over at Susie’s tonight.

It’s Friday, so…

I’ll look after Dad.

See you, kid.

(chuckling)

(bicycle bell dings)

♪ ♪

(grunting)

Oh! (laughs)

You goof. (laughs)

Well, isn’t that just peachy keen?

You need some help?

(laughs) You see that?

Yeah.

(laughing)

Would you hand me my hat?

Yes, sir.

I am a part time magician.

Would you like to see a magic trick?

Yeah.

(spray can rattling)

Yeah?

Are those black balloons in there?

Yeah.

(Finney yelling)

(The Grabber yells in pain)

(Finney continues screaming)

(muffled yelling)

♪ ♪

My fucking arm.

I should snap your neck for what you did to my arm.

♪ ♪

(sighs)

Jesus.

It’s covered in blood.

It’s like I killed someone.

You see that?

Not like you can see shit.

I know you’re scared.

But I’m not gonna hurt you anymore.

What I said about snapping your neck…

(sighs)

I was angry, is all.

(laughing): And you did a number on my arm.

I’m not gonna hold it against you. Hmm?

I guess… now we’re even.

You don’t have to be scared, because nothing bad is going to happen here.

On that I give my word, Johnny.

You like soda?

Hmm? I’ll tell you what.

I’m gonna go get you a soda, and then…

(phone ringing in distance)

Is that the phone?

You hear a phone ringing?

I’m gonna go see who it is.

Then I’ll get you a soda.

And then I’ll come back and explain everything. Hmm?

(The Grabber sighing)

(lock clunks)

♪ ♪

(scoffs)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Gwenny, your dad’s on the phone.

Hi, Daddy.

No, I haven’t. Not since school.

(phone drops to floor)

(panting)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(voices muted)

(voice muted)

(phone ringing)

(gasps)

THE GRABBER: It doesn’t work.

Not since I was a kid.

Hang it up.

I know you’re scared and you want to go home.

I’ll take you home soon.

It’s just that…

(sighs): Oh, everything’s all fucked up.

I got to be upstairs for a while.

Something’s come up.

What?

Never mind what.

Did someone see something?

Are the police coming?

If you let me go before they get here, I promise I won’t tell.

(The Grabber laughing)

THE GRABBER: It’s not the police.

FINNEY: Someone, though?

Someone’s coming?

I’ll scream.

If someone’s upstairs, they’ll hear me.

THE GRABBER: No, he won’t. Not with the door shut.

He?

(The Grabber sighs)

THE GRABBER: With the door shut, no one can hear anything down here.

I soundproofed it myself.

So shout if you like. You won’t bother anyone.

FINNEY: You’re the one who killed the others.

Bruce.

Robin.

THE GRABBER: That wasn’t me.

That was someone else.

I will never make you do anything that you won’t… like.

If you try to touch me, I’ll scratch your face.

And whoever’s coming will see and ask why.

THE GRABBER: This face?

Hang up the phone now.

(breathing deeply)

I was down here once when it rang.

(chuckling): Ooh. Creepiest damn thing.

I think it’s static electricity that does it.

It went off while I was right next to it.

I picked it up without thinking.

To see if anyone was there.

Was there?

THE GRABBER: No.

(door bangs shut)

(lock clunks)

Help!

Help!

Please!

(crickets chirping)

(muffled): Help me!

Somebody, please!

Please help!

♪ ♪

(grunts)

Stop. Stop. Stop it.

If anyone could’ve broke that window, they already would’ve done it.

Robin would’ve done it.

You’re not getting out of here.

I’m not getting out of here.

(phone ringing)

(ringing continues)

Hello?

(clicking on line)

Hello?

♪ ♪

(creaking)

(creaking continues)

Stop it.

THE GRABBER: Stop what?

(Finney gasping)

I’m hungry.

I need food.

How are your eyes?

They hurt.

THE GRABBER: Well, I can’t bring you anything to eat.

