Now the title of this article may be misleading, but let me explain! No, movies featuring the devices aren’t the problem, its the movies without them being watched by today’s moviegoer that is the problem! We live in a world that is so interconnected that to recall a time when we had to use a rotary phone as our sole means of reaching out and touching someone is all but impossible. That being said, there is a certain lack of credibility to certain films, especially horror, and sadly, many classics because of our evolving technological zeitgeist.
Would Alan Grant really have had to sleep in a tree with Lex and Tim if he had an IPhone on him? Would Hammond and company have had to send Samuel L. Jackson to his doom in an attempt to reboot a computer system so advanced it could monitor a state of the art theme park, yet so archaic looking it harkens back to elementary school library rooms, just to get the phones working long enough to call for help?! When I think of astounding technological advancements, man, JURASSIC PARK is right up there… Until I realize the film is twenty years old as of this year.
Would Chief Brody have flipped out so badly when Quint took a bat to the vessel’s radio if he had his Samsung Galaxy on him? Instead of telling the crazed fisherman he needed a bigger boat, he could have just sent a photo to the mainland and waited for an armada of fishermen to arrive on the scene to help nab Bruce! No matter how you slice it, there are tons of technological advancements that would have murdered the premise of JAWS by today’s standards… One reason, I would personally love a remake. I know, I’m a minority on this one.
Would the babysitter in WHEN A STRANGER CALLS have been terrorized had she owned a blackberry with number-identification features built in? Hell no! By the first creepy call, she would have a number to hand over to police to go along with any threats she recorded with her phone recording app! Case closed. Pretty cut and dry, really. That is the sad thing about the pre-smart device era; any asshole with access to a phone could give a poor teenage girl a nervous breakdown!
Would D.B. Sweeny’s abduction in fire in the sky have been nearly as frightening or subject to such suspicion had his friends carried a Boost Mobil HD camera phone with them? Tension comes from the unknown, right? So, if the proof is there from the start, all you have is a movie full of people who have nothing to say except; “Yep, those were aliens…” I cringe just thinking about it. Then again, that movie blows, so I would cringe regardless.
I can go on and on, but the destination will ultimately be the same… The sad, ineluctable truth that technology will always make a mockery of our past attempts at capturing the spirit of plausibility in cinema. Sometimes, we can skate by, blissfully ignorant of why something doesn’t work in a film any longer, but when that epiphany hits you… It will be as brutal as a bite from a twenty-five foot great white. Of course we can still enjoy these gems for what they were and still are in relation to our own lives, but with that personal choice and ability comes the creeping reminder that we ourselves are older for having realized these things.
That may not be a big deal to some, but to others such things boil down to true horror. Muhahahahahaha!