What Year is 'The Black Phone' Set In? Exploring the Time Setting of the Film

What Year is ‘The Black Phone’ Set In? Exploring the Time Setting of the Film

What Year is ‘The Black Phone’ Set In? Exploring the Time Setting of the Film

The Intriguing Time Setting of ‘The Black Phone’

When watching a film, it is natural to wonder when the events are taking place. In the case of ‘The Black Phone,’ a supernatural horror thriller directed by Scott Derrickson, the time setting adds an extra layer of suspense and context to the story. Let’s delve into the intricacies of the time period portrayed in the film and uncover the secrets it holds.

The 1980s: An Era of Nostalgia

‘The Black Phone’ is set in the 1980s, a decade that has become synonymous with nostalgia. This choice of time setting allows the filmmakers to tap into the cultural motifs and aesthetics of that era, transporting viewers back to a time of analog technology, vibrant fashion, and iconic pop culture references.

A Deeper Understanding of the Characters

The 1980s setting also influences the characterization and backgrounds of the film’s protagonists and antagonists. By setting the story in a specific time period, the filmmakers have the opportunity to explore how the social and cultural context of the 1980s shaped the characters’ identities and motivations.

For example, the main character, Finney, is a young boy who loves horror movies and pop culture of the time. His obsession with horror films mirrors the popular cinematic trends of that era, where supernatural and slasher films were at their peak. This shared interest with the audience helps establish a strong emotional connection between Finney and the viewers.

The Influence of Technology

The 1980s was a transitional period in terms of technology. While the personal computer revolution was just beginning, most households still relied on traditional landline telephones, like the infamous black phone featured in the film.

The use of this outdated communication device adds to the atmosphere of isolation and vulnerability. Without the convenience of modern smartphones or internet access, the characters are forced to rely on traditional methods of communication and face the terrors that lurk within their own homes.

Creating a Unique Horror Experience

‘The Black Phone’ leverages the 1980s time setting to create a unique horror experience for the audience. By immersing viewers in a world where technology is limited and the supernatural prevails, the film builds tension and suspense that would be difficult to achieve in a contemporary setting.

The retro aesthetics, combined with the inescapable atmosphere of dread, allow the audience to experience a sense of nostalgia while simultaneously being terrified by the events unfolding on the screen.


‘The Black Phone’ is set in the 1980s, a time period that amplifies the suspense, character development, and overall horror experience. By carefully selecting this specific time setting, the filmmakers have created a memorable film that transports viewers to a bygone era while delivering a chilling and thrilling narrative. So sit back, turn off your modern devices, and immerse yourself in the haunting world of ‘The Black Phone’.


1. When is the movie “The Black Phone” set?

The movie “The Black Phone” is set in the present day.

2. Is “The Black Phone” set in a specific year?

No, “The Black Phone” is not set in a specific year.

3. Does the time setting of the film affect the storyline?

Yes, the time setting of the film plays a significant role in shaping the storyline.

4. Are there any specific historical events mentioned in “The Black Phone”?

No, the movie does not mention any specific historical events.

5. How does the time period of the film contribute to the atmosphere?

The time period of the film helps create a contemporary and relatable atmosphere for the audience.

6. Are there any cultural references that indicate the time setting?

Yes, there are subtle cultural references throughout the movie that indicate the present-day time setting.

7. Does the movie incorporate any futuristic elements?

No, “The Black Phone” does not incorporate any futuristic elements.

8. How does the lack of a specific year enhance the film’s suspense?

The absence of a specific year adds an element of mystery and uncertainty, enhancing the suspense in “The Black Phone”.

9. Does the time setting affect the technology depicted in the movie?

Yes, the time setting affects the technology portrayed in the movie, aligning it with contemporary devices and advancements.

10. Can audiences easily relate to the time period in “The Black Phone”?

Yes, audiences can easily relate to the time period in “The Black Phone” as it reflects the present-day context they are familiar with.