You’ll have to wait.

Is there someone upstairs who will see you bring me food?

THE GRABBER: Don’t you worry about that.

FINNEY: If you weren’t gonna feed me, why’d you even come down here?

THE GRABBER: Just to look at you.

I just wanted to look at you.

I’ll go.

(door bangs shut)

(gasping)

(lock clunks)

(phone ringing)

(gasps)

(ringing continues)

(static droning over phone)

Hello?

Is somebody there?

I need help.

Hello?

BOY (over phone): Finney.

(gasping)

(phone ringing)

(ringing continues)

(ringing stops)

(ringing continuously)

(static droning)

BOY: Don’t hang up.

I won’t.

Who is this?

I don’t remember my name.

Why not?

It’s the first thing you lose.

First thing you lose when?

You know when.

How do you know my name?

We met once.

Your arm is mint.

You almost had me.

Bruce?

Bruce Yamada?

Yeah.

Bruce.

Uh, I’m Bruce.

Your arm is mint.

You almost had me.

Did the phone ring for you?

It rang, but none of us heard it.

Just you.

The Grabber hears the phone, too, but he doesn’t want to believe it.

Why are you calling me?

Your arm is mint.

You almost had me.

I’m glad it’s you.

Finney?

Yeah?

There’s a dirt section of the floor in the hallway where the tile is loose.

Okay.

Dig down underneath the foundation.

I tried, but there wasn’t time for me to dig up and out the other side.

Will I have enough time?

(static droning)

(phone clicks)

(static stops)

Hello?

Bruce?

Bruce?

♪ ♪

(distorted): I pledge allegiance to the flag…

(distorted cheering)

(spraying)

Help!

(grunting)

(screams)

(panting rapidly)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(voice muted)

♪ ♪

(door opens)

(gasping)

I made you some breakfast.

What did you put in that?

THE GRABBER: Salt and pepper.

(giggles)

Oh, eat it, don’t eat it.

You’re already down here.

What do I need to drug you for?

(phone ringing)

(gasps)

Hello?

BOY (over phone): Don’t go upstairs.

Why not?

BOY: It’s a trap.

FINNEY: Are you…

Are you Bruce?

Who’s Bruce?

Uh, I was just talking to Bruce.

I don’t know any Bruce.

He’s the baseball player.

We don’t play baseball here.

Who are you?

I don’t remember.

Did you play soccer? Football?

I delivered newspapers.

Billy.

You’re Billy Showalter.

Maybe.

No, you’re Billy.

Do not… go upstairs.

What is he doing?

He’s waiting… on the other side with that fucking belt.

He didn’t say you can leave, so if you try, he’ll punish you.

He’ll beat you with that belt until you pass out.

It hurts, kid.

It hurts real bad.

You’ll cry.

You’ll beg him to stop.

We all did.

But he just keeps beating you.

Hello?

Hello?

♪ ♪

(steps creaking softly)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

MRS. FULGRIM: Oh, you poor dear.

Go to the nurse’s office and get a nap.

(phone ringing)

(static droning)

BILLY (over phone): You said my name was Billy.

Billy Showalter.

Don’t call me that.

I don’t remember it. It’s not who I am now.

What do you want me to call you, then?

What do you remember?

I told you.

I was a paperboy.

FINNEY: Okay. Paperboy.

See the wall in front of you?

See how the wall is separated from the floor?

FINNEY: Yeah.

I tore a long cable loose from down there.

I kept it hidden.

What am I supposed to do with that?

♪ ♪

(distorted bell jingling)

♪ ♪

(distorted cackling)

(gasps)

♪ ♪

(sighs)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(straining)

(yells)

(groaning)

(breathing deeply)

(sniffles)

Daddy?

(inhales sharply) Yes, honey.

Can I ask you a question?

Of course. Come sit.

Come.

There you go.

But you promise you won’t get mad?

I promise, honey.

It’s about my dreams.

