'The Black Phone' Stars Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw Talk 'Terrifying' Horror-Thriller Ahead of Blu-ray Release (Exclusive)

The Black Phone, a high-tension horror-thriller from Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, finally has an announcement home video release date. The film, which was inspired by a short story from Joe Hill, is out now on digital and will be released very soon in a physical collectors edition. Ahead of The Black Phone's home release, PopCulture.com spoke with stars Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw to talk about the movie and its "terrifying" villain... the Grabber.

In The Black Phone, Thames and McGraw play Finney and Gwen, respectively, a brother and sister whose suburban-Denver lives in the '70s are spent fending off school bullies and treading carefully around their alcoholic father, played by Jeremy Davies. Their already challenging lives are completely upended one day when the Grabber, a masked child abductor portrayed by Ethan Hawke, kidnaps Finney and locks him in a basement. Speaking about seeing the Grabber's iconic devil-like mask up close, Thames confessed that it was just as "terrifying" as it looks on-screen.

"When I first got to see it, it was in this giant briefcase. They had to open it, and I wanted to touch it," he said, motioning that not just anyone was allowed to touch the mask. "But it was so amazing to see that thing in person, especially on Ethan, when he was in the full getup of the Grabber. God, it was so much going on." Thames also shared a little of what it was like to work opposite Hawke, saying that they would goof around on-set in between takes.

"The first scene I did with Ethan was the abduction," Thames revealed. "So we did that and after every take, he would strangle me and spray the stuff in my mouth, and after they yelled cut, he would just give me a noogie on the head and say, 'You all right, kid?' He was super nice even with the mask on and everything. He was talking to me normally, and I would see a demon, but he was usually just like, 'Hey, Mason. How's your day going?' With the mask on and everything. I was like ... Yeah, he was amazing."

McGraw didn't have many, if any, scenes with the Grabber, but her character Gwen still has some of the most emotional moments of the film, which are quite well-balanced with the character's colorful vernacular. Speaking about Gwen's clever use of explicit terminology, McGraw confessed that she was initially not very comfortable with it. "Before I booked [the film], when I was auditioning, I felt really weird swearing in front of my parents. So I actually didn't swear in the original audition."

However, being on set and seeing how Gwen's language enhanced the character's story, McGraw says she was more on board with that specific dynamic of the role. "Once I booked it, and Scott had asked me, he said, 'Maddie, do you feel comfortable swearing? You don't have to. We can switch it to different words.' I was like, 'No.' It brings so much to Gwen as a character and who she is, and it really shows how tough she is and that she's not afraid to say what she wants to." She later added, "I also think that her tough side, including the swearing, it helps her hide her more vulnerable side."

Thames also shared his experience working with Derrickson, saying, "I mean, where do I start? Scott is so, so incredible. He really had a vision for this, and he executed it perfectly, and I just love him so much. And the way he handles actors, he makes them feel comfortable, makes them feel safe. And I want to be a director one day, so he's a big inspiration for me.

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The Black Phone is now available to own or rent digitally – from online retailers such as Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV – and will be available to own on Blu-Ray and DVD on Tuesday, Aug. 16. See our complete interview with Thames and McGraw in the video at the top of this page. Keep it locked to PopCulture for more The Black Phone exclusives!