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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield

5 unnerving performances from THE BLACK PHONE's Ethan Hawke (FEATURE)

Oh my God, it's Ethan Hawke.

With the release of Ethan Hawke's latest induction into the horror hall of fame, THE BLACK PHONE, arriving this week. We take a look at 5 of Ethan Hawke's stranger roles in his career. 2022 proves a new lease of life for one of Hollywood's most sought after actors with 2 roles on this list as well as carving a new mask into the horror hall of fame all come from this year.


Dir. Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

The time travelling sci-fi is the most satisfyingly complex and bewildering future noir films that truly deserves every accolade it earns. Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook share a lot more than would appear as the two characters stories weave across time periods until their stories collide. Hawke gives a usual downtrodden stroll through discovery and a cloud of mystery which withdraws him from much emotion but the gravelled appearance is a match made in heaven to drive a film noir that keeps you guessing until the end.

GATTACA [1997]

Dir. Andrew Niccol

Another deep dive into sci-fi as Hawke stars alongside Uma Thurman and Jude Law in an early role that proved his star power. Here he plays a switcheroo in a determined mission to travel to space which is prohibited for his class. As he gets deeper in the lie, those around him begin to suspect otherwise leading to a tense space race that gives us one of the great films of the 90s.


Dir. Scott Derrickson

With Ethan Hawke teaming back up with SINISTER director Scott Derrickson and writer C. Robert Cargill, it would be amiss not to see this film on the list. Unlike the new film, Hawke plays the victim here but not without his own darkness. It's these darker moments and his intrigue in the unfolding events and videos possessing his sanity. This intrigue is what carries the story and instead of caring for the family around him, brings them into the mayhem under investigation to catastrophic results.


Dir. Mohamed Diab, Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Ethan Hawke's foray into the biggest film genre in the world came in 2022 with his appearance as antagonist, Arthur Harrow, a villain as disturbed and twisted as the series protagonist. Here blending realities in a quest for the greater good for the greater Gods of Egyptian mythology but the series always worked best when there were confrontations between Harrow and Steven/Marc and no time was this more shocking than in the shock reveal in episode 4 wherein it was discovered Harrow was the doctor house Spector as an inmate in a mental health ward. The series was full of shocks and turns and while there was never enough Moon Knight, there too was not enough screen time for Harrow's disturbing peace. The series deserves extra credit for giving us more time with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (SPRING, THE ENDLESS).


Dir. Robert Eggers

From the director of THE WITCH and THE NORTHMAN, Hawke was a short-lived but pivotal match made in heaven for the King who's son chases revenge after he is brutally murdered. Eggers film is Shakespearean drama with THE VIKINGS levels of violence and blends story, character and visuals effortlessly in one of 2022's best films. This is not Hawke's first foray into the world of Shakespeare as an early role of Hamlet in Michael Almereyda's 2000 modernisation of the epic shares a similar plotline with Eggers film but with Hawke now playing the dead not the avenger, an apt position for someone who also appeared in a Marvel series this year. While his role is much shorter than we'd hoped, the menace he brings and crazed ideologies linger much longer throughout the film and are all believable thanks to his early presence.

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