(sets glass on table)

What about your dreams?

Well, what if they… you know, they’re… well…

Gwen.

Your mother, she was a special soul.

And she was smart, just like you.

But, sweetheart, she was also, uh… touched.

She saw things and she heard things, and sh..she just became so convinced that her dreams meant something.

And eventually, they told her to do things.

Terrible things.

And so she took her own life.

But they weren’t real, sweetheart.

They just weren’t real.

I loved Mom.

I… I loved her, too.

I mean, I loved her the way she was.

I know, sweetheart.

I… I… (sighs)

I just… I don’t…

I don’t want that future for you, sweetheart.

Do you understand?

(breathing shakily)

But… whwhat if it could help me find Finney?

♪ ♪

(indistinct police radio chatter)

(knocking)

(dog barking)

MAX: Hey! Samson, stop!

(clapping)

Come here! Come on, boy. Come on.

Hold on one second.

(barking continues)

Get in here. Go.

(door bangs shut)

(barking continues in distance)

Hello?

WRIGHT: Good evening, sir.

We’re canvassing your neighborhood, talking to residents, and we were wondering, have you seen this boy?

You’re the police.

Yes. Denver PD.

Uhhuh.

You’re here for the missing kids.

MILLER: Yes, sir.

And if there’s anything at all…

No, no. Come inside.

Come on. Samson, stop it!

(barking continues)

(dog growling)

Right. I want to show you something.

Yeah, right over here.

So, all the kids live in the same district, right?

They all walk to and from school.

They were all grabbed on the way home from school except for Robin Arellano he was grabbed on a Saturday afternoon on his way to the store to get some pop and a candy bar, right?

Sir, we’re well aware of that.

Just listen. He has to be able to grab these kids and get them back to his place very quickly, which means he’s got a house with a garage.

And he can’t risk them getting away or waking up if he’s knocking them out.

Which means that The Grabber has to live somewhere in this area right here.

MILLER: Mr., uh…

It’s Max.

Mr. Max…

No, not Mr. Max.

It’s just… it’s just Max.

My friends call me Max. And since we’re all working on this case together, you know, I figured…

How long have you lived in the area, Max?

II…

No, I live down in Durango. I’m just crashing here.

This is my brother’s place.

I’ve been reading about this case a lot, and I’m in between jobs right now, and you guys could really use my help on this.

You keep working at this, but if you see any of these boys, give us a call.

Wait. Uh, or if I have any new leads, right?

If you see any of these boys, then call.

And, uh, might want to tidy up before your brother gets home.

MAX: Oh.

Stupid, stupid, stupid moron.

Goddamn it, Max.

(snorts)

♪ ♪

(door clunks open)

(breathing deeply)

THE GRABBER (singsongy): I know you’re not sleeping.

I’m starving.

Tell me your name.

Why do you care?

THE GRABBER: I usually don’t.

I find out eventually in the paper.

They always print a nice, big photo with all the details I could ever want.

All the things you boys lie about.

What’s different this time?

THE GRABBER: Oh…

(dog barking)

Oh, it’s complicated.

It’s… too complicated.

Everything’s different. Nothing’s going right.

You could let me go.

THE GRABBER: I’m thinking about it.

I promise I won’t tell anyone.

You can blindfold me, drop me off on the street.

I’ll walk home.

THE GRABBER: Well, tell me your name.

Taylor.

Taylor Mullen.

(The Grabber sighs)

(tray clatters)

THE GRABBER: I was really starting to like you, Finney.

(kicks tray)

I almost let you go.

(trembling breaths)

(phone ringing)

(static droning)

Hello?

Bruce?

Billy Paperboy?

(phone clicks)

(static stops)

♪ ♪

(snorts)

(sighs)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(liquid dripping slowly)

(dripping continues)

(dripping continues)

(gasps)

♪ ♪

Hello?

(static droning over phone)

Hello?

Hello?

