In The Black Telephone in 1978, a series of kidnappings are taking place in the city of Denver. Ethan Hawke plays the “Grabbler”, a serial killer who has his target children in the neighborhood. Finney Shaw, a 13 year old boy, is kidnapped. the boy wakes up in a basement, where there is only a bed and a black telephone on one of the walls. When the device rings, the boy can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims, and they try to prevent Finney from suffering the same fate. Meanwhile, his sister Gwen has dreams that indicate where he might be and races against time to try to help Detectives Wright and Miller help their brother, only for it to be in vain. Finney continues to make attempts to escape that only fail, until one of the serial killer’s victims talks about a plan that could finally lead Finney to freedom.