Monday, November 07, 2011

Phones in Horror Movies

I just watched The Ruins, an American horror film. Yes, I do have classes. And I do go to them. I just know how to squeeze a movie in between things I have to do.

It's about of a group of friends going somewhere remote and deserted (somewhere in Mexico) only to end up being killed one after another by something or someone mysterious. Wait.. did I just sum up every horror movie ever existed?


Everyone has a mobile phone these days, and phone coverage keeps getting wider and better, and that has become an obstacle for every horror screenwriter because if every character in that movie has a phone, then they can call for help and there's no movie. So the first thing to do in every horror movie is to render the mobile phones useless. In most films (Quarantine, Identity, Saw, House Of Wax, Wrong Turn etc), they use the "no signal" or "flat battery" excuse, because those are the simplest ones and no coverage means no mobile phones for ALL of the characters. Problem solved.

In One Missed Call, the flip phone was broken in two AND thrown into an aquarium. You know, just to make sure it really can't make calls.

In The Ruins though, only 2 characters out of six have phones and NONE of the girls brought theirs (something very unlikely to happen in real life because I don't know any girls who don't have their phones with them 43 hours per day). And one of the phones has no signal (shocking!) but the other one works because "it's on Vodafone" (this screams of blatant product placement).

It's the first time a working phone is allowed to be in a horror movie. Faster than I could say, "I would like to see how this whole phone thing pans out", all of a sudden a group of Mayan people ambushed the group, killed one of them (the Greek guy who doesn't speak English) and confiscated the working phone.

You have to give it to the producers. Using Mayans to get rid of a working phone in a horror movie? That's brilliant. Might be the second most original phone-ridding scene after Hostel, where the guy conveniently holds his phone far from his body so it can be snatched by some gypsy kids running around.

I am eager to see how horror movies of the future are going to keep up with all the different communication devices to make sure they cover the otherwise glaring pothole in the movies.

One important thing I learned from this movie is, if you want to be in American horror movies, make sure you speak English because it's always the guy who doesn't who gets killed first.

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