BOY (over phone): You don’t have much time.

The Grabber hasn’t been sleeping.

He thinks this might be it.

That he’s gonna figure it out.

Who’s gonna figure it out?

His brother upstairs.

(boy laughing)

Are you Griffin?

Who?

Griffin Stagg.

Probably.

It’s all a little hazy, but I imagine you know all our names.

Every kid does.

I didn’t know you.

Nobody did.

You spend so many years invisible, and then every kid in the state knows your name.

You don’t have much time.

Why hasn’t he killed me?

You won’t play the game.

You have to play the game.

If you don’t play, he can’t win.

What game?

Naughty Boy.

If you don’t play Naughty Boy, The Grabber can’t beat you.

And if he can’t beat you, he can’t move on to the next part.

And the next part of Naughty Boy is his favorite part.

What’s the next part?

(Griffin laughing)

(sternly): You don’t have much time.

You said that.

He’s not been sleeping.

You said that, too.

Yeah, well, he is now.

In his chair.

He passed out waiting for you to play.

What good does that do me?

Wait. The door is still unlocked.

The door is still unlocked.

Do I just go?

There’s a combination lock on the inside of the storm door.

It was my bike lock.

Your bike lock?

Yeah. He took it when he took me.

What’s the combination?

I don’t remember.

Griffin.

I remember being afraid I’d forget it.

That’s why I wrote it down.

What? Where?

I carved it with a bottle cap in the wall.

Which wall? Which wall?!

The one on the right, about shoulder height when you’re sitting down.

♪ ♪

Two, three, three, one, seven. Two, three, three, one, seven.

Two, three, three, one, seven.

Two, three, three, one, seven?

If you say so.

But is it 23317 or 23317 or 23317?

I can’t remember.

Griffin.

I can’t remember.

You’ll have to try them all.

And you’ll have to be very quiet about it.

Yeah.

Okay. Thanks.

♪ ♪

Two, three, three, one, seven. Two, three, three, one, seven.

(door creaks quietly)

(steps creaking quietly)

♪ ♪

(creaking softly)

(breathing heavily)

(snorts)

(snorting)

♪ ♪

(The Grabber snorts)

♪ ♪

(The Grabber snoring softly)

♪ ♪

(dial spinning)

(lock rattling)

(sighs)

(clicks)

(dog barking)

(banging at door)

(grunts softly)

(barking continues)

(panting)

(tires squealing)

(screams): Help!

(grunts)

Help! The Grabber!

(grunting)

THE GRABBER: You say one fucking word… and I will gut you like a pig right here in the street. And strangle you with your own intestines.

Nighty night, naughty boy.

(grunts)

MAX: Hey, what was all that noise I heard?

THE GRABBER: Samson was barking at something.

It’s nothing. Go back to bed, Max.

(lock clunks)

Jesus, what the fuck?

I mean, what the fuck?

I ask you for help, and you give me these clues that don’t mean anything.

And now this morning, I wake up without any dream at all?

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?

You let The Grabber take Finney, right?

And don’t tell me that you don’t get involved, because you’ve been giving me these dreams.

Unless…

(sighs)

Maybe you’re not even real.

(groans softly)

Son of a bitch.

(phone ringing)

No.

Fuck you.

(ringing continues)

Goddamn it.

(static droning over phone)

What?

You gonna say something?

Do you even know who you are?

BOY (over phone): What the shit kind of question is that?

Do you even know who you are?

I’m Finney Blake.

Yeah, well, nice to fucking meet you, Finney Blake.

Right here.

This is it.

This is what?

The horrifying nightmare end of your pathetic little life.

Holy shit.

You’re Vance Hopper.

I remember you.

You used to scare me.

Trust me, Finney Blake,

if you knew what you had coming, you’d be fucking terrified.

Today’s the day, motherfucker.

(“Fox on the Run” by Sweet playing)

(electronic chiming over pinball machine)

♪ I don’t wanna know your name ♪

♪ ‘Cause you don’t look the same ♪

♪ The way you did before… ♪

Vance, you’re gonna beat your high score.

Of course I’m gonna do it, dumb shit.

I said I would.

Hey.

Oh, jackass!

♪ Fox on the run ♪

♪ And hide away… ♪

Motherfucker!

You fucked with my game!

WOMAN: Oh, for Pete’s sake.

Hey.

VANCE: Come here, bitch.

(grunting)

(murmuring)

(grunting)

Don’t fuck with me again!

(song fades)

♪ ♪

(distorted police radio chatter)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(radio crackling)

FINNEY (over radio): Do you even know who you are?

What the shit kind of question is that?

Do you even know who you are?

FINNEY: I’m Finney Blake.

Yeah, well, nice to fucking meet you, Finney Blake.

Right here. This is it.

FINNEY: This is what?

The horrifying nightmare end of your pathetic little life.

FINNEY: Holy shit.

You’re Vance Hopper.

(The Grabber cackling)

I remember you. You used to scare me.

VANCE: Trust me, Finney Blake, if you knew what you had coming, you’d be fucking terrified.

Today’s the day, motherfucker.

(panting rapidly)

(knocking)

TERRENCE: Gwenny, hurry up.

You’re gonna be late for school.

Sorry, Daddy.

FINNEY: Holy shit. You’re Vance Hopper.

I remember you. You used to scare me.

VANCE: Trust me, Finney Blake,

(over phone): if you knew what you had coming, you’d be fucking terrified.

Today’s the day, motherfucker.

Have you tried stacking the carpets to reach the window?

I’ve tried everything.

No, not everything.

When The Grabber saw what I had done, that was it.

And he took his time with me, too.

What did you do?

Oh, that fucker had to spend a fortune to repair all the damages.

What did you do?

I’m getting to that, cunt wad!

Or do you have some other important shit you have to do right now?

No, no, no, no, I’m… I’m listening.

There’s an outlet in the shitter, across from the john.

Yeah, I’ve seen it.

On the other side of that wall, there’s a storage room.

You can’t get into that room, because there’s a bigass upright freezer in the way.

Okay.

Break into the wall about two feet above the outlet till you get to a panel with screws in it.

Get the panel off, you’re into the freezer.

And then out into the storage room.

Thank you.

For what?

For helping me.

Helping you?

This isn’t about you.

Fuck him…!

(groaning)

(screams)

(whimpering, panting)

♪ ♪

(grunting)

(slurps)

(grunting)

(panting)

(grunts)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(grunting)

(thudding)

(Finney grunting)

(thudding and grunting continue)

(panting)

(sobbing)

(whimpering)

(sobbing)

(phone ringing)

(ringing continues)

(ringing continues)

(static droning over phone)

What?

ROBIN (over phone): Hey, Finn.

What’s happening?

Robin?

Hey, buddy. Don’t cry.

I’m not.

Yes, you are.

I can see you.

You can?

I’m with you.

I’ve been with you this whole time.

You have?

A man never leaves a friend behind.

My dad didn’t leave his buddies behind when he went to ‘Nam.

That’s why he didn’t come home.

And I’m not coming home, either.

And I’m not going to leave you behind.

We’ll be together again soon.

Fuck that. You ain’t gonna go like I did.

I’ve tried everything. Nothing’s worked.

Yet.

Robin…

Do you remember what I told you?

That I needed to see Texas Chain Saw Massacre?

Before that.

That someday I have to stand up for myself.

“Someday” is today, Finn.

Today’s the day you stop taking shit from anybody.

I’m not a fighter like you, Robin.

You couldn’t even take him.

You’ve always been a fighter, Finn.

That’s what we have in common, why we were friends.

You were always afraid to throw a punch, but you always knew how to take one.

And you always got back up every time.

I’m not strong enough.

You have to be. You’re getting out of here.

If you can’t do it for you, do it for me.

What does it matter?

Because I don’t want to die for nothing.

I want to at least have died for a friend.

And because I can’t kill that hijo de puta, you have to do it for me.

How?

You’re gonna use a weapon.

What weapon?

The one in your hand.

The phone?

Fill the receiver with dirt.

Pack it in tight.

Give it some heft.

Then what?

Then you practice over and over.

You raise the phone. Take a fast step back.

Step forward, step back and swing.

Try it.

Now?

Yes.

You raise the phone. Take a fast step back.

Step forward, step back and swing.

Again. You raise the phone. Take a fast step back.

Step forward, step back and swing.

Again. You raise the phone. Take a fast step back.

Step forward, step back and swing.

Again. You raise the phone. Take a fast step back.

Step forward, step back and swing.

(grunts)

You got it.

Now fill the phone with dirt like I told you.

Will I still be able to talk with you?

This was the last call, Finn.

It’s all you from here on out.

I miss you, Robin.

Then get out for me.

Use what we gave you.

I will.

Bye, Finn.

Bye, Robin.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

Please, dear Jesus. Please, please.

I’m sorry I said you weren’t real.

Please be real. Please.

Please, please, please.

(screams, grunts)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(panting)

Detective Wright, please.

(“On the Run” by Pink Floyd playing)

(snorts, inhales deeply)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(sighs)

♪ ♪

(creaking)

♪ ♪

(creaking continues)

♪ ♪

(lock clunks)

(sighs)

No fucking way.

I knew that he was hiding something from me down here, but holy Mary, mother of God.

Please, help.

CCan you call my dad? Call my sister?

Oh, listen. Don’t worry, he’s not here.

Hehe had to go into work.

Uh, I’m Max, man. Staystay calm.

No wonder he was freaking out this morning.

Hey, you want to know the story about how I found you, man?

No, no, no, no…

Hey, no, no, no.

Don’t worry about it. We can talk about this…

(screams)

(Finney hyperventilating)

(grunts)

(tires squealing)

Is this the house?

Yes.

Are you sure?

I’d never seen it before today, except in my dreams.

The tree, the door, the address, the gate.

Every detail.

Okay. Okay, youyou sstep back.

Stay with her.

(indistinct chatter)

Please hurry.

Okay, let’s go.

Look what you made me do.

You made me kill my brother.

(panting): No.

It wasn’t me. I…

He was an idiot.

But he was my idiot.

I’m sorry, Max.

Now I’m gonna have to put you with the others.

(sighs)

Looks like you’ll find those naughty boys after all.

Open up! Police!

(squishing)

(grunts)

What’s up with the phone, huh?

I told you it doesn’t work!

(breathing deeply)

Normally, I would use a knife.

But you are special, Finney.

I’m gonna take my time.

I want this to really hurt.

Samson!

(barking)

(growls)

(barking, snarling)

MILLER: Clear.

OFFICER: Clear!

(Samson growling)

THE GRABBER: Good boy.

It’s empty.

It’s the wrong house.

(laughs)

(Finney yells)

(barking)

(grunts)

(yelps)

(bone cracks)

(screaming)

(grunting)

(growling)

(Finney yells)

(screaming)

(The Grabber groaning)

(gasping, choking)

(Finney yells)

(phone ringing)

(Samson barking)

(ringing continues)

(Samson whines quietly)

(static droning over phone)

It’s for you.

VANCE (over phone): Welcome to the nightmare end of your pathetic little life.

(Griffin laughing)

GRIFFIN: You don’t have much time.

(Griffin laughing)

VANCE: Today’s the day, motherfucker.

ROBIN: I can’t kill you, you hijo de puta, so Finn is gonna do it for me.

BRUCE: Finn’s arm is mint!

(grunts)

(neck snaps)

(Samson barks)

(barking)

(barking fades)

OFFICER: Wait.

We’ve got a basement.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(door opens)

MILLER: It’s the missing kids.

This is where he buries them.

WRIGHT: I think he kills them someplace else.

MILLER: I think you’re right.

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(siren wailing)

(tires squeal)

(indistinct police radio chatter)

(urgent chatter)

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

(indistinct shouting)

Hey, hey, hey. Hey. Come with me.

(officers shouting indistinctly)

Basement.

WRIGHT: Basement.

MILLER: Get the kids out of here.

♪ ♪

(birds chirping)

(officer speaks indistinctly)

OFFICER: Behind the barrier.

(indistinct chatter)

(Terrence breathing heavily)

(voice shaking): I am so sorry.

I’mI’m…

(sobbing): I’m so… I’m so sorry.

Please forgive me.

(sobbing)

♪ ♪

(indistinct chatter)

My name is Chief Walker of the Denver Police Department.

Our community’s long nightmare has finally come to a bittersweet end tonight with the rescue of the missing Blake child but also the discovery of five bodies we believe to be the other missing children in the area.

Here are the facts of the case by the men who broke it.

Detective Wright?

Thanks, Chief.

The perpetrator known as The Grabber owned two homes, one where he kept the victims while alive and a second empty home across the street where he buried them postmortem.

(school bell ringing)

(students murmuring)

Is that him?

That’s him.

Oh, shit.

Did you see him?

I thought he would be bigger.

He’s the one who killed The Grabber.

That’s him.

No way.

The Grabber was like seven feet tall.

I heard he stabbed him.

How could that kid strangle him to death?

It was an axe to the head.

My dad’s a cop. I know.

I heard he beat him to death with a phone.

♪ ♪

STUDENT: Good morning.

(quiet murmuring)

Hi, Finney.

Call me Finn.

♪ There’s a smile on your face ♪

♪ It’s a long way from your home ♪

♪ Far from all the pain that you have ever known ♪

♪ Gone without a trace ♪

♪ Up from the fire this bird has flown ♪

♪ As you spread your wings in grace ♪

♪ You’re not alone ♪

♪ And your fear ♪

♪ It is gone ♪

♪ Left it all inside that home ♪

♪ You will never be alone ♪

♪ As I have been ♪

♪ All of the feelings you have had ♪

♪ And a hurt that felt so bad ♪

♪ Make you strong, won’t make you mad ♪

♪ It disappears ♪

♪ And there’s a smile on your face ♪

♪ It’s a long way from your home ♪

♪ Far from all the pain that you have ever known ♪

♪ Gone without a trace ♪

♪ Up from the fire this bird has flown ♪

♪ As you spread your wings in space ♪

♪ You’re not alone ♪

♪ You’re far from home ♪

♪ ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Gone without a trace ♪

♪ Up from the fire this bird has flown ♪

♪ As you spread your wings in space ♪

♪ You’re not alone ♪

♪ You’re far from home ♪

♪ ♪

♪ Yes, there’s a smile on your face ♪

♪ It’s a long way from your home ♪

♪ Far from all the pain that you have ever known ♪

♪ Gone without a trace ♪

♪ Up from the fire this bird has flown ♪

♪ As you spread your wings in grace ♪

♪ You’re not alone ♪

♪ You’re far from home ♪

♪ You’re really far from here, yeah ♪

♪ You’re not alone ♪

♪ There’s nothing left to fear now ♪

♪ You’re really far from home ♪

♪ You’re really far from here, yeah ♪

♪ You’ll never be alone ♪

♪ You’ll never be alone. ♪

♪ ♪

(song ends)

♪ It’s the weekend ♪

♪ I think of good friends ♪

♪ Sometimes forget they died ♪

♪ I want to see them ♪

♪ Because I need them ♪

♪ It can make you cry ♪

♪ And it goes on ♪

♪ It goes on ♪

♪ It goes on ♪

♪ It goes on ♪

♪ It goes on ♪

♪ It goes on. ♪

(song ends)

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